Swindon Town have already looked to add to their midfield so far this summer, but there is still work to be done in the middle of the park.

Ollie Clarke was the opening salvo of the window as a statement signing, bringing in the experienced midfielder from Mansfield Town showed a slightly different type of player was being targeted. Nnamdi Ofoborh renewing his contract was also a positive step and leaves Town with a potentially strong starting trio of Ofoborh, Clarke, and Saidou Khan.

However, with the current group of midfielders I believe that there are two key profiles missing that should be sought out. The first is a deeper-lying player who can help to set the tempo of the team, Ofoborh and Clarke are more destructive, and Khan’s main strength is his ball-carrying, so at the moment, there is nobody to help keep the ball moving from deep.

Also, Jake Cain and Ricky Aguiar are yet to prove themselves as reliable performers at this level and so a midfielder capable of making an impact in the final third through creativity and an ability to score goals, in the way that Dan Kemp did last season, would be a need.

My first suggestion for the former profile would be Reading’s recently released midfielder, Sam Hutchinson. The 34-year-old has had a strong career at Championship level, but only made 12 appearances last season in League One and is likely to drop down and be an experienced head in the fourth tier.

His heatmap shows that he does his best work from deep and has even been deployed as a centre-back, so could be used in a back three as well, but very few players at this level possess his calmness on the ball. His 49.5 successful passes per 90 ranked in the 94th percentile in League One last season. He is also very strong at playing longer with switches of play and through balls, ranking in the 97th percentile for long passes completed. A move to Swindon would keep him closer to home and he provides the Glenn Hoddle-like creativity from deep that Jamie Russell has discussed.

Another player in a similar mould is John Bostock. He was a core part of Notts County’s promotion back to the EFL and was equally as pivotal as the string puller in League Two last season. Only Louis Reed completed more passes amongst League Two midfielders than the former Tottenham Hotspur youngster. No team kept more of the ball than the Magpies and he was the conductor, so would be a strong fit to perform the same role for Town.

Finding a fit for the creative midfielder proved more difficult than most positions in deciding on a suitable target. The only released players that I was keen on were Kemp and Elliott Watt and both have moved to a higher level, so I turned to finding a potential loan option. Looking at players who played on loan in the National League and League Two last season, as Russell said he preferred, left me with two players who I was happier with, Josh Stokes and Alistair Smith.

I won’t go into why the name Stokes is burned indelibly into your brain, but his excellent performances for Aldershot Town earned him a January move to Bristol City, followed by returning to The Shots on loan for the rest of the season. 15 goals and four assists made up his breakout season and he will likely be looking to step into the EFL this campaign. He is a player who is very impactful in the final third, getting a lot of shots off, averaging two per game, and also has the creativity with 0.9 key passes per 90. If he can make the step up then he could be a matchwinner for Town either in a midfield three or playing off a central striker.

Smith is a player that Kennedy will know well because he signed him last summer too. The 25-year-old’s top performances in the fourth tier with Sutton United earned him a move to Lincoln City last summer and was used by Town’s new boss in a range of positions throughout his system. He was a regular off the bench before Kennedy was sacked when his involvement dropped off and he ended up on loan at Colchester United, where his performances picked up towards the end of the season. He proved himself to be a goal scoring threat with Sutton, netting eight and five goals in his two seasons there, but he also averaged 1.1 key passes per 90 with Colchester and 1.64 successful dribbles. He is more creative than Stokes, if less of a goal threat, but both can get forward and support the front three like Kennedy wants one of his midfielders to do in whichever shape he is using.