'I expect we will be busy' - Graeme Lee is anticipating a busy final week of the transfer window at Hartlepool United

The clock continues to tick on the January transfer window with clubs now just one week away from the deadline.

By Joe Ramage
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 6:00 am

It has been a difficult month for Graeme Lee as he has looked to juggle the demands of competing on three fronts with his Hartlepool United side in league and cup competitions, while also searching for players to strengthen his squad going into the second half of the season.

So far, Pools have made two signings this month with Rotherham United defender Jake Hull joining on-loan, while Southport striker Marcus Carver joined for an undisclosed fee with both players making their debut in the defeat at Bristol Rovers recently.

But Lee has also seen a number of players head for the exit door this month as parent clubs call back their players in light of COVID-19 cases and injuries within their squads.

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Graeme Lee is anticipating a busy end to the January transfer window. Picture by FRANK REID

Tyler Burey and Matty Daly are perhaps the two most significant players to leave the Suit Direct Stadium this month with Daly since joining Bradford City on-loan while Burey has featured for Championship side Millwall in recent weeks.

Jonathan Mitchell and Mike Fondop departed this month after their short term contracts expired, with Mitchell’s exit now giving Lee a headache over the requirement for a back-up in goal to Ben Killip.

It has made it a challenging month for Lee, and as teams continue to stall on decisions over their players while they assess their squads, Pools fans are having to remain patient for any further breakthroughs in the market.

And as we head into the final week of business, the pressure is starting to mount on Pools after declaring how serious the club would be taking the January window.

Hartlepool United will be hoping for progress in the final week of the transfer window. Picture by FRANK REID

Pools chairman Raj Singh revealed in Saturday’s matchday programme the club have been in contact with Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal recently in the hope of prying some of their academy talents away for the second half of the season.

Pools head to Exeter City this weekend in League Two before the January transfer window closes on Monday evening and manager Lee is anticipating a busy week away from the field.

“We know we need to bring players in so we are busy, and I expect we will be busy,” Lee told The Mail.

“We’ve got the games coming thick and fast but you’re also getting player after player [mentioned] when you're speaking to other clubs. They’re full days.

“That’s what you expect, but they have to be full days because you have to do your homework and you have to make sure that if you’re going to be bringing players in they’re the right fit and they’re the right character.

“We do want permanents because that’s us planning for the future and moving forward so we’re looking at that, but we’re also looking at what the loans can do for us as well.

“The main thing is trying to focus on our team and how to perform better on the pitch,” added the Pools manager.

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