The 2023 summer transfer window is in full swing, with clubs across the National League fighting to get their teams prepared, ahead of a very difficult but exciting campaign ahead, but which deals have flown under the radar?
With Wrexham and Notts County back in the EFL, the division has the potential to be one of the more open seasons in years in the fifth tier, as sides such as Chesterfield, Oldham and Eastleigh compete to gain promotion into League Two at the end of the season.
Similarly, with sides like Scunthorpe United, Yeovil Town and Torquay United suffering relegation it also creates a potential relegation battle, which all sides in the division will be desperate to avoid.
So far, we have successfully seen over 150 transfers across 23 of the 24 clubs, with Southend United being the only National League side that is yet to make a signing this summer, with the campaign beginning in two weeks’ time.
Taking an in-depth look at the transfer window so far, Chesterfield have secured two big signings in the form of Wigan Athletic midfielder Tom Naylor and former Northern Ireland international Will Grigg, to help strengthen their title charge.
Meanwhile, York City have been the busiest club in the transfer window so far, following their successful takeover in recent weeks. The club have signed 16 players this summer (four youth players) in a list that includes the likes of David Stockdale, Tyler Cordner, Callum Howe and record signing Dipo Akinyemi.
With that being said, let’s take a look at five transfers you may have missed so far…
Stuart O’Keefe – Gillingham to Aldershot Town – Free transfer
Beginning our list we have the experienced Stuart O’Keefe who joined Aldershot following his exit from League Two side Gillingham. He made 130 appearances as club captain of the club and will spent next season in the National League.
The 32-year-old has spent almost his entire career at a high level and will bring some much-needed experience into the Shots midfield next season.
Tommy Simkin – Stoke City to Solihull Moors – Loan
Following the departure of Ryan Boot, Andy Whing’s side have secured the services of young goalkeeper Tommy Simkin, who’s been featuring as a trialist for the club throughout pre-season thus far.
The 18-year-old has also featured at international level for England’s U18s and will add the improved ability to help his new side to play out from the back. He also kept a clean sheet in the club’s 3-0 win against National League North side Banbury United recently.
Michael Afuye – Avro FC to Rochdale – Free transfer
Up next, we have one of the more recent transfers as relegated Rochdale have secured the signing of winger Michael Afuye, following a successful trial with the National League side.
The 22-year-old has featured in the club’s friendlies against both Chorley and Tranmere Rovers, having been at Avro FC for the past two seasons and will add further depth in the final third next season.
Jake Hessenthaler – Crawley Town to Dagenham & Redbridge – Free transfer
Another signing that was completed today (Friday 21st July), saw Dagenham secure a statement signing as midfielder Jake Hessenthaler joined the side, following his exit from League Two side Crawley Town.
The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the club, after making over 150 appearances in the Football League for the likes of Gillingham and Crawley. He will add a huge boost to the midfield quality next season.
Emmanuel Oyeleke – Chesterfield to Woking – Free transfer
Woking have further strengthened their play-off aspirations as midfielder Emmanuel Oyeleke completes a transfer to the club, following his exit from beaten play-off finalists Chesterfield last month.
The 30-year-old has featured for the likes of Port Vale and Exeter City in the EFL as well as contributing to 16 goals in 128 National League appearances throughout his career so far. He will partner with Rohan Ince in midfield next season as Woking aim for a top-three finish next season.