Coventry City achieved their first promotion in over forty years last season, coming through the League Two Play-Offs victorious after a sixth-place finish. Fans were excited to see how the team would strengthen for the new campaign in League One. They could be forgiven for being a bit confused when top scorer Marc McNulty was sold to Championship club Reading. A striker is widely expected to be incoming, but who would be the perfect fit for the Sky Blues? They signed Amadou Bakayoko yesterday, but many fans believe there’s another arrival up front. I’ve come up with five options. I’ve compiled a player currently in League One, a loan player and a permanent player from a higher division, a free agent and a player from the lower tiers. Could one of these become Coventry’s new striker and take the vacant number 10 shirt?
Current League One Striker – Conor Chaplin – Portsmouth
Football fans know that there’s no smoke without fire, and Conor Chaplin has been linked to the Sky Blues all summer. No deal has been agreed thus far, but his similarities to former striker Marc McNulty make him a sensible signing. He would need to work on his goal scoring; 5 goals in 32 appearances last year is less than impressive. An extended run as a main striker could be exactly what Chaplin needs to reach the next level. Coventry City fans are excited at the prospect of Chaplin signing, Portsmouth fans aren’t particularly bothered if he stays or goes; get him to the Ricoh!
Loan Signing from Higher Division – Ivan Toney – Newcastle United
It feels like Toney has been around for years now, but the 22-year-old still has so much time to become a star for Newcastle. After becoming Northampton Town’s youngest ever player in 2012, he made 53 appearances before moving to the Magpies in 2015. Since then, it’s been a series of loans for the forward. Two spells at Barnsley, followed by trips to Shrewsbury, Scunthorpe (twice) and Wigan mean that Toney is well accustomed to football at this level. He could be the man to lead the line for Robins’ Sky Blues.
Permanent Signing from Higher Division – Devante Cole – Wigan Athletic
Another attacker who has vast experience in this division. Devante Cole might be looking for a return to this level after a move to Wigan has failed to work out; 6 games and no goals since January is not a record to be proud of. It’s unlikely Cole will get many opportunities at the DW Stadium this season. No experience in the Championship and behind Will Grigg and James Vaughan will act against him. I’m sure Mark Robins would love to have a player of his calibre at his disposal. That being said, wages could be a stumbling block in this move. Wigan probably would want to recoup some of the money spent on him in January, too. This one will likely be no more than a pipe dream, unless Coventry cough up the money.
Free Agent – Jai Quitongo
There aren’t a lot of players available on a free transfer at this point, unfortunately for Mark Robins. Quitongo has been linked with huge teams in the past such as West Ham and Aston Villa, but injuries have caused his career to stall somewhat. He finds himself a free agent after running down his contract with Championship club Greenock Morton and would probably fancy a move south of the border. Coventry have recently signed Jordy Hiwula, who would have a comparable style of play, but Quitongo will likely come with low wages. If he can stay injury free, he could be an excellent option for Mark Robins. He’s also versatile, able to play on the wing or up top. Older readers may remember his father, Jose Quitongo, who is a Scottish football cult hero.
Permanent Signing from Lower Division – Macauley Bonne – Leyton Orient
After four seasons in and out of the Colchester United first team, Bonne took the brave decision to drop down to the National League with Leyton Orient last summer. So far, it’s looking like a brilliant decision by the 22-year-old. 22 goals in 44 league appearances come after 8 goals in his previous 90 league matches; he has come of age at Brisbane Road. If Orient can keep hold of him this summer, he will be key to any promotion hopes back to the EFL. Fans can argue that he could be a one-season-wonder, but in terms of being a goal scorer, Macauley Bonne ticks the box. Mark Robins would be foolish to disregard him.