Alan Pardew was quoted as saying that he would like to conduct business early in the summer as some of his targets will be playing at the European Championships.
This is fair enough of course and picking them up before anyone notices them during the tournament can only be a good thing as we try and pick them up before they become noticed by the whole of Europe. The only real question is, who are they?
If you click this link, press play, let it buffer a bit and fast forward to approximately 14 minutes in you will hear exactly what Pardew said about it all. If you can’t be bothered then then real juicy bit is as follows.
“There’s certainly one or two players who are going to the European Championships that we’d like to secure before they get there because we think they’re going to do well there.”
I known it’s a bit early for speculation and such as we still have a few games remaining this season, but I can’t help being intrigued by it and wonder who the likely candidates are.
The first thing is that I don’t think one of them is Erik Pieters. He’s out with an injury at the moment and is by no means certain to be playing for Holland in the summer, even though I do still think he’ll end up here.
In fact a brief flit around the players we’ve been linked with over the least few months doesn’t reveal much either.
Douglas? Maybe, although he is yet to be called up to the Holland side so it’s probably safe to assume that he won’t all of a sudden be included in the squad for the European Championship.
Jan Vertonghen? A possibility, although I believe he’ll be off to somewhere like Arsenal, and from listening to him it would appear that is where he wants to be heading.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa? Again a possibility, but again he’s not had a full international cap and I can’t see the French taking an untried and untested 22-year-old to the Euros. It’s only England that do that kind of thing!
So any more suggestions? I honestly haven’t a clue who Pardew could be talking about although I think it’s safe to say that we’ll have been watching them for some time now and that they will have been thoroughly vetted by our immense scouting team.
Let the guessing begin!