Hughton on the hunt?

Was letting Best and Co go a mistake?

Leon likely to leave SJP?
With Chris Hughton’s appointment to the Birmingham City job, and his subsequent press conference, gave an small insight to what he is up against this season.

I that press conference he admitted that the Blues would struggle to retain the services of several of their better players and that it would seem that he will have to build himself a new squad to challenge for promotion.

Three of our players have been linked with a move to St Andrews by various sources, with arguably the more reliable Sky Sports News claiming that Hughton is keen on taking both Leon Best and Wayne Routledge to join him at Birmingham. Danny Guthrie is the third player who is also apparently interesting Hughton.

So the question is, is this the usual speculation passed off as news in order to boost interest and sales, or could there be truth behind the rumours?

I’ll start with Routledge as he seems to be the most likely to leave Newcastle this summer, with manager Alan Pardew keen on showing Wayne the door alongside a number of interested suitors including Premier League new boys, QPR.

Routledge has shown that he has clear ability when playing in England’s second tier and he came in and did a good job for us when we were pushing for promotion back in January last year.

Would Hughton be interested? I think he certainly would, if Birmingham plan on clinging on to Nikola Zigic then in Routledge they have a man who can beat players on the run and eventually provide a dangerous cross into the area πŸ˜€ Birmingham are also a team that currently lack pace, as we did until we brought Routledge in and that is one thing the lad has in spades.

Add into the fact that Hughton already knows the lad, who seems to be a solid professional and who wouldn’t command a large fee or salary and it could be a match made in heaven.

Leon Best is another player who Hughton is apparently interested in and this lad is someone Newcastle are apparently trying to sell off. As far as I’m aware Bestie hasn’t been transfer listed however, so could this again be mere speculation?

I’ve already stated that I think Best could still do a job for us next year, but with the huge likelihood that he will be playing cup matches and bench warming for us it would be understandable if Best sought first team football elsewhere. Best had no issues finding the net this season, and scored more than any of Birmingham’s players apart from Craig Gardner in just twelve appearances, and with Gardner expected to be one of those sold then strengthening Birmingham’s attack will be high on Hughton’s list.

Having brought Best into Newcastle and after keeping faith after a string of poor performances in the Championship, it could be that Hughton will seek a move for the striker. When looking at the Birmingham squad Best does seem like an ideal purchase in a similar manner to Routledge, he would be willing, relatively cheap, and already knows the manager – which can be a crucial aspect, as we saw with Big Sam and big Kevin.

Danny Guthrie is the last of the players I’ll be dealing with and after a great Championship season Guthrie has had limited success and opportunities for Newcastle this season. I think its clear Guthrie will not be a first teamer for Newcastle next season, and whilst words such “young” and “potential” are often banded around in regards to Danny, bear in mind he’s only a year younger than Tiote who by all accounts has been immense this season.

Guthrie is still a good player, but with already limited opportunities at Newcastle along with his relative lack of versatility in comparison to the younger and soon to be fit Dan Gosling I think he could be another lad out the door.

Does this mean a move to Brum is on the cards however? Well, with one year left on his current contract it could be that Newcastle will decide to cash in on the lad. In regards to Birmingham themselves and the highly likely event of Craig Gardner leaving, it could be that Guthrie is deemed by Hughton to be a suitable replacement.

When Guthrie is given license to roam he can score goals, as he did many times in the Championship. Guthrie can also pick a pass and we saw what his vision and Routledge’s pace could do to teams in the Championship. Also, without both Gardner and Seb Larrson, Birmingham will be missing two of their better set piece takers, something to which Guthrie is also well suited.

Again, Guthrie will not cost much in fees, and if he is indeed eager to play first team football Birmingham would be one of the teams which could guarantee him first team football, assuming Gardner does leave of course.

So could Hughton come in with one swoop and take away three of our players? Personally I think they could all get into the Birmingham first team and would all be good buys, but whilst I can see them all moving on I’m not so sure that they will all go to Birmingham.

To me it seems as if the media are just being lazy and linking our players with a former manager. I think if Routledge goes anywhere it will be to QPR with whom I’d think Wayne has more of a connection with anyway.

As for Best, I don’t think he’ll be sold, despite all the speculation. If we do indeed sign another striker he will have to fight and fight hard for a place but given the option I think he’ll stay.

Finally, in regards to Guthrie I think Birmingham might seek out a loan move for him which might suit all parties, but I can’t see them coming in to buy him when he’ll likely be moving on for free after next season.

Still, that’s all pure speculation, what do you guys think?

48 thoughts on “Hughton on the hunt?

  1. Must admit, I wouldn’t lose any sleep if either or all of those 3 left; providing we brought in replacements of course.


  2. …..actually, I’d rather keep Best and sell Shola – although the big lump really is part of the furniture these days, and seems untouchable (or unsellable).


  3. Aye nobody would buy Shola. Best is the only one of a current crop that would fetch more than a million. Personally I think we should just try sell loven to a Danish club for a few 100k but that won’t happen.

    As for Perch…maybe we can sell him to Hibs? πŸ˜†


  4. A top 6 finish requires 4 good goalscoring forwards. Shola not in this category and should go along with Lovenkrands. That leaves Ba and Best. We need two new front men, ideally Erdinc and Strurridge to complete the quartet. Of course Ba will be missing for African cup so all 4 forwards will get plenty of time on the pitch during the season.


