June 24, 2024

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been alerted to the obvious problem that Wrexham has now that they have been promoted to League One.

After losing to struggling Forest Green Rovers 6-0, Wrexham made its League One debut for the first time since 2005.

Global celebrations erupted upon the decisive victory and third-tier promotion, with Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds sharing poignant messages on social media.

The stars of Hollywood may not have been able to attend the STōK Cae Ras festivities, but they have taken the Reds on an incredible journey.

The pair’s task is to keep climbing the pyramid, which will undoubtedly get more difficult now that they play third division English football.

Now that they have secured promotion, Wrexham can focus on their upcoming season, which may include signing goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo on a permanent basis.

But before the summer transfer window opens, the Welsh team is going to have to deal with one serious problem.

The obvious problem Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are having at Wrexham
Ageing players who have competed at the top level have been signed by the club thanks to an aggressive recruitment process that McElhenney and Reynolds have intensified during their tenure.

James McClean and Steven Fletcher, both in their mid to late thirties, arrived at the club last summer having formerly played in the Premier League.

Those two aren’t the only ones entering the twilight years of their careers, with 10 players in Wrexham’s squad aged 30 or over.

This has left Parkinson a huge issue to resolve this summer, as the club switches it’s focus towards signing younger players with higher resale value.

Speaking on the Not The Top 20 podcast, pundit George Elek believes if the Hollywood duo were to continue recruiting ageing players on big wages, they’d have a huge sustainability issue.

“The one question mark I have around Wrexham and it’s not a big deal because they’ve obviously recruited so well for what they’ve done so far,” Elek said.

“You talk about how smart Stockport are with their recruitment, and I agree, with Wrexham it feels a lot more obvious in terms of who they go after like it’s not really diamonds in the rough, it’s just players who are available and probably proven at a higher level who they are able to target.

“And at some point, probably in League One, unless you’re willing to massively invest again and unless Ryan and Rob are keen to turn Wrexham into one of the highest wage bills in League One, I think that hits a bit of a ceiling at some point.”

Wrexham have to recruit younger players

Signing quality older players, such as McClean and Fletcher, has helped fast-track Wrexham into League One.

But as Elek alluded, this recruitment style isn’t sustainable in the long-term and the club must look to sign younger gems who can develop into world-beaters.

Wrexham need to target talented youngsters who are similar in profile to Tom O’Connor, Ryan Barnett and Max Cleworth instead of thinking with the present in mind.

A younger squad that can develop under the watchful eye of Parkinson, is much better than paying over the odds for a player in his thirties who is nearing the end of his career.

If the Reds can transform their focus in the transfer window by recruiting with a long-term goal in mind, the club will be run in a more sustainable manner.

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