Blackpool swoop to sign Crawley Town star, but Reds bring in former Grimsby midfielder

It's one in and one out for Crawley Town in a busy day of transfer for the Reds.

Bez Lubala is on his way to Blackpool
Bez Lubala is on his way to Blackpool

Bez Lubala, who was a target for Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland in the summer, has joined Blackpool.

Lubala spent one season with the Red Devils following his transfer from Birmingham last year. During his short spell in the South East, Lubala played on 41 different occasions for the Reds in which he netted 13 goals and recorded 3 assists. His first goal came on his competitive debut for the club, on the opening day of the season away at Carlisle.

Lubala played a part in the Reds historic Carabao Cup campaign netting the only goal to sink Norwich City in a 1-0 victory and then converting his penalty against Stoke City in the third round shootout.

Technical Director Erdem Konyar said: “We thank Bez for his service to the club. We wish the best for the future. The departures of Panutche and Bez to the level above underline the positive development of younger players.”

But coming into Crawley is midfielder Jake Hessenthaler following his release from Grimsby on a two-year deal with an option to extend for a further year.

Hessenthaler played 35 games for the Mariners last year scoring once and assisting three times. Having come through the youth ranks at Gillingham F.C, Hessenthaler had loan spells at Lewes and Tamworth before becoming a regular at the Priestfield Stadium.

Hessenthaler played over 180 games for the Gills before he made the switch to Grimsby in July 2018. Jake played 85 times for Grimsby before being released in the summer of 2020.

Head Coach John Yems said: “I have formed an excellent relationship with Jake during his career. I believe he is an excellent fit to our squad and has lots of experience at this level, I look forward to welcoming him into the team.”

Technical Director Erdem Konyar said: “With the existing relationship between John Yems and Hessenthaler; we have acquired an experienced midfielder who will give everything for a shirt. It’s another leader in our squad and brings us closer to the completion of our recruitment.”

Hessenthaler will go straight into the playing squad and will be available for Saturday’s home tie against Milwall in the Carabao Cup. Saturday’s game can be streamed for £10 on iFollow, click here for more information or to buy a video pass.