We can all agree, I hope, that this season the first aim is to avoid relegation and, after that is easily (hopefully) achieved, that we should be looking towards a top-ten finish.
Taking away from the obvious £35 million to be spent on purchases, wages and agent fees, which some seem to gloss over as it suits the needs to lambast everyone, we have a net outlay of £500k in transfer fees. Taking into account agent fees and contracts I would hazard a guess that we have around £15/20 million still left to spend. As the actual transfer window only opened properly today I’d like to take a look at where we are in comparison to our other top-ten rivals apart the obvious ‘big six’.
Newcastle – So far we have got rid of our captain and top goalscorer from last season, two old, bit-part players and a loan ‘star’ who made two sub appearances.
In their place we have brought in a £6 million striker with a better than one in two record for free (Ba), a key member of last years French title-winning team for £4.5 million (Cabaye), and a highly rated winger also for free (Marveaux). We also have Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling back fit and able and have announced Mehdi Abeid today. With over two thirds of the window still remaining we are desperate for another striker though.
Aston Villa – Aston Villa are a side that struggled last year and have lost their manager to health issues and have replaced him with the man who just got their bitter rivals relegated. They have also lost their star man in Ashley Young, their goalkeeper Brad Friedal as well as John Carew and Nigel Reo-Coker. They have yet to sign anyone.
Blackburn – I’ve added them because they seem to make a lot of noise about buying players. So far they have sold Phil Jones to Manchester United and have yet to buy anyone.
Bolton – A good side with a good manager, but they have lost their star goalscorer from last year in Daniel Sturridge and have also seen the back Johan Elmander. They too are yet to buy anyone.
Everton – A solid side with a decent manager. Only sold James Vaughan but again yet to buy anyone.
Fulham – I’d personally say that we are a better side. They have lost their manager in Mark Hughes but replaced him with a great manager in Martin Jol. So far they have signed Dan Bunn from Darlington.
Stoke –The toughest side to beat in the Premier League for me. They have lost Eidur Gudjohnson and Abdouleye Faye and, you guessed it… bought no one.
5under1and – A side managed by a rotund man with a very large head. They have so far lost Bolo Zendan and I would say made the deal of the century in selling the average Jordan Henderson to Liverpool. They are the only other threat to have signed anyone with a big money move for Connor Wickham. A good signing in Craig Gardener. Bosman transfers of Kieran Westwood and Seb Larsson plus the Korean Iva Big Dong (Ji Dong-Won).
Now looking at that, what screams out to me is not ‘why aren’t we moving faster’…
But seriously, we are already well ahead of our rivals and the transfer window doesn’t usually heat up until the last couple of weeks. I think we are towards the top end of this section in terms of first XI anyway.
I perceive our transfer business so far as three quality signings in for one anyway. Pardew’s already said that we are still looking to bring players in.
Chill out and enjoy your summer… What’s the point in stressing? In Mr Ben we trust! « View from the away end – Bolton Wanderers. | King Shola day »