Transfer deadline day: Laws, Brake, Foster & Swinson in, Burstow, Teather, Harvey & Stunell out, Clarke loan finishes

I love reshuffle days, they’re just like transfer deadline day. You sit there at your office computer pretending to work while secretly updating the Guardian live blog to see who your side has brought in and let go.

So, have we strengthened the side for the second half of the season or left gaping holes in our defence?

Well, we have managed to hold on to all our big players – Cable, Alexander, Davey and Moore – and, despite losing his place to Alexander after his suspension early in the season, we now have a fighting fit Laws back and ready for selection, albeit not in his favoured position.

However, it appears that after a strong first half showing Clarke’s loan has come to an end. He’ll spend the second half stomping around in the Conservatives’ technical area.

Without much in the transfer kitty, Clegg has had to operate a one-in-one-out transfer policy. And so, in order to refresh his squad he’s had to let go of some consistent performers in Harvey and Stunell, and let Burstow and Teather get back to the training ground to make sure they are fit for selection next season.

But some fresh talent has come in the form of impressive young striker Swinson and solid midfielder Brake, both of whom caught the eye of the scouts early in the season and will relish their shot at the first team.

He’s also found room to bring in the veteran defender Foster to make sure there is experience as well as youth in his signings.

But it’s not just some of the faces that are changing. For the second half of the season Clegg will be fielding a new formation.

Browne has been brought into a more central role, Lamb moves into the position he mastered last season, Heath gets a specific role preventing own goals, while it is hoped Featherstone will benefit from some international experience.

All in all, it’s a tinkering of the first team rather than an overhaul of the squad, with some promising signings and some sad departures. Let’s see how they perform in the second half of the season.

Those transfers in full:

In: Laws (Education and Cabinet Office), Swinson (BIS), Foster (DCLG), Brake (Deputy Leader of the House), Browne (FCO to Home), Lamb (BIS to Health), Heath (Deputy Leader of the House to Defra), Featherstone (Home/Equalities to International Development).

Out: Burstow, Teather, Harvey, Stunell, Clarke (loan finishes).

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Couldn’t we have done a swap deal – Alexander for Clarke? Clarke is experienced enough and is the kind of player who would fit into our team, whilst Alexander is a bit of an individual player with scant regard for the rest of the team, and might be better off transferred away before he does some damage….

  • Good analysis. I see you’ve steered clear of references to left and right wingers. Probably for the best!

  • Not directly on topic, but does any one know why the five Conservative Lords/Baronesses in Waiting in the House of Lords are all paid, while the three Liberal Democrat Lords/Baronesses in Waiting are all unpaid (if the asterisks indicating this beside their names in the list of the Government posted on the PoliticsHome site are correctly placed) ?

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