Now I know the January window only closed last month but as you can probably guess by now, I like talking about transfers.
Only a few months ago I was thinking to myself that we don’t need to do a lot this summer with our team pretty much set, but when I took a closer look at it that wasn’t the case.
If we scratch at the surface we will see quite a number of players whose contract is running out or they are surplus to requirements by the club. Danny Guthrie, Steve Harper, Peter Lovenkrands and Alan Smith are all coming to the end of their contracts and apart from Guthrie I would be very surprised if the others were offered new deals. At least not playing contracts anyway…
Then there are players who will be no longer wanted; Nile Ranger, Xisco, Fraser Forster (and in my opinion of what Alan Pardew will do) Dan Gosling and Leon Best.
Now regarding our starting XI, there is always the worry that we will sell one of big hitters but with a strong finish in the league and the signing of Papiss Cissé, it will hopefully persuade the Tiote’s, Krul’s and Ba’s of this world to stay.
One player in our starting XI who is vulnerable though is Danny Simpson, Alan Pardew has already said that there is a contract offer on the table and if he doesn’t sign it, he will be sold and replacement will be found.
Now that is ten players we could easily be losing come the summer, granted not of them have played this season but its still a lot of players from the first team squad.
Add that to the fact ten or so reserve team players including Phil Airey and Ryan Donaldson have been told to find new clubs as well at the end of the season, that is a lot of players who will need replacing.
That is why I think we will see quite a few free transfers arriving, with the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Junior Hoilett, Hugo Rodaellga all being linked with potential moves.
The main difference I would like to see next season with our squad is to have a balanced one. On pure numbers we have a fairly decent sized squad but it’s unbalanced. If we were to swap a couple of our central midfielders for centre-halves though we would be just about there.
This summer, providing we can keep our better players, will be all about recruiting higher quality squad players so we will have genuine quality throughout the squad and so the starting XI can’t pick itself – especially if we get Europe!
What are your thoughts?