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Wrexham bid to sign impressive ex-Newcastle, Swindon, Northampton, Cheltenham player

Wrexham bid to sign an impressive ex-Newcastle, Swindon, Northampton, Cheltenham player Ben Tozer, but will need to improve their offer.

The Robins’ Michael Duff has stated that the bid the newly promoted club have received from the Welsh outfit for their captain is “derisory”.

The National League club have made a five-figure offer for the 31-year-old defender, who has been the Robins’ player of the year for the past two seasons.

It has been since rejected by the League One side, who are getting set to Gillingham away on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup Second Round.

Robins boss Duff said: “Wrexham have made a bid, which is derisory.

“As far as I am concerned, he’s our captain, he played every minute of last year and been a major part of what we do.

“The club don’t spend a lot of money, but we don’t need to sell either.

“It’s a tightly run ship, so there has been a bid, which is good as it means our players are getting noticed and we’re doing something well, but I can’t see us selling our captain to a team two leagues below for the sum that they’ve bid.

“As always, everyone has a price, but it’s not even a conversation at the minute.”

Wrexham’s bid was made within the last week and Duff claims he is confident long throw specialist Tozer, who has one year left on his contract, will not allow his focus to be affected.

“His performances have been good, so it’s a thing that Toze isn’t really in control of at the minute because until the two clubs agree, there is no conversation to be had,” Duff said.

“It’s pleasing people want your players as it means you must be doing something right, but it’s nowhere near what we value him at.”

While some may be skeptical that he might not be joining, it shows money could just make anything happen, after all, who expected Paul Mullin, who also won promotion with Cambridge United up to the third tier of English football, suddenly make the drop down to Wrexham, and scored a penalty at the weekend.


Plymouth born Tozer started his career as a youth player at his local club Plymouth Argyle, where he studied for a BTEC National Diploma in Sport at City College Plymouth and was part of the college’s Football Development Centre. Former Argyle youth coach David Byrne, who by this point had taken up a similar role at Swindon Town persuaded the Tozer family to allow Ben to join him in Wiltshire alongside fellow Argyle youngster Ben Joyce.

On the 14th of August 2007, Tozer made a surprise full debut for Swindon as a makeshift left-back in the League Cup game with Charlton Athletic.

In November 2007, Tozer started a 4-day trial with Everton, returning in time for Swindon’s FA Cup game with Forest Green. This led the club’s confirmed speculation that the club keen to sign Tozer.

Tozer moved to Newcastle United on the 7th of January 2008, signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with the club.

On the 11th of May, against Everton, Tozer was named on the subs bench, but didn’t play. On the 22nd of September 2009, Tozer made his Newcastle debut starting at centre back alongside Steven Taylor against Peterborough in the League Cup. Newcastle, fielding a side full of youngsters, losing the game 2–0. Tozer went on to make his league debut in a 2–1 home win against Doncaster, coming on as an 87th-minute substitute for Jonás Gutiérrez.

On the 21st of September 2010, Tozer signed on loan at Northampton Town on a one-month loan.

Tozer made his debut the following day in the Cobblers’ third round League Cup win over Liverpool, and the following Saturday scored on his Cobblers league debut in the 2–0 win over Bradford City.  He was sent off in the game at home to Hereford for violent conduct, which resulted in Northampton delaying renewing his loan until after he served his three-game ban. Tozer had his loan extended twice: the first extension came until the 9th of January 2011 and the second extension came until the end of the season. He went to make 31 appearances and scoring twice this season against Aldershot Town on the 19th of February 2011 and Morecambe on the 7th of May 2011.

Tozer signed permanently with Northampton Town in June 2011, following his release by Newcastle. He made his Northampton debut, in the opening game of the season, a 0–0 draw against Accrington. Weeks later, Tozer scored his first Northampton goal since making his move permanent, in the first round of League Cup, in a 2–1 win over Ipswich Town. In his first full season at Sixfields, Tozer was almost ever present player with 45 appearances and scoring three times against Barnet on the 1st of October 2011, Shrewsbury Town on the 19th of November 2011 and Cheltenham Town on the 3rd of March 2012.

The 2012–13 season saw Tozer start the season well after results went well for the first three matches. He provided double assist, losing 3–2 against Plymouth Argyle on the 1st of September 2012. Following his grandfather’s passing, Tozer was given a compassionate leave by Aidy Boothroyd. However, he played a match in a 0–0 draw against Chesterfield. Tozer then provided another double assist in another match, winning 3–0 win against Morecambe in November 2012. In March, he was awarded Northampton Player of the Month for February. Tozer went on to make 46 appearances for the club, making him ever present player throughout the season. He played all three matches in the playoffs and started as a right-back in the playoff final, in a 3–0 defeat to Bradford. Despite unsuccessful attempt to get promoted to League One, Tozer was offered a new contract and signed a two-year contract in June 2013.

The 2013–14 season saw Tozer feature regularly in the first team for the first five matches at the start of the season. His playing time was reduced following the arrivals of Kevin Amankwaah. With eleven appearances made, Tozer joined League One club Colchester United on an initial one-month loan on the 28th of November 2013 until the 4th of January 2014 to provide defensive cover over the Christmas period. He made his debut for the club on the 14th of December in a 4–0 home defeat to Notts County. He was replaced on 67 minutes by Tosin Olufemi while the score was 2–0. After making one appearance for Colchester United, Tozer was recalled by the club on the 23rd of December 2013. Following his return to Northampton Town, Tozer made a return to the first team, which saw him awarded Northampton Player of the Month for January. Despite being on the subs bench for nine matches towards the end of the season, Tozer would make 29 apps for the club. He soon expressed his future in doubt following the arrival of manager Chris Wilder, who arrived during the season.

