There are roughly two weeks left of the summer transfer window and bizarrely there are still several free agents that remain without a club, despite the EFL season being almost three weeks old.
Therefore, I have taken the liberties of researching and picking out five players that clubs in League One should be queueing up to sign, before they are snapped up by a rival side. It is also important to remember that clubs can still sign free agents after the transfer window closes, but the sooner players sign – the quicker they can gain enough match fitness to feature consistently.
In order to compile this list, I have tried to be as realistic as possible and only chose players that I believe would be affordable for clubs in League One at either end of the standings as well as players that I feel would be willing to drop/stay in the third tier.
For this list, I have picked former Premier League talents, experienced EFL players and more that would suit the majority of teams in League One this summer. There are several big names that didn’t make this list such as former Reading captain Liam Moore, Welsh defender Joe Walsh (ex-Lincoln City) and former EFL Trophy-winning captain Jordan Willis.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at the five players that I have selected for League One clubs this summer.
We begin this list with a player that is comfortably a Championship player on his day but has suffered with so many injury setbacks and that is attacking midfielder Josh Onomah. The midfielder is without a club following his departure from Ryan Lowe’s Preston North End.
The 26-year-old has never played in League One during his career, instead making two appearances in the UEFA Champions League for Tottenham Hotspur as well as over 100 Championship appearances for the likes of Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston.
Onomah made just 13 appearances for Preston last season after signing in January. However, he ended the season featuring in ten of the club’s last 11 matches and will be eager to bring that level of motivation into his next side. If any side are in the market for an attacking midfielder, Onomah could be your man.
From an attacking midfielder to a defensive option, former Leeds United man Liam Bridcutt could be a solid option for your League One side. The midfielder has been without a club, following his departure from Blackpool after they were relegated to the third tier.
The 34-year-old will be hopeful of settling down and will be focussing on playing football on a consistent and high quality basis. He spent two years with Lincoln City in League One before moving to Blackpool in September 2022 and has spent almost his entire career at a very high level.
If there is a League One side that are in the market for an experienced, defensive midfielder then Bridcutt could be the perfect addition for your side. He would bring leadership and experience and is a relatively low-risk signing.
Moving back into the final third, former Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham should be dealing with several different transfer options if League One sides played their cards correctly. He was released by Championship side Cardiff City in June, after his initial mid-season switch from Forest Green.
In all competitions last season, Wickham made 32 appearances, scoring ten goals and assisting on two further occasions. His best match for Cardiff came during a 3-1 victory against Blackpool in April when Wickham scored and assisted during the match.
Wickham shined for Forest Green in League One last season and has continued to prove that he still knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. He is also only 30 years old and still has another four-five seasons left at a high level and the sides should be rushing to land his services quickly.
Our only defender on this list is former Coventry City defender Fankaty Dabo, who was released by the Skyblues in June after the club missed out on promotion. The wing-back missed the crucial penalty for Coventry but is a League One title winner with the club.
Dabo was expected to sign for Charlton Athletic last month before a medical issue prevented the deal from being complete. However, journalist Alan Nixon has since confirmed through his Patreon that the defender is back training with the League One side, ahead of a potential switch.
The 27-year-old has struggled with injuries ever since Coventry’s promotion into the Championship, but when he has played he has shown that he still has the ability to compete at a high level. His missed penalty should bring him all the motivation he needs to succeed this season and he looks destined to move into League One.
Finally, we end the list with midfielder Dominic Gape, who became a free agent last month, after his contract with fellow League One side Wycombe Wanderers came to an ending after they failed to make the top six.
The 28-year-old had an injury-affected campaign last season but made several appearances as captain and featured in two of the club’s final three league games last season, before leaving Adams Park.
Gape has plenty of experience and is a natural leader, which is something that should provide clubs with the confidence that he can recover from his injury and play a starring role for his next side. However, it remains to be seen whether a League One side will make a move for his signature before the transfer window closes next month.
With that being said, would you take any of these free agents at your League One side or do you think there’s a player I have missed?