The nine most impressive League One signings this summer as Sunderland's rivals strengthen

It has been a quiet summer for Sunderland so far as Mark Campbell works to secure his takeover of the club.

By Phil Smith
Sunday, 23 June, 2019, 16:45

The Black Cats are yet to make a permanent signing with pre-season a week away.

In truth, most clubs in the division are still yet to do their most significant business.

Here, we run through nine of the best...

Kyle McFadzean : Burton Albion to Coventry City

Coventry City fans continue to suffer under their current ownership and next season will play their home games at Birmingham City.

It’s a shameful state of affairs, perhaps only underlining the exceptional work of manager Mark Robins, who continues to put out good sides playing excellent football and full of young talent.

Their recruitment looks savvy again, with a number of youngsters arriving from Premier League academies.

To supplement that, the addition of McFadzean has to be considered something of a statement.

Immensely experienced and as consistent and robust a centre-back as you could find at this level. He will be tough for Burton to replace.

It’s a signing that shows for all the off-field difficulties, Coventry will again have a side that is capable of challenging anyone.

Paul Downing: Blackburn Rovers to Portsmouth

Doncaster Rovers have had a tough week and missing out on a loanee who played so well for them in the second half of last season was another blow.

For Portsmouth, Downing is an excellent addition but he has a big task ahead of him replacing Matt Clarke.

Clarke was simply too good for this level, dominant in the air but also adding some class to Portsmouth’s attack in the way he carried the ball out and passed through the lines.

With his normal partner Jack Whatmough still injured, an area significant strength from last season for Pompey now looks vulnerable.

Downing will have to hit the ground running.

Alan Judge: New contract at Ipswich Town

Ipswich look in decent order for the new season, picking up some proven football league talent and with a number of good young players set to step up.

Their best business, however, may have been conducted before the summer even began.

Not so long ago, Judge was one of the most highly-rated players outside of the Premier League, attracting interest from Newcastle United.

Injuries have hampered him significantly but he played regularly enough at Portman Road last season and if he stays fit, will be fearsome attacking weapon.

Mo Eisa: Bristol City to Peterborough

A player Sunderland pushed hard for last summer after such a spectacular goalscoring campaign at Cheltenham Town.

Bristol City won the race but a year Eisa was in need of a move to reboot his career.

An early injury at Ashton Gate didn’t help but even when fit, opportunities were few and far between.

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Peterborough have taken a calculated gamble on the 24-year-old and with Ivan Toney in their ranks, they now look to have real scoring power.

With Frankie Kent arriving from Colchester, the question at Posh is again whether a young squad can perform consistently enough over a season to really challenge.

Danny Andrew: Doncaster Rovers to Fleetwood Town

Joey Barton was never shy in discussing Sunderland’s budget last season.

Fleetwood’s relatively small fanbase, however, belies an ambitious club with a more than reasonable budget of their own at this level.

That has been underlined in the last week with this ambitious swoop for Danny Andrew, excellent for Doncaster last season and one of the best left-backs in the league.

Also a real threat from set pieces, it’s a canny addition.

Steve Evans: Gillingham

There has not been much managerial change in League One this summer but there was no harsher dismissal than that of Steve Lovell.

Though helped significantly by the goals of Tom Eaves, a 13th place finish last season looked to be a very fine effort.

But the availability of Evans was too tempting for the Gills Chairman and means that one of the most divisive characters in the game will be back for the new season.

He has already been typically busy in the transfer market, picking up amongst others talented goalkeeper Jack Bonham from Brentford, as well as experienced duo Lee Hodson and Stuart O’Keefe.

Jamie Devitt: Carlisle United to Blackpool

Devitt is a lively attacking midfielder more than deserving of this move up the pyramid.

What is most interesting is what it says about Blackpool.

After finally moving through the horrors of the Oyston era, the club appear to be in stable ownership and will enjoy proper support at Bloomfield Road again last season.

A resilient, overachieving side last season now has every chance of going from strength to strength, particularly as they are clearly in a position to strengthen with promising talent.

Regan Poole: Manchester United to MK Dons

MK Dons have no intention of returning to League Two and have already made some good additions.

Joe Mason is a talented forward just in need of regular gametime, while Hiram Boateng is a midfielder ready to step up after consistently delivering in the fourth tier.

Their most eye-catching signing, however, is the talented defender Regan Poole.

Poole played a big part in Newport County’s unlikely run to Wembley last season and can play at full-back or the centre of defence.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell: Wolves to Shrewsbury Town

A player with real pedigree who impressed in a short loan spell at Rochdale last season.

His performances under new manager Brian Barry-Murphy, who moved to a back three after replacing Keith Hill, helped his side stay in the third tier.

It’s a smart addition from Shrewsbury Town, who will be hoping to bounce back from an underwhelming campaign this time around.