Bishop and Smallwood Linked
Friday, 28th May 2021 09:33
Accrington centre-forward Colby Bishop and Hull City skipper Richie Smallwood are the latest players to be linked with the Blues.
According to the EADT, Bishop is among the strikers Town boss Paul Cook is eyeing this summer.
Town have already been linked with plenty of frontmen this summer including Jordan Rhodes, who has rejoined his old club Huddersfield after leaving Sheffield Wednesday, Martyn Waghorn, who we understand was among the players considered by the Blues but seems likely to either stay with Derby or move to another Championship club, and Jermain Defoe, who as we reported on Tuesday was discussed but with his wages putting him out of the running.
As reported earlier in the month, Oldham’s Conor McAleny is another player in whom Cook has shown interest.
Yesterday, Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke was linked by a number of sources, however, we understand the 28-year-old is not on Cook's list of potential recruits.
Bishop, 24, came through the youth system at hometown club Notts County and spent time on loan at Gloucester City while with the Magpies.
Having made only two senior starts and two sub appearances, 5ft 11in tall Bishop left and move on to Worcester City, Boston and Leamington before returning to league football with Accrington in 2019.
Bishop has netted 12 times in each of his two seasons in League One with Stanley, including two against Town in their 2-0 victory over the Blues at the Wham Stadium in 2019/20, one from the penalty spot.
Huddersfield are also reported to be among a number of Championship and other League One sides keen on Bishop this summer. He is contracted to Accrington for another season with the club having an option for a further year.
Central midfielder Smallwood started his career with hometown club Middlesbrough before moving on to Rotherham, Scunthorpe (loan), Blackburn Rovers and then Hull City last summer.
Having been named skipper at the KCOM Stadium, the former England U18 cap helped the Tigers to the League One title and promotion to the Championship during 2020/21, although he missed the end of the campaign with a knee injury.
The Redcar-born 30-year-old has another year left on his Hull contract with the Tigers having an option for a further season, but is said not to be averse to a move to the Blues.
Elsewhere, the Sunderland Echo reports that Sunderland youngster Josh Hawkes, among a number of Black Cats players linked with the Blues yesterday, will be given the opportunity to force his way into the first-team reckoning at the Stadium of Light in pre-season.
Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told the Sunderland club podcast last month: “Josh's performances with goals and assists [in the U23s] have been really, really good.
“He's right up there in both charts. A player at his age now, he needs to be able to come into the first-team environment. He's trained an awful lot with the first team.
“He's not quite managed to squeeze himself onto the starting XI, which speaks probably more about the quality in the team than to say Josh has fallen short.
“Myself and [manager] Lee [Johnson] are watching almost all the games, Josh has performed really really well and he'll be in the first-team squad for pre-season.”
Photos: Matchday Images/Reuters
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