Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher had less than a month to prepare for the next January transfer window when he was appointed earlier in December, tasking him with implementing his ideas on the pitch and create a vision of it.
However, the only thing he has going for him is the fact that he has worked alongside his predecessor Ryan Lowe throughout Preston North End manager’s tenure at Home Park, so already knows the players inside and out and will have an idea where pilgrims need to strengthen themselves in their quest to stay in the promotion mix.
However, the winter window may not be an easy one for Schumacher, who may have to look behind him at players who may want to leave the club and eagerly await potential additions that could help him put implementing its philosophy.
Asserting his authority over the team will be vital for the inexperienced manager who will desperately seek to differentiate himself from Lowe and give the third tier team a sense of unpredictability.
But it remains to be seen how much movement there will be as after such a promising first half of the 2021/22 campaign, the 37-year-old may be reluctant to shake the boat too much and risk slipping on the table after getting his squad from back on track against Charlton Athletic last weekend.
Ahead of this upcoming window, we’re taking a look at two transfer decisions Schumacher may have to make in the coming weeks.
Worth it for Norwood
World football league Understand that League One trio Plymouth, Portsmouth and Lincoln City are all considering a move for 31-year-old forward James Norwood ahead of the January transfer window.
The former Tranmere Rovers striker found himself below Macauley Bonne and Joe Pigott in the pecking order at Ipswich Town under former boss Paul Cook, but started under interim manager John McGreal alongside Good Saturday afternoon and managed to get on the scoresheet in front of new boss Kieran McKenna.
Previously considered surplus to requirements at Portman RoadIt remains to be seen if he’s a part of McKenna’s plans – but that goal against the Black Cats this weekend may have raised his rating slightly.
He’s a proven EFL scorer, so it remains to be seen how high the Tractor Boys asking price can be, if it’s for sale and if the Pilgrims are willing to match that price.
Does Schumacher want to put other targets aside to make him his main January window signing? This is a question he will have to answer.
How to handle the Camara situation
Former Plymouth Manager Lowe revealed wearyt month when the club has the option of automatically triggering a contract extension for midfielder Panutche Camara, keeping him at Home Park beyond next summer.
It will be a major relief for fans who were preparing to lose the 24-year-old with his existing deal coming to an end at the end of the campaign, in what would have been a blow after seeing him establish himself as the ‘one of the first names on the roster since arriving in August 2020.
Recording two goals and three assists in 23 league appearances this quarter, already beating his third-tier goal tally from last season, he is likely to generate interest from other teams from January.
With the contract option they have, the midfielder can effectively have 18 months left on his contract, so this upcoming window could potentially be the last chance to maximize their profits on the 24-year-old if they so choose. . Lowe did not disclose the duration of this option they have, yet.
Does Schumacher want to sell him and reinvest this money to mark his authority over his team? Or does he want to keep the 24-year-old as a crucial player and possibly risk losing him for less money in the future?
It will be difficult for him to weigh.