It’s guest blog time again, and today it’s the turn of one of MFW’s regular commenters, Alex B, also known as Alex Bain. Here are his thoughts on what could happen and what needs to happen in January. Take it away…
Sitting there on New Year’s Eve and listening to Madness seemed a good time to reflect on what has happened and what the next instalment is likely to be…
As it’s now January 2019 and the transfer window has opened, rumours will, of course, be rife of comings and goings, so let’s start with possible outs:
- Max Aarons – Tottenham or Arsenal both reported to be interested at around £15million. In my opinion, that’s not enough and also the lad needs a couple more seasons here to develop before moving on, which he inevitably will.
- Nelson Oliveria has been linked with moves to either Turkish side Besiktas or Swansea. Personally, I would prefer him to head east in order to prevent any possibility of him coming back to bite us.
- Yanic Wildshut since, signing for £4 million to £7 million, he has been a complete failure. He hasn’t been able to get a chance, so if the Sheffield United rumours are right, then let’s take the hit of losing some money and give him to them.
- Ivo Pinto proved his worth in the early part of his City career but now there appears no way back in this Farke Team. So, let’s wish him well and thank him for his service.
- The latest Naismith rumour is that Rangers want him. If so, whatever we get for him will be most welcome, but the savings on wages would be the big win.
- Remi Mathews hasn’t set the world on fire during his loan move to Bolton although it was view to a permanent move. They do however have real financial problems, so it just could be that he is on his way back to us.
- Michael McGovern will be gone by the end of the summer. He appears happy to sit and take the money with an occasional cup game. Possibly to Preston next summer?
- Felix Passlack has not proved – maybe hasn’t had the chance to prove – that he has what it takes to make the grade in the Championship.
Will there be anyone one else set to leave? Possibly a summer signing who hasn’t lived up to potential that someone else can use? Or maybe an injured player looking to restart his career?
So, where do we need to strengthen? No names… just positions:
- Striker (maybe get Jordan Rhodes permanently)
- Another keeper to push Tim Krul at present, who has no competition.
- New owners with deeper pockets? ?
How about those we need to re-sign (not resign!)
- Timm Klose – simple as that
- Stuart Webber – a long-term deal
- Team Farke, the whole lot – all on long-term deals
If City don’t get promoted, however, they will become the sweet shop for the Premier League and, as mentioned earlier, there are already several clubs looking at our home-grown contingent. Unless the City board really hold their combined nerve, City could be sold down the swanny. Obviously, the names in the frame are Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell.
Amongst some of those mentioned earlier, there are some who will be free agents in the summer and who, in fact, can legitimately talk to other clubs in this window, namely: Klose, Pinto, Naismith, McGovern
So, we now enter a defining period in the Webber/Farke project. Being self-financing is all well and good if as a club we’re content to remain a Championship club with little ambition, but promotion this season or next simply has to be the aim.
Finishing in the playoffs this season would represent a vast improvement but going up would show City to be forward thinking and ambitious club and would also keep the good players here.
The big question is, do the Board’s ambitions match those of the supporters, Stuart Webber and Team Farke?
Cheers Alex. I’m sure we’ll hear from him again before the dust settles on season 2018/19.