Having blogged about various potential summer signings and tweeted about free transfers available to the Gills recently, here at RainhamEndViews we have now decided to take that thinking one step further.
If we were in charge, who would we want in the squad come the opening day of the 2015-16 season?
We now know who has been released, and of those still remaining Justin Edinburgh has said that both goalkeeper Stuart Nelson and midfielder Josh Pritchard may be moved on during the transfer window.
So who would we like to see added to the squad, considering only twelve of those remaining were first team regulars last term?
In a 4-4-2 system only six of last season would be nailed on for RainhamEndViews.
And in a 3-5-2 perhaps only seven would be guaranteed starters.
Last seasons two main loanees have to be a priority, and the gaffer has already stated that he is hopeful of securing both Max Ehmer and John Marquis for next term.
If they can be tied down permanently that would see the squad up to fourteen senior players, so clearly some more additions are required.
Of all the players released by different clubs since the end of last season, we think we have found five realistic targets who could improve the squad.
With Stuart Nelson being told he can leave, 21 year old Jamie Stephens – who featured under Edinburgh in Wales – could be a very astute signing having been released by Newport County.
Jamie Stephens could provide good back up while pushing to be number one.
Ex Gills player and current Newport academy boss Michael Flynn has told us that he is a very promising young keeper, so could provide back up to Glenn Morris along with fellow youngster Tom Hadler.
The area needing most attention is clearly at the back, with Edinburgh having released three senior defenders.
It is being mooted that Bradley Garmston is set to be let go by West Brom, and Gills fans know all about him after his successful loan period with us last term.
The young left back would certainly be welcomed back to the MEMS Priestfield.
Garmston enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Gills during 2014-15.
Two other defensive players available are Lawrie Wilson and Harry Osborne, who have both left Charlton.
Lawrie Wilson – plenty of Championship experience.
Wilson (27) has played over 100 Championship matches, and can operate at right back or right midfield, which could be beneficial in either a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 system.
Both Garmston and Wilson could fill the full back berths in a 4-4-2 line up.
Garmston could also operate at wing back, and Wilson could easily play from the right in place of Jermaine McGlashan.
Twenty one year old Osborne is younger and plays primarily as a central defender, but can also operate at full back.
Osborne played a key part in the Addicks’ 2014-15 Kent FA Trophy success.
Former Gills loanee Oliver Muldoon has confirmed to us that he is confident the pacey Osborne could cut it at League 1 level.
With these three and Ehmer added to current players John Egan, Callum Davies and Josh Hare, plus first year professionals Mitchell Dickenson and Callum Emptage, the Gills would have most bases covered.
In midfield the Gills already have plenty of options, with Jermaine McGlashan, Brennan Dickenson and Bradley Dack providing the creativity, while Doug Loft, Jake Hessenthaler, Aaron Morris and Josh Pritchard do more of the unseen work.
Add to that Michael Freiter plus recent recruits Elliot Link and Emmanuel Osadebe and the future looks bright.
However, another of Edinburgh’s former charges at Newport, Robbie Willmott, is now without a club.
Robbie Willmott celebrating a goal with former Gill Michael Flynn, who rates him highly.
Again we spoke to Flynn to find out more, and he confirmed that the versatile Willmott is a very good player who would be a decent signing.
With Pritchard (homesick) potentially leaving, he could be a ready made replacement and add competition for places in more than one position.
Up front the Gills faithful all know about Marquis and his qualities, and will hope that Edinburgh can convince him his future lies in Kent.
Add him to Cody McDonald and Luke Norris, and we would have a good mixture of experience and potential, and let’s not forget promising youngster Luke Cundle too.
If we are being greedy, we could perhaps add another ‘first team ready’ centre back plus another striker.
However, whether being set up in a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation, we are confident this group of players could improve on last season’s twelfth placed finish.
And in fact, if we were to recruit all targets then we would have many different options for multiple systems, and almost enough players to field a second eleven in any of the variations that Justin Edinburgh has been fond of since taking over.
RainhamEndViews’ second eleven 4-4-2.
And our second eleven 3-5-2.
Like we always say, we don’t expect you all to agree with us, and we don’t have inside information regarding transfers.
In fact, we are pretty sure that having written this, Justin will now sign not one player we have mentioned.
However, it never hurts to be the gaffer for a short while……..
We hope you have enjoyed the read.
UP THE GILLS!!