Plymouth have been linked with a move for well-travelled winger Martyn Woolford this morning, as reported by Football Insider.
The 33-year-old is without a club after leaving Grimsby Town in the summer, but he could become a rare commodity this summer; a Plymouth signing who hasn’t previously been with Bury.
Woolford is certainly well-travelled. He made his name at Scunthorpe United after moving there from York City, later playing for Bristol City, Sheffield United and Millwall. He certainly has a wealth of experience to offer in the basement division, but did he impress last season?
Let’s turn to the stats.
Woolford played 40 matches for Grimsby last season, although it wasn’t particularly a campaign to remember for Mariners fans. They’ve merely established themselves since coming out of the National League in 2016, whereas teams like Tranmere, Forest Green and Lincoln have pushed on to a top seven place, or better.
There is a feeling they’re turning things around under Michael Jolley, but as he remodels his squad he deemed Woolford to be surplus to requirements. Sadly, it seems the right decision.
Woolford is a left winger and in that role you depend on creativity, flair and guile. You have to be able to lay on a goal or two, as well as chipping in yourself. In 40 matches Woolford did score three times for the Mariners, but he wasn’t able to lend a single assist.
It wasn’t as though he wasn’t getting crosses into the box though, 1.88 times per game he whipped a ball in only for it not to be converted, With a 28.6% success rate there is little wonder players weren’t on the end of them. His accuracy was poor and those stats mean he only found a teammate once every two matches with delivery from out wide.
That’s not great for a winger.
He does have other attributes and we wonder if maybe that’s what Ryan Lowe sees. His shot accuracy was 33.3%, showing he still has what it takes to get an effort at goal. With Lowe liking a 3-5-2 formation or variations of that setup, perhaps he’s looking to play Woolford more centrally, using his experience and vision to great effect when his pace and crossing has begun to let him down.
If not, if he is coming in as a left winger, you’d hope to see a marked improvement on last season’s outing.