Matthew Bates is delighted with his summer business to date – but admits he wants at least one more new face through the door before Hartlepool’s National League opener.
Pools last night re-signed Luke James for a third spell, the 23-year-old striker joining on a permanent deal.
James is Bates’ eighth signing, joining Myles Anderson, Niko Muir, Paddy McLaughlin, Andrew Davies, Peter Kioso, Mark Kitchen and Liam Noble at The Vic.
And he’s hopeful of adding another, although he understands budgets are tight at Pools.
The Mail understand a wide player is also thought to be on Bates’ wishlist.
Bates said: “Luke had other offers but he chose to come here, so it is great.
“He is the missing piece of the jigsaw, if you like, he will graft, run in behind and stretch teams and with the midfield players we have recruited who like to play forward it will be a perfect match for us.
“I know his strengths, those runs in behind are intelligent runs.”
James came through the ranks at Pools, his form earning him a £500,000 move to Peterborough United. He returned to the club on loan during the second half of the 2015/16 campaign.
After a season-long loan at Bristol Rovers, he linked-up with Forest Green Rovers last summer before joining Barrow on loan in January.
James added: “Playing games and scoring goals at Barrow, my confidence went through the roof and hopefully I can continue that this season and have a right go - I can’t wait to get going.”
On the subject of transfers, Bates admits the club have managed to land almost every single one of his top targets set out in meetings at the start of the summer.
“If you’d said to me at the start of the summer that we would have signed the players we have managed so far, I’d have been delighted,” Bates told the Mail.
“We are very happy with the balance of the squad and the quality of the individuals we have managed to bring through the door.
“At the start of the summer I sat down with a list of players I would like to sign and so far the club have delivered.
“Not only that, I feel like they have managed to get some top quality players at a very good price. Some would say we have got a bargain or two.
“We have tried to bring the right type to the club – players with character and voices for the dressing room and out on the pitch.”
This afternoon Pools take on Sunderland in their second pre-season clash of the summer. The Black Cats, managed by former Poolie Jack Ross. Cash turnstiles are open this afternoon. Admission is £10 for adults and £5 concessions.