Scunthorpe United got their transfer window underway recently with the signing of ex-Morecambe midfielder Alex Kenyon. The Iron signed the 28-year-old on a free transfer after he was released from The Shrimps after 8 years, joining in 2013. This signing clearly sets the bar for the type of player Neil Cox is looking for and Iron fans can expect similar signings going forward, writes Oliver Woolley.
One of the main assets Kenyon brings to the Iron is his attitude. Neil Cox has made it no secret that attitude is one of the main priorities he looks for in his signings and Kenyon fits that bill. Described by Morecambe fans on Twitter as a player who gives 100% and never gives up, Kenyon is exactly the sort of character the Scunthorpe manager will be looking for. Cox has previously shown his need for the right attitude by dropping players like John McAtee and Abo Eisa and I’m sure many fans will be looking forward to seeing Kenyon giving his all for the club.
Another key positive that comes with Kenyon’s signing is his experience in League Two. Playing over 200 games for Morecambe who spent that entire period in League Two, Kenyon has the experience we so desperately need after focusing heavily on youth in recent transfer windows. At 28 though, he still has the potential to play for years to come if he proves to be a valuable asset.
Morecambe had been perennial strugglers in the league until this season’s promotion, so Kenyon knows what is required in a relegation scrap, which is a situation many fans see as likely for the Iron. This knowledge could prove to be key if he can communicate with the squad what is required for survival. This type of signing will aid the development of the younger players at the club, hopefully allowing them to flourish.
Unfortunately, this attitude and experience often means less technical ability than some of the Iron’s previous players like Eisa. Players with that mix of experience, attitude and technical ability usually end up at a higher level, for example former Iron winger Alex Gilliead, who has been linked with clubs like Sunderland, Huddersfield and Ipswich since becoming a free agent. Do not be surprised if future signings this window have less technical ability and flair.
While players like Alex Kenyon are key to a safe finish in League Two, it is often the technical ability of players like Morecambe’s own Carlos Mendes Gomes who provide the spark to win games. Therefore, it is key that Scunthorpe balance these reliable players with flair players and we do not go into the season with a lack of creativity. This balancing act along with the balance between youth and experience means Neil Cox could have his work cut out to sign the right players this summer.