  5. Get rid of Shola πŸ˜• not really mate, yeah he only got 9 goals in all competitions last season, but his work rate is brilliant, so im glad you aren’t our manager πŸ˜† as for this whole article i hope we keep best, blues are welcome to Guthrie, Routledge and Perch as far as i am concerned, Guthrie and Perch have been poor this season and Routledge wants first team footy, not gonna happen at newcastle


  6. It’s probably nothing but I was asking around but he’s meant to be sorting out his future this and when I asked whether we were interested someone from Sky said ‘As I know who’s interested I can’t comment’.

    Surely if we weren’t interested he would of just said we weren’t.


  7. …did I just read “Shola” “work rate” and “brilliant” in the same sentence there? πŸ˜†


  8. πŸ˜† indeed, i like him ! He has his moments ! Yes i admit he can be crap and slow and what not but sometimes he causes real problems for teams ! πŸ˜‰


  9. Toonsy, I a just seen that, guess that puts my theory to bed πŸ˜†

    He did tell me this before that was put out I think.


  10. by the way, whoever designs the logo and shiz at the top of this page, lets get a swift new one done eh ? Can’t stand seeing Nolan in the middle of the pictures, guts me to think of him back in the Championship next season !


  11. Colm, I think the whole top banner will be requiring an overhaul in about a month’s time. I’d probably leave it until we know who we’ve got for the start of the season.


  12. πŸ˜† Rod you make a good point πŸ˜† just seen the talk about Barton and we’re apparently saying we will not accept a cut pice Β£1 million deal for him, would that not be better than just releasing him in a years time ? What is the bloody point if Ashley is inevitably planning to be rid of him ??? πŸ˜•


  13. Barton’s got to be worth at least 4m, whoever offerred 1 is taking the p1ss. I really hope we keep hold of him but I have my doubts. Anyway, back to work…..


  14. If Nolan is worth 4mil then Barton is worth 8mil, even on a year less contract.

    As far as Shola and work rate :mrgreen: I do like him though, I think he’d be alright in a rotating strike force-when he needs to prove himself he does. I just think managers struggle to get the best out of him…maybe they should read Aristotle or Plato to him? πŸ˜†


  15. No way would I let Hooton have Guthrie for a palty Β£1M. He could double it and then add another million in my book before he’d be going anywhere.


  16. I think you’re right about Barton being worth more but clubs tend to ask for less if a player has mabe a year left on his deal rather than maybe 4 years because they are desperate to get any money they can before the player leaves for nothing, so it makes it quite scary to imagine how much N’Zogbia would cost from Wigan if he had a long contract ! 😯


  17. Did leicester sign Kyle Naughton in the end ??

    He would be a good signing for us with Walker more than likely first choice for spuds and corluka/hutton as back up they would probs sell him…


  18. Aye I think so really good going forward, versatile, good long range shots a bit like Raylor with talent… πŸ˜‰


  19. Colm Rose

    I think N’zogbia will stay there and play next season in ‘get home safely mode’ trying not to get injured and Wigan possibly will go down but he will leave on a Bosman and get massive wages somewhere. I think he would like to leave this summer, he has outgrown them and wants to be at a club where he will get a better chance of being picked for the France squad but Wigan are being greedy about how much they want for him and I don’t think any clubs have actually bid for him yet. Unless Liverpool or similar cough up the money I think he will stay and see out the last year on his contract.

    Not the ideal situation though. It must be even worse to be a Wigan fan and know that once Whelan snuffs it they are gonners. πŸ˜•


  20. DJG
    Posted June 27, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    “Not the ideal situation though. It must be even worse to be a Wigan fan and know that once Whelan snuffs it they are gonners.”

    😈 😈 😈

    Fcuk em

    😈 😈 😈


  21. Well DJG BBC says Liverpool are willing to meet the price and wages but Newcastle & the mackems aren’t, so i think wages are the problem, apparently he is on Β£60,000 a week, and im sure thats above our wage cap ?


  22. Meh, at least they support their local town, I bet there are a lot of deserters that support Liverpool and Man United and if they got the whole town they could fill the place. add to that it’s a rugby town aswell and it’s quite impressive that they’ve been in the prem for so long.

    I know what you mean though Fek ’em 😈 There are more deserving sets of fans in the chumpionship that are denied a go in the prem because of DW.


  23. Colm Rose

    On a Bosman I think we would pay him those wages. I don’t think there is a ‘wage cap’ there are already people on big wages like Tiote and Cabaye ect that have been signed quite recently.


  24. I bet there are a lot of deserters from other clubs joining wigans pie eating brigade, I have no time for them because it pisses me off seeing clubs buy their way up the league up the league while plenty of clubs with real fans like Plymouth suffer.

    They offended me when they booed their team off after we beat them this season like they should beat us, Come back when you have a support and european and domestic trophies in your honours list, learn some songs and FFS stop playing music when you score its cheap and plastic…

    bunch of twats πŸ™„


  25. CC at least now that Pompys gone there’s no guy banging a drum and shaking those bells or whatever the hell it was. God that was annoying. Added to the sound of their rickety stands creeking in the coastal wind. Get Sarah Beeny in ‘Help my football ground is falling down’. πŸ˜‰


  26. I wish I had time to debate but I’m very busy at work.

    Just quickly though, Why should any club put a bid in for Barton until the last minute.

    The Toon don’t want him, he’s disgruntled, he is on approx Β£3m per year in wages, any offer will be accepted on deadline day.

    Unless other clubs show an interest and a bidding war begins, we could end up losing him for Β£1m easy.
    Of course he may just wish to stay and run his contract down.


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