Oh My, how the times have changed.
We’ve just signed a young lad from Rochdale called Dan Adshead, for, it’s suggested, around £300,000. He’s 17-years-old and Rochdale Chief Executive David Bottomley had this to say about it:
‘On behalf of the Chairman and Board of Directors at Rochdale AFC, I would like to thank Dan for his contribution to the Club, including helping us retain our League One status in the last two seasons.
‘Whilst we are very sad that Dan is leaving us, we are immensely proud of all of our coaching staff at the Academy and the Club that have helped Dan become the wonderful player he is. We are excited to see Dan join a Premier Club with a great history, and wish him the very best for the future.’
Which kind of leads me to think this is exactly where our future quite literally lies. Find ’em. develop ’em, play ’em and if push comes to shove ditch ’em or at some point sell the best of ’em on for a huge profit.
Is that just a touch callous? Maybe.
But I would so much rather we spent our money on players such as Adshead – look at what Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis have achieved. Both recruited into the Academy from Luton and they must be worth well north of £20 million between them.
I cannot remember who signed James Maddison (somebody I admire at every level, not just on the pitch). Alex Neil refused to play him, which certainly says something. But, let’s be honest, who of us could have predicted just how good he would become?
And the admirable Mr Godfrey, signed from York City for a kiss on the bum and a packet of wine gums – MFW TV Week may be over but the odd Python reference never comes amiss.
Four of the top six are apparently swarming around him for something like £15 million. What might his value be after an impressive season in the Premier League – double that?
Sign the new contract Ben – you know you want to! Every City fan in the world surely wants you to.
Sure some didn’t work out, such as Tristan Abrahams, Pierre Fonkeu and Conor McGrandles but it’s a bit akin to spread betting wherein small stakes can lead to a high return. You win a few, you lose a few.
In terms of restating the bleedin’ obvious, look how much was wasted on Steven Naismith, RvW and Yanic Wildschut. Twenty million quid, that’s how much. Which roughly equates to our entire transfer budget for the coming season.
Absolutely everybody I speak to and everything I read on NCFC-related media would say this is a strategy that will work. And all of us seem perfectly happy with it. I know I am.
Marquee signings are a thing of the past and most of us are delighted.
Whatever happens in the forthcoming season, the commitment of the players and the spirit within the squad will remain. I doubt any of us wants to see a Fancy Dan come along and ruin the camaraderie. I know Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke don’t.
Whether David Turnbull will be a new name for us to contend with remains to be seen. Rumours that the Motherwell attacking midfielder was City bound appear to be premature, but it seems clear that Stuart Webber has thrown our hat into the ring. One to watch.
Switching to potential exits, there are only two that cross my mind. Ben Marshall and Nelson.
Both appear to have issues and would be better off at other clubs. Fact.
Millwall don’t want Marshall, so therefore neither do we. Reading do want Nelson, and we don’t want to pay the final year of his excessive wages. Get rid of both even if it means taking a big hit – Marshall still has three years on his contract I believe but there must be somebody out there who would take him.
I’ll finish as I started… with this.