Blackpool want to sign Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Jamie Jones
Neil Critchley has returned to Blackpool this summer for a second crack at a job he did pretty well with the first time around.
Critchley led the Seasiders to the Championship in 2021 in his first full season in the job via the League One play-offs, and then consolidated the club in the second tier in 2021-22 with a mid-table finish.
His shock departure to become a part of Steven Gerrard’s coaching staff at Aston Villa though last June was the start of the wheels falling off at Bloomfield Road as they were relegated back to the third tier of English football close to the end of the 2022-23 season.
Keen to make amends to Blackpool supporters, Critchley will be aiming for promotion once again and has already added Charlton Athletic midfielder Albie Morgan to his squad.
The rumour mill hasn’t exactly gotten into full swing just yet on the Lancashire coast, but one area they do need to strengthen is in-between the sticks.
Daniel Grimshaw and Chris Maxwell battled for the starting jersey last season, but with Maxwell departing the club this summer there is a need to bolster the goalkeeper position with backups for Grimshaw.
And according to Alan Nixon on Patreon, Critchley is keen to add experienced goalie Jamie Jones to his squad for the 2023-24 season as he gets set to depart Wigan Athletic on a free transfer at the end of the month.
Who is Jamie Jones?
The 34-year-old has 406 professional appearances to his name, with 117 of those coming at Wigan since the 2017-18 season.
Jones hasn’t always been a starter at the Latics but he was first-choice in their 2020-21 League One season and played 17 times in the Championship in 2022-23, although was ultimately a back-up for Ben Amos.
He started his career at Leyton Orient after coming through the youth ranks at Everton, before moving back up north to join Preston North End in 2014.
Jones has also played for Coventry City, Rochdale, Colchester United and Stevenage, and he could be set to add Blackpool to his list of clubs should Critchley get his way.
Who will Blackpool turn to if Jamie Jones deal doesn’t come off?
Critchley has a backup plan should Jones decide to not make the move to Bloomfield Road.
He will then turn to Richard O’Donnell, according to Nixon’s report, with a goalkeeper of experience wanted to back Grimshaw up in the event of injury, illness or suspension.
The 34-year-old has plenty of experience at EFL level at mainly League One and Two and last season was at Rochdale as their starting goalkeeper, playing 44 times in all competitions as they were relegated into the National League.