Swans’ Whittaker makes permanent Plymouth move

Swans' Whittaker makes permanent Plymouth move

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Morgan Whittaker during a Swansea warm-up
Morgan Whittaker joined Swansea City from Derby in 2021

Swansea City striker Morgan Whittaker has joined Plymouth Argyle in a deal worth around £1m plus add-ons.

The move is a record transfer for Plymouth who are in the Championship for the first time in 13 years.

Whittaker, 22, had a successful loan spell at the Pilgrims in the first half of last season before they went on to win promotion.

The ex-England youth cap has now made a permanent move after Swansea opted to cash in on Argyle’s interest.

Swansea are set for a profit after paying Derby County £750,000 for the forward in January 2021.

Despite scoring on his debut against Manchester City, Whittaker failed to make a mark in south Wales, making just five league starts and 28 appearances off the bench.

He spent time on loan at Lincoln City before heading to Home Park last season where he impressed, scoring nine goals under Steven Schumacher, who claimed Whitaker had not wanted to return to Swansea in January.

“Morgan really needs no introduction to the Green Army after his contributions in our title-winning campaign last season,” said Schumacher.

“He scored and created crucial goals in the time he was with us, and we were all naturally disappointed when he was recalled in January.

“At just 22 he has so much room for growth and development, and we are thrilled he has decided that Home Park is the place he wants to do that.

“He gets fans off their seats and is one of the most exciting prospects in the EFL.

“He has been one of our main targets all summer, and it is a real coup to bring him back to the club.”

Whittaker had also been the subject of interest from SPL side Rangers.

Swansea turned down bids from the Ibrox side, with Whittaker then asking not to be involved in a game against QPR for not being in the right frame of mind.

His return to Plymouth allows Swansea to use the funds to press on with transfer plans.

Having already signed Blackpool striker Jerry Yates in a deal worth £2.5m and free signings Josh Key (Exeter) and Josh Ginnelly (Hearts), new manager Michael Duff is still looking to add to his options.

Newcastle’s former West Ham youngster Harrison Ashby is on the club’s radar as a potential loan signing, as is Brighton goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.

Analysis

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

The signing of Morgan Whittaker signals Argyle’s intent to make sure they stay in the Championship after their return as League One champions in May.

The £1m-plus fee is double Argyle’s previous record of £500,000 they paid to Cardiff City for Steve MacLean in January, 2008.

Since then the club has gone into administration and flirted with relegation out of the EFL before resurging under the backing of current owner Simon Hallett.

Hallett’s vision is to turn Argyle into a sustainable Championship side – and to do that the club need the firepower to stay in the division.

Whittaker proved a hit in League One with the Pilgrims last season – now he has to show that he has what it takes to be the main man in a higher division.

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