Five players Kilmarnock could look to sign this summer
Killie Boss Angelo Alessio. Source: (Darren WalshGettyImages)

New Kilmarnock boss Angelo Alessio has a small rebuilding job to do in Ayrshire.

The ex-Juventus assistant boss took charge of Killie after Steve Clarke left to become Scotland boss. However, Clarke was not the only person waving goodbye to Rugby Park in the summer. 

Jordan Jones left to join Rangers and legendary striker Kris Boyd hung up his boots for good, whilst loan players such as Daniel Bachmann, Liam Millar, Youssouf Mulumbu, Conor McAleny and Mikael Ndjoli all returned to their parent clubs.

As a result of these departures, the Killie squad is slightly threadbare in some areas - so who will Alessio be looking to bring in and what can they bring to Ayrshire?

David Wheater (Centre Back)

David Wheater is a name that is definitely more well known south of the border. 

The 32-year-old centre back has enjoyed a long, successful playing career at several clubs in England. He is most well known though for his time at Bolton Wanderers, where he spent seven years. 

The giant centre half is widely regarded as a huge fans favourite by The Trotters fans and his years of dedication to the club saw him rewarded with the captain's armband for the 2018-19 season. 

Unfortunately for Wheater, a catalogue of financial mishaps caught up with the club and The Trotters entered administration. As well as this, the performances on the park were poor and the side were relegated to League One.

It was a sad way for Wheater to end his Bolton career. However, their loss may very well end up being Killie's gain. 

Despite being 32, Wheater may be the perfect fit for the Ayrshiremen. Current centre back Kirk Broadfoot is 35 and has been suffering from back issues since the end of last season and Scott Boyd has departed the side to take up a non-playing role with newly promoted Ross County which allows a space for Wheater to come in and provide cover for Broadfoot and 24-year-old fans favourite Stuart Findlay.

Wheater has been on trial with Alessio's men and he got a short run out in a 3-0 friendly defeat against Dinamo Bucharest but he did not really have sufficient time to do anything of note.

It would be a good low risk signing for Killie as he is a good age and has a wealth of experience in a highly competitive league where he was always well regarded. 

Paolo Fernandes (Attacking Midfielder/Striker)

Paolo Fernandes is exactly the sort of name that gets supporters of provincial Scottish football clubs like Killie excited. He could be absolutely terrible, but with a name like that fans will always be excited.

The thing about Fernandes though is that he actually has a pedigree that backs up the exotic baller name. 

The diminutive Spanish attacker may only be five foot eight but he has a big reputation. He is currently contracted to Manchester City and the club have high hopes for him. 

He spent two seasons on loan at Dutch side NAC Breda where he gained an internet following after scoring a series of wonder goals.

Alessio has been trying to tempt the youngster to Ayrshire on a season long loan and it looks likely that it will happen. 

The Rugby Park faithful will be hoping he can form a partnership with newly capped Scotland striker Eamonn Brophy, in the same way that new Rangers signing Greg Stewart did for the first half of the 2018-19 season.

On paper he seems the exact sort of player that Kilmarnock should be looking to attract. He is young and full of potential and he would prove a solid addition into a squad which already has a fairly strong core. 

Tim Varynen (Striker)

As it stands Killie only have two recognised strikers. One is fans favourite Eamonn Brophy and the other is youngster Innes Cameron, who despite impressing whilst out on loan at Stranraer last season, is probably not quite ready to become a regular first team player. 

Tim Varynen is a six foot three Finnish striker who has played in Finland, Germany and most recently, Holland

The 26-year-old was on the books at Borussia Dortmund and has been capped thirteen times by the Finnish National Team. However, his scoring record is not overly impressive.

Angelo Alessio clearly believes there is talent there though as he has been on trial with Killie and has featured in pre-season games against Dinamo Bucharest and Gaz Metan, but he failed to impose himself in either game.

Alessio may be looking at the striker with the intention of bringing him in as a supporting player for Brophy rather than an out and out goalscorer and that may prove to be a tactic that works but it is a slight gamble.

It looks likely that the big Finnish attacker will sign so time will tell if the risk will pay off.

Ben Pringle (Winger)

Another player who has been on trial with Killie for the past few weeks is ex-Preston winger Ben Pringle.

Pringle has a wealth of experience in the English Championship with clubs such as Derby, Ipswich, Rotherham, Fulham and Preston North End. 

He is a winger who, despite not being the quickest, makes up for it with a good eye for a pass and good technical ability. This is the complete opposite to the man he is replacing - Jordan Jones, who was lightning quick but sometimes seemed to struggle to produce that final bit of quality so it will be interesting to see the effect Pringle will make. 

Killie fans will be praying that he can mirror the performances of his fellow winger and potential teammate Chris Burke who consistently puts in excellent performances despite not being the fastest. 

One thing that may worry fans though is that Pringle's career seems to have hit a bit of a trough recently, for one reason or another. Despite once being very highly regarded at Rotherham, he seems to have tailed off and has recently endured two disappointing loan spells at Grimsby Town and Tranmere Rovers.

At 30 years of age, Pringle will be hopeful that regular football at a good level for Killie can get the best out of him and the Killie fans will echo his sentiments. 

Youssouf Mulumbu (Midfielder)

A man who needs no introduction to Killie fans or Scottish Football fans in general. 

The ex-West Brom midfielder signed on a free transfer for Killie in the 2017-18 season and his outstanding performances marked his place as a firm fan favourite at Rugby Park. 

These performances were noticed by Scottish Champions Celtic who snapped up Mulumbu on a free transfer in the summer. However, Mulumbu never really made an impact at the hoops and found himself back on loan at Killie for the second half of the 2018-19 season and it was as if he never left.

His name echoed from the stands and he helped propel Killie to 3rd and secured Europa League football for the Ayrshire side for the first time in 18 years. 

It looked as though he was set to return to Celtic, however, he has just been released and is now a free agent meaning the door is very much open for a return to Rugby Park. 

There is bound to be interest from elsewhere but he knows the club and the club no him and there is no doubt that Alessio and the Killie board will push the boat out to get their man. 

The Killie fans will be crossing their fingers and praying that they will be seeing Mulumbu in the middle very soon.

 

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