Linfield boss David Healy insists he isn’t fazed – and won’t be influenced by – title rivals making waves in the summer transfer market.
Glentoran splashed out an Irish League record fee of more than £100,000 to capture two-times capped Northern Ireland striker Shay McCartan from Ballymena United.
Larne have also been busy this window, recruiting the likes of Ben Doherty from Coleraine and former Northampton Town and Lincoln City defender Cian Bolger.
Linfield have brought in former Dundalk captain Chris Shiels and Hull City pair Billy Chadwick and Ahmed Salam on loan until January and May respectively.
But while Healy is still in the market for a striker after losing Shayne Lavery and Andy Waterworth, he insists he won’t be influenced by the wheeling, dealing of other clubs.
Asked about Linfield’s title rivals’ manoeuvrings in the summer market, he said: “I keep an eye on it all, I’d be mad not to, but my main focus is on what we are trying to do here.
“It’s great that clubs have been able to sign players and players have the hunger to go to new clubs for bigger and better things, as they see it. I wish them all well
“But we’re all trying to bring players in. We signed Chris Shields and also brought Billy and Ahmed in from a good level at Hull.”
Healy believes the recruitment of the likes of Chadwick and Salam at Linfield – and Bolger at Larne – from cross-channel clubs can only prove the quality of the Danske Bank Premiership.
He also noted the ability of other so-called lower-profile clubs to invest in their squads on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People were maybe worried last year that some of the smaller clubs would be out of pocket or out of business, but everyone seems to be doing OK,” he said.
“I think everyone is trying to improve the league and I’m sure we’ll have a better product with the money and new players coming into clubs.”
Healy said last week he would leave it up to others to decide if the Blues have enough attacking options heading into the new domestic season which kicks-off on August 28.
Lavery, who scored on his competitive Blackpool debut on Saturday, and Waterworth, who departed for Glenavon, scored 48 goals between them last season.
Christy Manzinga and Chadwick, who scored in last week’s Europa Conference League defeat to Fola Esch, are the only strikers available to Healy over the age of 20.
The Big Two giants were close to recruiting Maltese international striker Kyrian Nwoko, but Brexit red tape resulted in the Valletta frontman joining St Patrick’s Athletic instead.
“I will leave it for other people to analyse if we are light on strikers,” said Healy.
“We probably are one or two short in different areas but that will be for me and the people at the club to sit down and discuss when we are bringing the right people in to add to the group.
“There’s no point in rushing and getting the wrong one. We’ll make sure they are the right fit for the club.”