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League Two: Five signings to watch

The presence of some powerful owners has made League Two more competitive than ever before, and this season promises to be a belter following the emergence of newly-promoted duo Wrexham and Notts County.

Money talks in the fourth tier and teams must be willing to spend to secure promotion, which is why Wrexham and Notts County both find themselves prominent in the League Two title betting. 

With Stockport, Salford, Bradford, Gillingham and Mansfield also well-invested, stock is on the rise in League Two and we have picked out five transfers which may have a real impact this season.

WhatEngland League 2 2023/24
WhereEngland
WhenSaturday 5th August 4, 2023 – Sunday 27th April, 2024
How to watchSky Sports
OddsWrexham 7/2, Stockport 11/1, Notts County 7/1, Gillingham 12/1, Bradford 14/1, Salford 16/1, Mansfield 16/1, MK Dons 16/1

Nick Powell - Midfielder

Stoke to Stockport - free transfer

Having narrowly missed out on promotion from League Two last season, Stockport have turned to former Manchester United prodigy Nick Powell in an attempt to get over the line. 

The Hatters, who are 11/1 to win the title and 5/4 to be promoted, responded well to a slow start last season to finish fourth and were beaten by Carlisle in the play-off final on penalties. 

However, with that experience now under their belt, Stockport are expected to figure prominently in the title race this time around and Powell's signing could have the desired effect. 

Still only 29, Powell made 26 appearances, grabbing four goals, for Stoke in the Championship last season and he should prove a cut above this level if staying injury free. 

Powell was Stoke's Player of the Year as recently as 2021 and brings Premier League experience from his time with United, who signed him for £6million from Crewe in 2012.

David McGoldrick - Striker

Derby to Notts County - free transfer

David McGoldrick may be reaching the veteran stage of his career but the 36-year-old showed in League One with Derby last season that he could have too much quality for the tier below.

The 35-year-old finished third in League One's scoring charts last season, firing home 22 goals in 39 appearances, so should still make hay at this lower level.

McGoldrick was playing Premier League football with Sheffield United as recently as the 2020–21 season and his experience will prove invaluable for Notts County, his boyhood club where the journey all began for him some 19 years ago.

McGoldrick could form a good partnership with Macaulay Langstaff, who struck 42 goals in 47 appearances in Notts County’s promotion-winning campaign last term and they are 6/4 to be promoted again this season.

Jonny Williams - Midfielder

Swindon to Gillingham - free transfer

Injuries have held Jonny Williams back but the 29-year-old midfielder still has plenty to offer the game and his technical ability makes him a potent weapon in League Two.

Williams kickstarted his career with Crystal Palace, spending four seasons in the Premier League amid some loan spells, before being an important figure for Charlton in the Championship and League One.

Last season was a step back in the right direction for Williams, who grabbed 10 goals from midfield for Swindon.

That was enough to catch the eye of Gillingham who, after a January takeover, are one of the richest clubs in League Two, and are 5/2 to go up this term.

Williams has been capped 33 times by Wales and he should provide Gills with the important creative spark they have been missing.

Will Boyle - Defender

Huddersfield to Wrexham - free transfer

Despite being backed by Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, Wrexham have made only one signing following last season's National League-winning campaign.

However, it is a deal of some substance as commanding centre-back Will Boyle arrives from Championship outfit Huddersfield.

The 27-year-old featured 16 times for the Terriers in the second tier last term and he captained Cheltenham to the League Two title in 2020-21, so has a strong understanding of this division.

Boyle's leadership qualities could prove invaluable for ante-post title favourites Wrexham, who are 7/2 to be crowned champions in 2023-24, in what is their first season back in the EFL.

Danny Johnson - Striker

Mansfield to Walsall - free transfer

Danny Johnson spent the first part of last season on loan at Walsall and was an instant hit, scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances before being called back by parent club Mansfield in January.

For one reason or another, Johnson struggled to scale the same heights at Mansfield, but he has returned to Walsall on a permanent basis this summer.

The 30-year-old has a keen eye for goal and, under Mat Sadler's guidance, could enjoy more success at the Bescot Stadium.

Walsall are 7/1 to be promoted.

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