The 2014–15 season saw Tozer’s playing time increase at the start of the season as a right-back despite being on the bench. The following arrival of Brendan Moloney saw his playing time reduced to the bench. Soon after, Tozer suffered a knee injury during training that ruled him out for a month. Two months later, he made his return to training. He made his first appearance back from injury, coming on as a substitute for Evan Horwood in the 50th minutes, in a 2–1 loss against Stevenage in April 2015. At the end of the season, Tozer went to make 22 appearances for the club. After five years at the club, he was among seven players to be released by the club.

On the 19th of June 2015, Tozer signed for League Two side Yeovil Town on a one-year deal. Upon signing for the club, he was given a number two shirt ahead of a new season.

However, Tozer’s start to his Yeovil Town suffered a setback when he had a cartilage problem and was expected to be sidelined until September. It wasn’t until November when he made his return from training and made his Yeovil Town debut in the first round of FA Cup, in a 1–0 win over Maidstone United. On the 14th of November 2015, Tozer made his league debut in a 2–2 draw against Stevenage. A month later on the 5th of December 2015, he scored his first Yeovil Town goal in the fourth round of the FA Cup, in a 1–0 win over Stevenage, the team he made his debut against. Since making his Yeovil Town, Tozer became a first team regular at the club, where he “made the anchorman role in Way’s three-man central midfield his own” and finished the 2015–16 season, making 32 appearances and scoring once in all competition.

At the end of the 2015–16 season, Tozer was offered a new contract by the club. On the 10th of June 2016, a local newspaper based in Yeovil reported that he had agreed to sign a new contract with the club. As weeks went by, it was increasingly likely that Tozer would sign a new contract with the club despite continuing to recover from his knee, having become a concern to the club’s management.

On the 4th of July 2016, Tozer rejected Yeovil’s offer of a new contract, and signed for fellow League Two side Newport County on a one-year deal. Upon joining the club, Tozer was given the number 12 shirt for a new season.

Tozer made his debut for Newport on the 6th of August 2016 in the opening game of the season, in a 3–2 loss against Mansfield as a second-half substitute. In a match against Doncaster on the 17th of September 2016, Tozer made his first start and played the whole game, in a 2–0 loss. He scored his first goal for Newport on the 25th of October 2016 in the League Two match versus Barnet which ended in a 2–2 draw. He was regularly selected in the first half of the season but then fell out with manager Graham Westley and he was not selected after the 7th of January 2017 for the rest of the 2016–17 season. By the end of the 2016–17 season Michael Flynn had taken over as Newport County manager and Tozer’s contract was extended for a further year.

On 24 May 2018, it was announced that Tozer had turned down a contract extension at Newport and signed for Cheltenham after his Newport contract had expired. He made his Cheltenham debut on 4 August 2018 in an opening day League Two home defeat to Crawley. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2–2 draw with Mansfield Town in November 2018. In October 2019, he signed a new contract at the club that would keep him there until the summer of 2022.

At the end of the 2019-20 season he helped Cheltenham to the League Two play-off semi-finals, only to be defeated 3–2 on aggregate by his former club Northampton Town. The following season, Tozer led Cheltenham to the league title, winning the Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards in the process.

Fans reacted as Wrexham bid to sign up the impressive ex-Newcastle, Swindon, Northampton, Cheltenham player…

@higginswxm93: Awaiting ‘Signed Ben Tozer 3 year deal for undisclosed fee’ 😂 we buy who we want!!!

@Royst3001: 31 year old, got to be sensible with what we offer and be prepared to walk away and find an alternative

@WxmRob: Exactly, we don’t want to focus on this too much and end up not getting anyone and risking being short of cover at the back. Needs to be other irons in the fire

@DavidJa72939338: So it’s not the principle of the move it’s the ££££

@GBHDavies: Key bit of that intervie, “Everybody has their price.”

@wrexhamcarl: Hes that important hes out of contract next year! Hes obviously spoke to Wrexham or you just dont bid! Id imagine a few rejected bids and he will leave as money talks!

@benjamin_ankers: Basically begging for more money hahaha

@jay_wxm91: Funny when opposition players start knocking it out for a corner for us instead of a throw in because it’s the safer option, viva Ben Tozer

@jeffers49: Sounds like the excuses are starting early, won’t be surprised to hear him claim his heads been turned and had to sell as he wanted the move etc

@0joejones833: Signed by Tuesday then

1. Wrexham much bigger club than us.
2. Cheltenham are a selling club.
3. Just depends if tozer wants more wages.

@Adampablo2001: Ben Tozer will be a brilliant addition to the squad, hard hitting old school centre half with a monster long throw which will give us another element to our game, if we get him that is, can’t see it happening

@Hoppo101: If they offer 6figure fee he will be sold. He’s 30 and that sort of money can be reinvested. I love Tozer and he makes us tick, but I guarantee the club wouldn’t turn that down.

@mayhem357_mark: £100,000 won’t go far at league one level though Dan especially with two weeks left of the window. But I do think we will have to give it consideration when he can leave for nothing next summer.

@Hoppo101: Offer him another two years and I think we can keep him. League 1 football is huge compared to national league. Away days at Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Sunderland,pompey,Wigan, Bolton and Chalton is better than maidenhead, Wealdstone etc. No disrespect. #ctfc

@Tom_Read92: I get that but all depends on the £ and Wrexham will be able to offer very good money cos a football career is short so wouldn’t blame him for prioritising his family if so, I’d do the same!

@squire_aaron: Be a good signing that if it comes off

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