HUDDERSFIELD TOWN’S shopping list for the summer has to centre on the midfield.
While manager Simon Grayson already has some talent at his disposal, the biggest letdown for Town in their promotion season was a lack of goals from midfield.
Especially central midfield, where Town need a genuine box-to-box player who will commit to getting in the opposition penalty area at every opportunity to back up the strikers.
Town had only 20 goals from the entire midfield last season – and half of those have already disappeared with the release of Gary Roberts (7), Tommy Miller (2) and previously Donal McDermott (1).
Danny Ward supplied half of the rest with five, then it’s down to Scott Arfield with two plus Anton Robinson, Oscar Gobern and Antony Kay with one apiece.
Damien Johnson, who has been offered terms to stay at the Galpharm following his return to fitness and form during his loan from Plymouth, didn’t score at all – but then he would be targeted more as the holding influence.
Matt Crooks and Chris Atkinson are the young guns aiming to prove they can do a midfield job at the higher level, but if Grayson sticks with his line on experience in the centre, then a holding midfielder and a goalscoring threat from that area are sure to be high priorities.
Up front, Town are blessed to have Jordan Rhodes and Lee Novak under contract and fresh terms are on the table for Alan Lee, who has experience at the higher level and is a very canny former international operator.
Jimmy Spencer could well prosper now he’s got the experience of 11 goals under his belt in Cheltenham’s run to the play-offs – he was a sub for their failed Wembley bid the day after Town defeated Sheffield United – but maybe an extra body is also needed to cover for injuries and suspensions.
That will become two if Scotland international Rhodes leaves the club, and fans are desperate to see him still in blue and white stripes when the Championship season starts on August 18.
Dean Hoyle did brilliantly last January to say he wasn’t for sale, because Town needed his goals to bolster their bid for promotion, and that decision was vindicated.
Supply for Rhodes will again be key, and in the wide areas Town have Ward and Higginbotham, with back-up from Arfield.
Perhaps Jack Hunt should also be considered for the wide-right role as Calum Woods and Liam Ridehalgh are more than capable at full-backs and there’s the default mode of Tom Clarke on either side, providing he signs the new contract which has been offered.