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Dave Edwards: My wishlist to help Shrewsbury build a successful squad

If I’m looking at Shrewsbury Town’s summer wishlist then there is quite a bit to address in a few positions.

Luke Leahy was excellent in midfield but will need adding to with a couple of new recruits this summer, including a player similar to former loan star Harry Chapman
Luke Leahy was excellent in midfield but will need adding to with a couple of new recruits this summer, including a player similar to former loan star Harry Chapman

First of all, the squad Steve Cotterill has there is very good – there is a really good starting place to have a successful season next term. Not just good players, but good people in that dressing room, that’s what I hear.

They are in a good place but do need a lot of numbers in after players were released.

It’s pretty much one in most positions. Another striker is a must, hopefully we can keep Dan Udoh and get another in to play alongside Dan and to add competition with Tom Bloxham and Ryan Bowman.

Hopefully that can push Dan on to score 20 goals in a successful side. I’d like it to be a targetman, someone Town can go direct into.

I do think we’ll see the team play more football. The manager wanted to do it last year but didn’t have the time available when they needed results quickly.

It’s important to still have that outlet up front. For as big as Ryan is, he’s possibly not the most physical in the air, but I’d like someone with a big physical profile to win the first balls and give others a chance to latch on.

Looking down the spine of the pitch I think we still need another couple of central midfielders on top of Jordan Shipley’s arrival.

His addition is excellent but I’d still like to see a creative type, a Harry Chapman or a Jon Nolan-style, with a bit of magic to help win a game. It’s hard to get a good one of those in League One against the bigger clubs!

Then we need competition at the base of that midfield alongside Josh Vela and Luke Leahy.

Ideally, playing three defenders and two up front, I always think the best combination is two holding midfielders and one attacking.

It gives you a really solid base but allows you to dominate a ball as well. If you have just one holding he can become isolated when attacks break down.

But when you play with two holders you can attack with five – two strikers, two wing-backs and the attacking midfielder.

I think Leahy can play alongside Vela there. I don’t think the one coming in needs to be an experienced head who grafts, it’s more important to get a technical one in there. We have loads of experience.

I also believe left wing-back is very important. I really like George Nurse, but as a left-sided centre-back. He’s an option at wing-back, but at his age, profile, being good on the ball, Shrewsbury could have a real gem on their hands if he has a full season on the left of the back three.

He’s a player that can progress, hopefully with us, or elsewhere.

An Ogbeta-style attacking wing-back will suit next season. I see the team and especially wing-backs being higher up the pitch and more attacking.

It’s important to bring in some support on the right for Elliott Bennett but it’s important they understand they will play second fiddle. Elliott’s brilliant at this level but it’s a lot to ask for him to play all of the games again. Niggles at his age can mean longer on the sidelines, you don’t want to be undone by that.

I think the profile of the central defender that comes in needs to be a big, physical one, maybe someone with a bit more height to really dominate set-pieces when you are trying to see a game out.

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