A summer when Phil Parkinson was always prepared to be patient in his search for the right additions went right down to the wire for Wrexham.

The League Two club signed Millwall midfielder George Evans in time to face Tranmere Rovers at the weekend, followed by Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, then faced a frantic dash to get Harrogate Town striker Luke Armstrong over the line before the 11pm deadline.

In a transfer window where priorities had to change following Ben Foster’s shock retirement and Paul Mullin suffering a collapsed lung and four broken ribs on the USA tour, the flurry of activity at the death should maybe not have come as a surprise.

But the deadline day deals, following on from the earlier captures of Huddersfield Town’s Will Boyle and James McClean of Wigan Athletic, means Parkinson will believe his willingness to wait for the right signings bore fruit, just as it did a year ago when Elliot Lee took his time to weigh up several offers from higher up the pyramid before joining Wrexham.

McClean should prove to be a good signing (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

That patience was partly down to recruitment in previous windows, with an element of future-proofing having been done via a policy to sign players proven at higher levels. This led to last season’s squad boasting a combined 14 EFL promotions between them, a number that has since been increased with the signings of Boyle and McClean.

Will that faith be justified? Can Wrexham make it back-to-back promotions? The Athletic assesses what proved to be a slow burner of a window for the National League champions until that late flurry of deals.

**The best piece of business this summer is… **

The deadline-day strengthening of the midfield. Even last season when Wrexham clinched promotion, there were times — FC Halifax Town away springs to mind — when the opposition were allowed to dictate things in the centre of the field. This worrying trait has continued into the EFL, with MK Dons and Swindon Town both scoring five goals each after seizing control of midfield. Evans’ arrival on a free from Millwall should help prevent further repeats, with his aggressive approach — and ability to pick a pass — making the 28-year-old a good fit.

The problem they don’t look to have solved is…

As Paul Mullin tore apart defence after defence in the National League, there was always the suspicion he was the one irreplaceable member of the squad. That has come to pass, with Wrexham definitely missing their goalscoring talisman in the opening month. Ollie Palmer and Jake Bickerstaff have formed a dangerous partnership, but Mullin’s absence has still been keenly felt. He can’t recover quickly enough, even allowing for the club-record £500,000 deal for Armstrong that went down to the wire on Friday night.

The deal I still don’t quite understand is…

Not thanking Foster for his help in getting over the promotion line last April and then bidding farewell to the 40-year-old. As we said in April’s guide to what transfers needed to be done following promotion, “a younger keeper with good distribution skills could make a big difference in the league above, where the opposition thinking is much quicker”. Wrexham have now added exactly this, albeit only for the next year, after loaning Arsenal’s 21-year-old goalkeeper Okonkwo. The academy graduate spent the first half of last season at Crewe Alexandra, keeping 10 clean sheets, before moving to Sturm Graz in Austria. He kept another clean sheet in the OFB Cup final, as Rapid Vienna were beaten 2-0, and arrives with an excellent pedigree. He is out of contract next summer.

The one who got away is…

Nick Powell has gone on record to say he turned down offers from Wrexham and Saudi Arabia to join Stockport County. The 29-year-old, released by Stoke City, is yet to make much of an impact at Edgeley Park with his two starts both ending in defeat, but Powell is a special talent with Premier League experience. Few would bet against him shining across a full League Two season.

Parkinson had to be patient (Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The signing fans will be most envious of is…

Jake Young, Swindon Town’s loanee forward. As Wrexham fans saw for themselves in last month’s epic 5-5 draw, the 22-year-old is the real deal. He already has seven goals and three assists, considerably more than the entire squad he left behind at Bradford City.

I can’t believe that…

Billy Waters is being written off by some. Admittedly, he’s had a slow start since joining in March, with opportunities extremely limited. But that was the case after joining Barrow last season and he came good via nine goals in 22 League Two starts after finally getting a run of games in the autumn. Waters proved at previous club Halifax to be something of a confidence player. When on song, he’s a real threat. His time will come.

My early tip for January is…

Possibly up front, though the biggest headache for Parkinson right now seems to be whittling down his squad to the 22-man list required under EFL rules (a number that doesn’t include goalkeepers or under-21s).

The club’s strongest XI now is…

(3-5-2) Okonkwo; Hayden, Tozer, Boyle; Barnett, O’Connor, Evans, Lee, McClean; Mullin, Armstrong.

(Top photos: Getty Images)