After firing three blanks from open play in the last three league games, it’s more obvious than ever that Parkinson needs to breathe new life into his over-worked frontline. The Bantams’ cup exploits are beginning to take their toll and with James Hanson’s barren spell in front of goal, there’s no doubt Parkinson needs to bolster his squad and adding to City’s strikeforce will surely be his priority in a bid to stay on track in the race for promotion.
Parkinson, Mark Lawn and new Head of Recruitment Russ Richardson have already had to cross off Swindon’s Paul Benson, a target for the boss last season, after he reportedly snubbed a move north and Emile Sinclair, another reported target, is also off limits after he moved on loan to Doncaster. But there are still players out there and our man has done some digging around to compile a list of who he thinks Parkinson will be looking at over the coming weeks.
Tyrone Barnett – A strong and powerful forward, but Barnett had his fair share of problems at Peterborough after signing from Crawley, where he scored 13 in 26 games in 2011/12. He was transfer-listed in November 2012 for a breach of club discipline and joined Ipswich Town on loan. The 27-year-old’s loan expires at Portman Road on January 19 and after the arrivals of Aaron Mclean and David McGoldrick at Ipswich, his time there looks set to come to an end. His future at Peterborough also looks bleak and he will almost certainly be on the move in January and if the Bantams could land him it would send a signal of intention to the rest of the division.
Lee Barnard – The Southampton frontman has just returned from a loan spell at Bournemouth after playing 16 times and scoring four times. The 28-year-old is likely to move on again after spending the majority of his career out on loan. Barnard is a forward in the old fashioned sense of the word and would be a perfect replacement or foil for Hanson. The former Spurs man has a proven track record of getting goals with 35 in 62 starts for his former club Southend and he would be a terrific acquisition for Parkinson if he can persuade him to head north.
Jeffrey Schlupp – The 19-year-old Leicester striker is up against some big-money strikers at the King Power Stadium and has only made five starts for the Foxes this season. The talented youngster has shown he can cut the mustard in the Football League with six goals in nine starts for Brentford in 2010/11 and the Hamburg born frontman would be a decent addition to any team in the fourth tier.
Marko Futacs – Another striker from Leicester’s large Championship squad who has found his game time limited. The 22-year-old Hungarian signed a three-year deal with the Foxes in the summer after leaving crisis-club Portsmouth. Scored five goals for Pompey in 2011/12 and at six foot five inches he would make an ideal targetman and an alternative to Hanson.
Chris Porter – If Parky is looking for a Hanson mark II, then 29-year-old Porter could fit the bill. The former Motherwell and Derby frontman is available at Sheffield United after falling down the pecking order and a loan deal could be on the cards for Porter, who has scored twice in 12 starts this season.
Dominic Poleon – A young striker, highly regarded at neighbours Leeds and certainly one for the future. The 19-year-old has bags of pace and scored twice from seven starts for Bury on loan earlier this season. Back now at Elland Road where he has found his opportunities limited and could well be on Parky’s loan radar.
Andy Gray – The veteran striker was on Parkinson’s summer shopping list before he made the move to Leeds and he could still be in the City boss’ thinking. The 35-year-old’s move has not gone according to plan though and he has made just one start all season. He has netted for the Whites and although he is certainly not a long-term option he might well be a decent short-term option to get the Bantams back on the goal trail.
Roarie Deacon – An exciting young striker who Sunderland picked up from Arsenal in 2011. An England Under-19 star Deacon can play in midfield as well as up front and the Black Cats could be keen to loan him out to get some game time. The 21-year-old played 24 games for the reserves in 2011-12, netting on six occasions to finish as the second string’s joint-second top scorer.
Robbie Blake – A City legend after helping the club to promotion to the Premier League more than a decade ago. Now 36 Blake is plying his trade at Doncaster after moving on from Bolton. He hasn’t really made an impact at the Keepmoat Stadium though and has scored just once in five starts. He would certainly give the Bantams some much-needed knowhow in attack and might be the talisman to lift the squad.
Andy Bishop – Bishop was a target for Stuart McCall a few years ago, but decided to stay with Bury. He has gone off the boil in recent years and recently went on loan to Wrexham where he scored twice in four games. Now 30-years-old, Bishop might well fancy a fresh challenge and does have a proven track record of getting goals in the basement division.
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