With the January transfer window looming Alan Pardew has stated that he wants two players, one being a striker, the other a defender.
Now with the striker seemingly all but signed up I thought I would focus on which potential defender we could sign, with a number of players already being linked with a move.
The first question would be which position in the defence should we target. I think we can safely rule out right back with Danny Simpson, Davide Santon, Ryan Taylor and James Perch all able to play there. Left back is a possibility but again with Ryan Taylor, Davide Santon and Shane Ferguson there we aren’t in desperate need of one.
One position we are desperate for though is a centre half, with Mike Williamson injured for the foreseeable future it leaves only Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini, who have performed so well this season, as our only fit central defenders. With that in mind you would have to guess it’s centre back we’re looking at – or at least I hope it is!
The next question has to be ‘Who we can we sign?’ Well like in the summer we have been linked with a move for Erik Pieters of PSV Eindhoven who, if he were to sign, would kill two birds with one stone with him being able to play left back and centre half. But personally I cannot see the club forking out around £6 million on a player with us already paying around that for Modibo Maiga. Another player like Pieters, Liam Ridgewell, has seemingly been ruled out from various sources.
Another player we have been linked with is Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, a bit of a tongue twister I know. Mapou is a 22-year old centre back for Montpellier. He’s a commanding figure standing at 6 ft tall and is actually captain of his team whilst being named one of the best players in Ligue 1 so far. Again though with a lot clubs apparently interested in him it is going to take at least £5 million I would of thought and again I just cannot see us paying it.
The latest player we have been linked with and personally think is not only the most viable but is actually the best option is Lewis Dunk of Brighton & Hove Albion. Lewis is a 21-year old 6 ft 4 centre half who, for those who know him, reminds me off Craig Dawson who West Brom signed last year from Rochdale. Lewis’ height means he’s great in the air but he can also play a bit, not to the standard of Coloccini or even Taylor but being only 21 he can only learn and get better.
What makes Dunk the most viable option is that come January he will only have a year-and-a-half left on his contract which instantly means his price drops, something that the club look at when signing players it seems. And with Kazenga Lua Lua and Steve Harper being loaned to Brighton in the last few years you would hope we have built up some kind of relationship with them.
Dunk is also English and although we have had a lot of joy buying over seas players and hopefully that will continue, I still think you need English players in the spine of your team i.e. Steven Taylor and with Lewis being young and cheap he certainly fits the profile.
Now it might not be any of the above but out of all the defenders we have been linked with so far I feel Dunk would be the right player to go with.
What are your thoughts?