The 2021-22 season was one of positives for Blackpool, who returned to the second tier of English football for the first time since 2015.
Having been victorious in the League One play-off final in May 2021 against Lincoln City, Neil Critchley’s side surpassed anyone’s expectations this past season and finished in 16th position in the Championship – well clear of any potential relegation danger.
With one of the smaller budgets in the league, Blackpool were expected to struggle by most, but they will go into the summer hoping to build on what has already been developed and crack the top half of the division next season.
It could be a busy summer at Bloomfield Road when it comes to potential incomings and outgoings though – let’s look at three transfer stories that need to be kept tabs on in the coming weeks.
Josh Bowler’s potential departure
Having joined the Seasiders on a free transfer last summer following his release from Everton, Josh Bowler was Blackpool’s most influential player in attack this past season, scoring seven times in the league and along the way attracted transfer interest from other Championship clubs.
Both Nottingham Forest and AFC Bournemouth pursued the 23-year-old during the January window, but failed in their attempts to snare Bowler away from the Fylde coast.
According to Football League World’s sources though, both outfits – now Premier League clubs – are going to come back in with renewed offers for the wide player, and with just one year left on his contract and no certainty of a renewal, Blackpool may have to cash in.
Charlie Kirk transfer saga
Neil Critchley bolstered his wide options in January with the loan arrival of Charlie Kirk, who stepped up a league to join from Charlton Athletic.
Kirk was not getting in the Addicks starting 11 under Johnnie Jackson due to a system change by the then-Charlton boss, and he was able to cope with the rise in class well at Blackpool, notching three assists in nine appearances.
A fixed fee was installed in the loan, when if triggered the Seasiders would pay Charlton £500,000 for the 24-year-old’s services.
That’s something that Blackpool won’t be doing though, so it remains to be seen if they will spend the rest of the month trying to haggle the price down.
Battle for Siegrist with PNE
The futures of Blackpool stoppers Daniel Grimshaw and Chris Maxwell are unclear – the latter went into the season as the Tangerines captain, but lost his starting spot to Grimshaw eventually, who appeared 26 times in the league compared to Maxwell’s 21.
Maxwell has been attracting surprise interest from Everton to become a back-up goalkeeper, although that deal has apparently stalled now, whilst Grimshaw is wanted by an unnamed fellow Championship club – an initial offer was rebuffed though.
Blackpool are seemingly making plans for a departure, with Dundee United stopper Benjamin Siegrist linked.
Per a report from Alan Nixon, the 30-year-old is wanted by both the Seasiders AND their bitter rivals Preston North End, with the player himself now a free agent after not renewing his deal north of the border.
It could rumble on for a while as both Lancashire sides do battle for the Swiss stopper.