Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett plots next move after Luke Molyneux signing
Last week Craig Hignett stated that he’d be looking to bring in ‘two or three more’ players at Hartlepool United this summer.
Since then, Pools snapped up one of their top transfer targets in Luke Molyneux, who signed following his release from Sunderland. So what’s next?
Based on Hignett’s comments, he’ll still be looking to bring in at least one or two more players.
Out of contract Gateshead midfielder Tom White has been strongly linked. But with the Heed asking for a five-figure compensation fee for the England C international, Pools may turn their attentions elsewhere.
Interest also seems to have cooled in long term target Robbie Tinkler with the former Middlesbrough under-23 captain being linked with National League North side York City.
Hignett’s side look strong in midfield with Luke Williams, Nicky Featherstone, Adam Bale, Gavan Holohan, Ryan Donaldson, Josh Hawkes, Liam Noble and now Molyneux providing genuine strength in depth.
Bringing White to the Super 6 Stadium would be a statement of intent but is by no means a necessity as Pools are still shouting out for another full-back.
Mark Kitching and Peter Kioso are the starting full-backs on the left and right sides respectively – but the pair have little in terms of natural competition. A proven left-back should be high on Hignett’s shopping list.
AFC Fylde’s Zaine Francis-Angol and Scott Barrow at Gateshead have been two stand out left-backs in the National League over the past two seasons and both are out of contract this summer.
Barrow came close to joining Pools last June. And with Gateshead being demoted to the National League North, Hartlepool could renew their interest in the Welshman, who favours remaining in the north east.
Along with a left-back, another striker is a must for Pools if they want to compete for the play-offs.
Signing Nicke Kabamba last month was a positive start but the forward faces little competition for a starting spot.
Niko Muir and Luke James will be useful to have in the squad but aren’t the out-and-out strikers to directly challenge the 26-year-old.
Someone to partner and compete with Kabamba up front could be the difference between finishing mid-table and challenging for the play-offs.