With very little happening in terms of incomings so far this transfer window, I would expect at least these 3 fringe players to exit – Rob Elliot, Achraaf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but any sales (no matter how small) could top up Rafa’s limited spending pot and play a part in reducing Ashley’s wage bill.
Here’s a look at why all three look set to be moved on this month:
Rob Elliot – Rafa has admitted recently that he’s available this month. He now seems to be fourth choice behind Dubravka, Woodman and Darlow, and he isn’t getting any younger, so you’d think he’d be looking for game time. He seems to love living in the area, has been a solid servant and always done well when called upon, but it appears the time has come for him to move on.
Achraf Lazaar – He has been training with the reserves for months on end now and looked no closer to breaking into the first-team – even when Paul Dummett was out injured for several weeks. That says it all. There’s said to be interest from Italy and the MLS so hopefully we can recoup a small fee for him. Not only could it add a small amount to Rafa’s limited budget, but it would get a problem player out of the squad. He can’t exactly be happy given how he’s been banished from the first-team over the past year or so.
Rolando Aarons – He’s clearly not up to it, having failed to do anything during recent loan spells to Verona and Slovan Liberec over the past year. Not only that, a recent report in the Chronicle said Rafa was unsure about his character and application, so it looks like he has no future. Someone would probably take a chance on him, so it would be wise to cash in.
Loans may be more likely for a few of these, but either way it may be wise to move them on – especially if Rafa wants to increase his chances of bringing in one or two much needed signings.