Jim Nichols reflects on the new player line-up for Leyton Orient FC, now things have settled…
Leyton Orient had a busy January transfer window, bringing in four new players as they look to lift themselves into League Two promotion contention from their current mid-table position.
First to join was creative midfielder Dan Kemp on a two-and-a-half-year contract. Kemp joins from West Ham United having spent time on loan at Blackpool this season and is a player that Orient have been watching for some time, scoring a free kick against the club for West Ham’s under-23 side in pre-season.
This signing was followed by fellow midfielder Nick Freeman, who joins from Championship club Wycombe Wanderers on loan until the end of the season. Freeman featured regularly in the Wycombe side that achieved a surprise promotion last season and has impressed in his appearances to date.
Next to arrive at the club was central defender Adam Thompson, who signed a one-and-a-half-year deal from Rotherham United. Much like Freeman, Thompson has recent promotions from both League Two and League One on his CV. His impact on the defence was immediate, with no goals conceded in his first two appearances.
The final signing was Tristan Abrahams, who has been brought in on loan from Newport County. The striker is no stranger to O’s fans having come through the club’s academy system, scoring two goals in his breakthrough season in 2017 prior to leaving. Abrahams has had some success at this level with Newport, and will provide competition for top scorer Danny Johnson and Conor Wilkinson for the rest of the season.
To make space for the new signings, Josh Wright and Jordan Maguire-Drew both left the club to join Crawley Town – having struggled to break into the side in the first half of the season.
Orient will feel that they have added experience and quality to the squad for the challenges ahead. With the weather disrupting much of the recent programme, it is a congested fixture list to the end of the season. The extra strength in depth will come in useful.