Plymouth Argyle should regret not making ambitious move to reunite with prolific attacker: Opinion | OneFootball

Plymouth Argyle should regret not making ambitious move to reunite with prolific attacker: Opinion | OneFootball

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Football League World

·15 September 2023

Plymouth Argyle should regret not making ambitious move to reunite with prolific attacker: Opinion

Article image:Plymouth Argyle should regret not making ambitious move to reunite with prolific attacker: Opinion


  • Plymouth Argyle's return to the Championship has been a success so far, with seven points from their first five matches.
  • The continuity in the squad, including the return of last year's loanees, has contributed to their strong performances.
  • Yannick Bolasie, a free agent, could have been a valuable addition with his experience and goal-scoring ability, but Plymouth cannot sign him due to squad registration restrictions.

Plymouth Argyle's return to the Championship after 13 years away has been a highly anticipated one after they broke the 100-point barrier in League One last season, and they are certainly holding their own in the early stages of the campaign.

Steven Schumacher's side have picked up seven points from their first five matches in the second tier, and what will have helped performances is a sense of continuity among the squad.

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The Pilgrims were able to bring back three of last year's loanees in Bali Mumba, Morgan Whittaker and Finn Azaz, whilst a further seven new faces arrived at Home Park over the course of the summer.

There is one player who is still without a club, though that could have been a really good addition to Schumacher's ranks for this season and a player that he may regret not making an approach for - that is Yannick Bolasie.

The tricky winger first joined Plymouth in 2008 from Floriana of Malta, but had to spend time on loan at Rushden & Diamonds and Barnet before really making an impact in Devon.

Following an impressive 2010-11 season, Bolasie left for Bristol City after Argyle were relegated to the Championship, and the DR Congo international has gone on to have a decent enough career, including playing in the Premier League.

Most recently, though, Bolasie spent two years in Türkiye with Rizespor, but he was particularly prolific in the second tier in 2022-23 when he scored 17 goals in 26 league outings to help his side back to the Turkish Super Lig, he now though is looking for a new club at the age of 34 and he's someone that Plymouth ought to have looked into signing.

Why would Yannick Bolasie have been a good signing for Plymouth?

With Plymouth having a relatively young squad, especially in the final third, it would have been good for Schumacher to have added a little experience to his options.

Mustapha Bundu has played internationally for Sierra Leone and is 26 years of age, but there's no real way of knowing if he is going to be able to cope with the rigours of the Championship yet.

Tyreik Wright, Ben Waine, Morgan Whittaker, Bali Mumba and Ryan Hardie all don't have an incredible amount of minutes under their belts at second tier level, even though the latter trio showed lots of ability in League One, so Bolasie would have no doubt been a good fit all across the front three.

Bolasie has showed - albeit at second tier level in Türkiye - in the last 12 months that he still knows where the back of the net is, and perhaps that is why Plymouth will regret not attempting to re-unite with the dynamic attacker.

Able to play off both flanks, in the number 10 and even as a central striker, Bolasie would've had real use if he kept fit and it would have been a lovely homecoming after showing flashes of brilliance as a youngster.

Why can't Plymouth Argyle sign Yannick Bolasie despite being a free agent?

Bolasie is a free agent, meaning he can sign for any club that wishes to bring him into the fold from now on - but registering him or any out of contract player is a different matter.

Championship clubs are only allowed to register 25 players to their squad until the January transfer window opens, with under-21's not counting towards the total.

Plymouth however chose to submit a full list of 25 individuals instead of leaving one or two gaps, meaning that if they were to sign a freebie in the next few weeks, he wouldn't be able to be registered until January.

That, of course, means Schumacher will not be in the market for any new additions and he will have to go with what he already has, so it will be another club if any that Bolasie is picked up by, whether that is abroad or in the UK.

But his flair, dynamism and creativity would have really been a good addition at Home Park, as well as his important experience - though Schumacher will go with his young battalion of options for 2023-24.

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