In a season so far that has produced only a few highlights in terms of victories there has been some positive signs.
While a lot of the players have, quite rightly at times, attracted criticism there are also those who have enhanced their reputations.
And by now we are all aware of just how our “business model” works which combined with the forthcoming January transfer window and the performances of some of players could lead to an interesting and frustrating month or so as speculation starts to trickle into newsfeeds.
My heart, and our league position to be fair, says that we can’t afford to sell anyone and need to actually strengthen the side. My head however looks at previous transfer windows and wonders if we may have already had a glimpse of what may happen.
Now I’m fully aware that in the summer we spent a decent amount and I still think we added some good players. But that’s so far been a one off and was at least partly brought about because of failures to invest previously.
The thing is some of those platers have caught the eye, as have players who here already here, so who is most at risk when January comes around and given that I’ve already said we shouldn’t sell any of our first team, what figures would you think ‘fair enough’ about if someone did come calling for one our lads?
The first name is going to be Ayoze Perez who is already attracting interest and has already responded to that interest. The 22-year-old has been somewhat of a revelation since joining from Tenerife for a fee of roughly £1.5 million last summer.
This season he has four goals and has laid on a further two for his team, but it’s his willingness to work, his availability to receive the ball and what he can do with the ball when he does receive it that makes him a good player. Good enough not to sell.
So then the question comes of just how much would you hold your hands up and say that the club couldn’t refuse that amount of money? For me we’re talking Andy Carroll figures for a player who has shown he can compete in this league and still has potential to get even better.
Georginio Wijnaldum is another player who will be being looked at by other clubs. The Dutch midfielder has scored seven goals so far this term and without them we’d still be in the relegation places instead of just above it. Like Perez, Wijnaldum has also laid on two goals for his team.
He has attracted criticism from some fans which I think is harsh given that he’s played more centrally throughout his career and we are playing him on the left, but despite this he is our top scorer, has one of the highest pass completion rates in the side and has ran more miles putting in more interceptions than any other player in the side. We paid £14.5 million for him. If he was to move on so soon I’d be looking for double that.
One player who will no doubt again be linked with a move away will be Moussa Sissoko. Indeed I feel it is only a matter of time before he leaves St James’ Park which means that there is going to be speculation.
Sissoko is a frustrating one as he has so much pace and power but so often poses little threat going forward. Again I do feel slightly sorry for him as he’s being played on the right and not in the centre but I still feel he should be contributing more.
We’ve seen what he can do but getting him to do it regularly is the issue. We hear quite often that he thinks he should be playing in the Champions League but he difference between players like Sissoko and those who do play in the Champions League is consistency. Sissoko can rip teams apart but not often enough to be relied upon. I’d sell for £15 million.
Just to reiterate I don’t think we should be selling anybody, but if we did I think it’s those three who will have the most eyes watching them, and it’s those fees that I’d begrudgingly accept seeing them move on.
What do you think?