For many teams January can be a very hectic time. Lots of transfers going in and out. However for Inverness it was a fairly quiet month, but at the same time, one that may well shape the way their season will finish.
John Robertson made it clear that Inverness were targeting quality over quantity, and mentioned in an interview with local news outlet, Inverness Press and Journal, that they had a handful of trialists up north that they were interested in.
Throughout the window, there were a total of 5 moves. 3 arrivals, and 2 departures, excluding returning loanee Owain Fon Williams. Each transfer in was made for good reason, however, the departures can be seen as questionable. Let’s take a look at each one in detail;
Kevin McHattie – Free Transfer (6 Month Deal)
McHattie was brought to be a replacement for Riccardo Calder, who was released following his 2018 assault charge. A free agent after his contract with Derry expired, the former Hearts and Raith Wing-Back joined Caley on a deal until the end of the season. A young yet experienced performer who will serve as a reliable backup to club captain Carl Tremarco, could prove to be a smart deal by Robertson.
Darren McCauley – Coleraine (2 and Half Year Deal, Undisclosed Fee)
By far the best business of the window for Inverness.
McCauley came as a surprise move, but as a pleasant one nonetheless. Signing on a 2 and half year deal from Coleraine for an Undisclosed Fee, he seemed set to return to Derry before Inverness came in. The 27 year old, who was highly rated while playing in white and blue, is yet to start but has impressed off the bench for Inverness. Could he be set to form a lethal partnership with Tom Walsh? Only time will tell.
Anthony Macdonald – Heart Of Midlothian (Loan)
17 year old Anthony Macdonald was announced on the same day as McCauley and is one of Hearts’ highly rated young stars. One can assume Robertson used his Hearts connection to get the deal done, and two games in and Macdonald is already in the starting lineup, albeit due to injuries. Another deal which looks fairly promising for Inverness. Only downside is that it is temporary.
Daniel Hoban – Forfar Athletic (Loan)
Young keeper Hoban found himself on the move, signing for Forfar on loan until the end of the season on loan. Presumably to get more game time as he’s only managed to make the bench so far for Inverness this season. He’ll be frustrated to have not started yet since joining. Even more so when he sees that returning Inverness Loanee Cammy Mackay has been playing first team football in the absence of Mark Ridgers. The loan could be good for Hoban if he starts getting more minutes, however if he continues to sit on the bench, this will have been a waste of both his, and Inverness’ time.
George Oakley – Hamilton Academical (Undisclosed Fee)
The transfer that shook the Caley fanbase to its core. Oakley was signed by Hamilton after former Inverness Assistant Manager Brian Rice was appointed Hamilton boss. Announce at around 9pm on deadline day, the move meant Inverness had no time to replace the striker. Although Oakley isn’t their top scorer he’s been a solid target man has contributed a decent amount of goals and assists considering his recent injuries. The problem with the move is that it leave Inverness with only 2 senior strikers. Nathan Austin, who has been troubled with injuries but seems to be coming to form, and Jordan White, who has been fairly consistent in scoring but has struggled in other areas. These two are good players in their own right but there is a lack of depth, and it could be costly later in the season.
If Inverness could have avoided Deadline Day, this window would have been perfect for them. But the lack of depth in attack is deeply concerning. One injury to either White or Austin and they could be in serious trouble. However if they can pick up a free agent or if a youth product fills that void, they could be well on their way to a playoff place come May 2019.