Why Craig MacGillivray could be a smart signing for Huddersfield Town
According to the Scottish Sun (h/t Examiner Live), Huddersfield Town are among a host of clubs linked with a move for Portsmouth shot-stopper Craig MacGillivray ahead of the January transfer window.
The Terriers are joined in their pursuit of the 26-year-old Perthshire-born goalkeeper by Championship rivals Birmingham City while Scottish giants Rangers are also hot on trail of the Pompey star. (Scottish Sun h/t Examiner Live)
MacGillivray, who rose through the youth ranks of Harrowgate Railway Athletic and featured for Harrowgate Town, Stalybridge Celtic, Shrewsbury Town and Walsall before completing a move to Portsmouth back in the summer of 2018, has attracted interest from several clubs higher up the football pyramid due to his impressive run of form at Fratton Park.
The 6ft 2in shot-stopper managed as many as 17 clean sheets in 57 appearances for Portsmouth across all competitions in the previous campaign, as Kenny Jackett’s side made it through to the League One Playoffs.
MacGillivray, who also saved a spot-kick in the penalty shootout victory over Sunderland in the 2018-19 EFL Trophy final to guide the south coast outfit to silverware, has once again made a bright start to the ongoing campaign, starting 15 out of Pompey’s first 17 league fixtures between the sticks while keeping 6 clean sheets in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town have made significant strides towards climbing up the table under new manager Danny Cowley, who has guided the Terriers to 4 wins and 5 draws in 14 games since taking over the reins from Jan Siewert back in September.
However, with the Terriers currently 21st in the standings and just a couple of points clear of the relegation zone, there is still a lot of work to be done in the coming months to ensure the club’s survival in the Championship.
A tally of 22 goals scored and 33 conceded in 20 games so far clearly epitomises the need to bring in some reinforcements at both ends of the pitch during the mid-season trading period in January, and Huddersfield’s links with Craig MacGillivray certainly makes a lot of sense in footballing terms.
Liverpool loanee Kamil Grabara has established himself as the undisputed first-choice between the sticks at the John Smith’s Stadium this term. Despite the club’s struggles at the back, the Polish U-21 international has caught the eye with some impressive displays in goal and Cowley hasn’t hesitated to put his trust in him since taking charge.
With that in mind, however, the long-term goalkeeping situation at the club continues to be a nagging issue for Cowley moving forward, especially with Jonas Lossl no longer in the scene.
Youngster Ryan Schofield has all the raw materials to shoulder the No.1 duties in the years to come but he needs professional exposure on loan before making the step up to the Championship.
Ben Hamer, who is currently out on loan at Derby County, has failed to break into the thick of things since his move from Leicester City a couple of years ago while Joel Coleman is out of contract in West Yorkshire in the summer of 2020.
As per the report, Huddersfield have to option to extend Coleman’s stay by a further twelve months until 2021 but they are looking to send Schofield out on loan from a development perspective, meaning that MacGillivray’s arrival in January or next summer could facilitate such a move when Grabara returns to Liverpool.
Having previously wonders during his managerial stint at Lincoln City, Cowley has a good knowledge of the English market in the lower divisions and Craig MacGillivray looks more than capable of thriving in the Championship if his heroics at Portsmouth in League One are anything to go by.
Of course, the Scottish-born shot-stopper still has his best years ahead of him and he could well prove himself to be a long-term solution to Huddersfield’s problems between the sticks.
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Having said that, Huddersfield Town’s interest in Craig MacGillivray certainly strikes the right chords and this looks like a move that could pay off handsomely for them in the future.