January was great. It was by far one of the best transfer windows in recent times and it came when we needed it most.
The new signings who have featured have made an instant impact while some are still waiting for the chance to make their own impression. Happy days.
Naturally attention will undoubtedly turn towards the summer recruitment drive. Perhaps not fully, not yet anyway, but I have already seen a few comments about positions we need to strengthen in during the next transfer window and I have my own thoughts on where we need to strengthen next.
The problem is that we are carrying a squad at the moment which doesn’t leave us much room for improvement unless we manage to shed some players over the summer. It’s going to have to be a case of selling (or getting rid) before we buy if we are to comply with the 25-man squad rule imposed by the Premier League.
Recently we announced a 24-man squad which will see us through to the end of the season. That squad list looks as follows.
Goalkeeper: Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Steve Harper
Defence: Danny Simpson, Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor
Midfield: Romain Amalfitano, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Dan Gosling, Jonas Gutierrez, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, James Perch, Moussa Sissoko, Ryan Taylor, Cheick Tiote
Attack: Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran, Shola Ameobi
Obviously players like Davide Santon and Massadio Haidara aren’t mentioned in this list as they don’t need registering just yet. However Davide Santon will need registering in the summer as he only sneaked missing registration by one day (his birthday is January 2nd and rules state that players born after January 1st 1991 don’t need to be registered). In fact if you look a bit deeper (cheers to Chris G!) Santon isn’t the only player who escapes registration this season but won’t be so lucky next time around.
Davide Santon – (2 Jan 1991)
Nile Ranger – (11 Apr 1991)
Shane Ferguson – (12 Jul 1991)
Paul Dummett – (26 Sep 1991)
Conor Newton – (17 Oct 1991)
James Tavernier – (31 Oct 1991)
Brad Inman – (10 Dec 1991)
For new players to be signed we need to free up space within the squad. Looking at the squad I believe Steve Harper will retire/be released, Fabricio Coloccini will leave and players like Dan Gosling plus a few of the young players who have failed to develop may be moved on freeing up space. Of course that is just my opinion…
What I’m trying to say is that before people start saying we need players here, here and here, think about the impact on the squad beforehand. We won’t go above 25 senior players because we can’t. The rules say so. So in that case common sense dictates that players need to move on before we add to what is already (and quite surprisingly) a large pool of players.
Then you have to look at the “home grown” ruling where eight registered players must been trained in England or Wales for three years before the age of 21. We should be fine on that score but remember, if we can muster only, say seven “home grown” players for arguments sake, then we lose a squad place so our 25-man squad could only be a 24-man squad.
Just some food for thought for your Friday morning…