Pictures: Cambridge United return to pre-season training
Mark Bonner has predicted that the transfer market will pick up pace in the next few weeks.
Cambridge United’s squad reported back for pre-season training yesterday, but they have only added goalkeeper James Holden to their ranks so far.
United head coach Bonner admitted that they are looking for three to four new signings, but believes the slow market across the divisions is reflective of the times.
“Sometimes it seems like you say it every year, but I do think this year feels slow,” he told the club website.
“I think when you look across the board, there hasn’t been so much activity.
“There are probably a few reasons for it. Number one, we’re out of Covid so probably people think there is a lot more money around than perhaps there is, and there is that really demanding nature from players and agents in the early stage of a window.
“If you’ve got big money you can go early and sign players, if not you have to maybe wait and things turn round over time.
“The second side of that is that no-one had been able to travel really for two or three years so I genuinely think people have been away a little bit more often or for longer this time around.
“I’m sure there is an urgency for players to sort themselves with employers for the season.
“From our side, I think the great strength is that we went into the summer with a number of the squad in contract for next year. Not many people have moved on so we know that we’ve got a really strong base to build from.
“We don’t need a huge amount. There are probably three or four that we’re hoping to add.”
Holden is the sole new arrival to date, having joined from Reading to add competition to Dimi Mitov and Will Mannion for the goalkeeping places.
“James Holden has already signed early as that additional goalkeeper which gives us a nice union to work together, which I think is really important that we have those additional goalkeepers for training and development purposes,” said Bonner.
“We’re excited to have him and see a nice prospect in that.
“We will add as we go over the next couple of weeks, and hopefully soon. But at the same time, you have a lot of conversations along the way and you can’t always get things across the line like you want to.
“When you can stand here as a coach and know that you really believe in the players you’ve got, it’s a really strong position to be in. I know whoever we sign will come and compete to make us stronger and will contribute to the team really well.
“And the lads that we’ve got will welcome them really well because that’s the environment we’ve got.”
United’s pre-season fixtures start away at Cardiff City on Saturday, July 9, followed by Notts County at St Neots Town on Saturday, July 16. They host Norwich City on Tuesday, July 19 and have added another friendly against a Championship side on Saturday, July 23, at home to Hull City.