I have a feeling that we’ll lose one our key players over the summer.
It will be for silly money and that cash will be reinvested, but I think the end is nigh for one of our stars.
Why? Call it a gut feeling if you like, or maybe I’ve been listening to the sound bytes coming from the club? Maybe I’ve been conditioned for it? Maybe I just know that if a team with the finances available to cut a deal with us comes calling then said club is also likely to offer higher wages and Champions League football which may well be enough to turn a player anyway?
Whatever the reason for it, I honestly believe we’ll see one star leave which will fund another little spending spree where we see maybe four or five players recommended by Graham Carr arrive. I’m not that gutted about it either in truth as, going by recent history anyway, we’ll see the rest of the squad strengthened, which is really what we need ahead of an assault on the Europe League.
Losing any of them is bad, but I guess it’s about losing the one the which would have the least affect on the team. Yohan Cabaye? I don’t think we can lose him, or Tim Krul, or Coloccini, or Cisse. To replace those would cost what we received for them anyway.
The two that I do think we could replace, or would at least have the least affect should they leave, are Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba. Now before I get hammered for it, please hear me out.
Cheik Tiote can have brilliant games for us, but he’s also been missing for a third of the season through injury and ACoN duty. Add in his suspensions to that and his penchant for living on the edge in games and it could quite easily be more games that he misses. Generally we’ve coped well in his absence although if we did let him leave we would need to find someone to replace him.
Demba Ba is slightly different as I actually don’t think we can replace him. His goals in the first half of the season played a huge part in getting us to where we are today, and his all round play in the second half of the season has been largely excellent. With Demba it’s a question of formation.
I think we play better in a 4-3-3 kind of system, but that system has seen Demba Ba pushed out to the left of an attacking three, almost as a left winger. Would it not be better to have a player who can play in that position naturally rather than trying to fit Ba into a system?
In an ideal world we keep hold of everybody and strengthen anyway, but unfortunately I don’t think that will happen for a number of reasons. So the best I’m hoping for is that we lose one player who won’t have too much affect on us which will allow us to strengthen further, and for me that means losing either Ba or Tiote.