How might the squad look when the transfer window shuts at 23.00 on Tuesday night, just after the Bournemouth game?
The Ins and Outs of The Transfer Window
If recent quotes by Sam Allardyce are to be believed then we have bid on roughly 30 players and anticipates that we’ll sign a total of 4 or 5, including Jeffery Schlupp.
Allardyce also said that we have received no bids for any of our players except for a couple of loan enquiries.
Room To Move
With up to 4 more players expected to arrive before Tuesday it stands to reason that spaces have in the squad to accommodate them.
In light of the fact that we have received no offers, that would make it highly likely that these players will be without the possibility of playing first team football anywhere until next season.
The only possibility for these players is if we get our business done early and we can arrange loans for them, we can’t risk being short of players if our targets fall through.
Hopefully we have learned from out past mistakes of letting players go before we get players in.
Our Current Squad
Here is our current squad, including Schlupp, and who I would exclude to make way for new players. Naturally a lot depends on the players we sign and the positions they can play in.
|No.||Pos.||Nat.||Name||To be excluded?|
|15||FW||Jonathan Benteke||Yes (U21)|
|21||FW||Connor Wickham||Yes (long term injury)|
|22||MF||Jordon Mutch||Yes (not good enough)|
|23||DF||Pape Souaré||Yes (long term injury)|
|25||MF||Sullay Kaikai||Yes (U21)|
|32||FW||Kwesi Appiah||Yes (injured, not good enough)|
In the above table there are 28 players. This needs to be trimmed down to 21 in order to accommodate 4 new players.
- Benteke Jnr and Kaikai are 21 years of age as of 1st January 2017. Therefore they do not require a squad place.
- Souare and Wickham are long term injured and are not expected to play again this season. I do not expected them to be included in the squad.
- Appiah can be excluded. He is currently injured but it is unclear if it is a long term injury. In any case he hasn’t featured for our first team since the Championship and isn’t good enough for our squad.
- Mutch should be excluded. I expect we’ll be signing a new midfield player and Mutch just isn’t good enough.
- Fryers will probably be excluded after Allardyce said he wasn’t ready for the Premier League. However, I’d prefer to keep him in the squad because he is left footed.
That takes us down to 21 senior players and naturally means there will be at least 5 players leaving in the summer.
However, and this will be controversial, if we needed an extra squad place to be made available I would opt to drop a senior goalkeeper to free up a squad number.
We do not need 3 senior goalkeepers, most other Premier League teams have two senior and a development goalkeeper. So who get’s dropped?
For me it has to be Mandanda. I made Mandanda our signing of the summer but his form left a little to be desired.
Here are my reasons.
- He made some ‘Hollywood’ saves but also made some mistakes, or had situations where he could have done better. Had they have been made by Hennessey then he’d have been slaughtered.
- Has he recovered from his injury? He is back in training but might it reoccur?
- Has he acclimatised to the English game, especially ready for a relegation fight?
- Is his mind properly focused on the job at hand after the rumours abut him being homesick?
- He missed pre-season because of extra time off as a result of competing at Euro 2016. This means he missed vital training time to bond with the defence, something he still lacks as he spent his recovery time back in France.
There is little doubt in my mind that Mandanda is the best goalkeeper, in terms of ability, at the club but is he the best goalkeeper in terms of mental state and toughness to be the one to stop us going down?
Sometimes I think his reputation, achievements and ability have allowed him to get away with some poor mistakes.
Should he stay at the club then I think next season he’ll show what he is really capable of.
I’d have to go with Hennessey and Speroni. I am not a fan of Hennessey and I think Speroni’s best days are behind him but sometimes it’s a case of ‘Better The Devil You Know’.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.