Grimsby Town have announced the loan signings of Harry Wood and Justin Obikwu as well as the permanent signing of Douglas Tharme to kick-start their January window, as confirmed via a statement on the club’s official website.
The trio have become the club’s opening January additions as well as the first signings under David Artell’s reign.
Who are the three?
To start off, defender Douglas Tharme has completed a permanent move from Blackpool, most recently making 37 appearances for Accrington Stanley on loan in League One last season while also making five appearances in Neil Critchley’s side this season.
Loan forwards Justin Obikwu and Harry Wood have also joined from Coventry City and Hull City respectively, signing until the end of the season.
Wood has enjoyed a successful first half of the season on loan at Shelbourne in the League of Ireland Premier Division – tallying two goals and seven assists in 14 appearances. The Yorkshireman will join Harvey Cartwright, who has established himself as first choice keeper on loan from the East Yorkshire club.
Whereas Obikwu will also be providing competition up front, set to make his first senior team appearance with the Mariners. The forward recently enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with The Sky Blues u21s and has established himself as a regular feature in Mark Robins’ matchday squads.
Keen to Rebuild
Grimsby Town have flattered to deceive this season, currently sat 20th place in League Two off the back of expectation for the club to improve on an 11th place finish on their return to the EFL last season.
After Paul Hurst’s dismissal in late October, Artell will be keen to rebuild the side in his philosophy in order to climb the table as quickly as possible.
With the trio of signings offering new options in all areas of the pitch, it will be interesting to see how well they integrate into the first team being Artell’s first signings of his reign.
What has been said?
Via an interview on the club’s official website, Artell said on Douglas Tharme’s signing:
“Doug is a big strong lad and someone we have been tracking for a while.
“We’re excited to get the deal done because it’s an area we needed to strengthen.
“We’re delighted to get someone in Doug who really wants to be here, really wants to improve with us and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
On Harry Wood’s capture:
“Harry’s an exciting project. He can get forward, create goals and score goals and that’s what we have brought him into do from a midfield position.
“It’s exciting and hopefully he settles in well. He’s been keen to join us, and the plan is that he can add to what we have already started here.”
On Justin Obikwu’s signing:
“Justin is young, energetic, quick, strong and he runs in behind.
“There are elements of his game that he still has to work on, but what he does provide is something that we haven’t got and that is real raw pace up the top end of the pitch.
“It’s his first loan so we’ve got to be a little bit careful with him and not expect too much too soon, but everyone at Coventry and ourselves think he’s ready for first team football and hopefully we will see plenty of that going forwards.’’
Under David Artell, the identity and game-plan has been clear to see; however, questions around the squad’s ability to carry out the manager’s philosophy have been present throughout his two months with the club.
Rebuilding a side in your own image in the January window is difficult, it will be interesting to see how well the young trio integrate into Artell’s plans for the remainder of the season and how that impacts Grimsby’s position in the table.