Development squad... is it still a thing?
Have we dropped the development squad for this season?
Given all the changes that Matt's been instituting attention has been elsewhere - but isn't it a bit strange we haven't made a single development squad signing yet, a week before the season begins?
The fact Kone is back with Newham made me ponder... He'd be a perfect development squad signing but probably wont be first team ready for a while. Previously we'd have taken him on then sent him out on loan. But maybe the club have decided to move away from this model given the very limited return rate?
Both Mehmeti and Forino were showing themselves first team squad capable after a few training sessions, according to Ainsworth. It was similar with Luke O'Nien when he was signed, ostensibly for development. Perhaps we've now got a much higher bar for signing players to the squad, married to an obvious new policy for this season in signing starlets on loan.
Looking at @ReturnToSenda's spreadsheet, we only have four development players currently on the books, at least two of whom (Ward, Pattenden) are first team squad ready. The other two (Woodhouse, Makoli) I've no idea about. Could they get lost though the cracks?
I get why it would be politically difficult to announce the development squad is no more. Rob Couhig promised us a B team in return for ownership. That was then diluted down to a development squad. If that's now gone altogether one of his central pledges is no more.
Maybe we're waiting to finalise the first team squad and seeing who gets released when Premier League squads are announced. But if we have changed strategy, it would be good to hear it from the club.