On Wednesday, Blackpool finally completed their prolonged signing of Dekel Keinan. It came as quite a shock to the rest of the Premiership, as the question on everybody’s lips was, “Who is he?”
First news about Keinan was three weeks ago on the 12th of July, when it was reported that the Israeli defender had signed a one year deal with the Seasiders and, subject to a medical, would join on a free. The medical was passed, but Keinan had to wait for his work permit to clear so he could move to Bloomfield Road. Then, there were more complications with the move, as Keinan then had to take an English test, which, Ian Holloway stated “he’ll pass and I would fail.” Keinan said in his unveiling: “I’m looking forward to the first game and I’m very happy that everything is done. I just want to play for Blackpool and help this team.”
Now, the low down. The Israelian defender is 25 years old and is 6ft 2inches tall. He plays at centre half and has 15 caps for his country. He has also represented his country at under 19 and under 21 levels. Keinan brings some much needed international experience to the side and should be straight in the squad for the game against Arsenal at the weekend. Holloway will be pleased with the purchase, after a strenuous couple of weeks attempting to capture the defender. He is Blackpool’s seventh summer signing confirmed with more reportedly on the way.
Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman has agreed a fee with the Bloomfield Road outfit and will have a medical at the club to finalise the deal. The fee is rumoured to be a club record deal of £1 million and Holloway is taking a risk on a striker plying his trade in League 1, after just winning promotion from League 2.
However, the biggest story is the resignation of Karl Oyston as Blackpool chairman and executive director. Oyston had been chairman at the Seasiders since 1999 and saw them up to the Premiership and the revamping of Bloomfield Road. Oyston’s reason for his departure is his increasing frustration with the way agents work and the dealings he has had in the Premier League. Blackpool issued a statement saying there would be ‘no interruption in the recruitment of players or the work required on the stadium’. Oyston has also offered to stay on, until a successor can be found and appointed at the club.
It’s been a week of good and bad for Blackpool. The good is that they are making roads within the transfer market and have one definite and another on the way to add to the signings made before the game at Wigan. Keinan will add some experience to a rookie defensive line and if Brett Pitman is drafted in, he will bring exuberance and a knack for goal that he showed with his hot scoring form for Bournemouth in their promotion to League One last season. The bad part is Oyston’s resignation. Boss Ian Holloway has insisted that it will not decrease stability at the club and they will be fine, but you wonder what has happened to make Oyston suddenly up and leave after ten years of struggle to get Blackpool to the promised Land. Only time will tell as what the reasons are and why Oyston feels now is the time to depart.
Blackpool will be excited for the weekend’s game and up against Arsenal, who’s scrappy performance earned a point at Liverpool last weekend. It will be enthralling at the Emirates and the Premiership will look forward to how Holloway sets up his attacking side against the masters of pass-and-move attacking football in the English game.