Often Partisan

Comings and Goings

One of the most frequent questions I see asked on twitter and on forums is what I think Blues will do transfer-wise this summer. There seems to be a fear online that Blues will not be competing this summer in the higher price brackets for players, due to not having the money; and that with a whole host of players out of contract come June 30 we’re really going to be struggling next year.

The problem Blues have is unlike last year, we’re still not one hundred percent sure what division we’re going to be in next season. Despite my personal belief we’re safe, it’s not for sure until it’s a mathematical impossibility we can go down, and I’m sure that is playing on McLeish’s mind when it comes to looking at players for next season. Normally, the club has until the third Saturday in May to confirm to players if they were going to be offered a new deal or not; as the last game of the season this year is on May 22, that will be extended until May 26. Thus there is the possibility that McLeish will have a four day window to decide if he wants to try to keep a player or to let them go; although I have to admit I hope Alex has thought about this and has it set who will be offered deals and who won’t in either eventuality.

Money-wise, it’s real guesswork to think about how much Blues will have to spend. I don’t honestly believe that the club is as broke as has been made out; the fact we have been granted a UEFA licence for next year says to me that things have got to at least look alright. Throw in the recent news that the first batch of new shares has been placed (pdf link), which brings another £3.8mil into the holding company in cash and you have to admit that we’re probably not going to the wall. I don’t think we’re going to be spending a large amount of money though; there has been noises that we might be looking at younger players, and intuition says to me that the Chinese might be looking at the likes of Aliaksandr Hleb and David Bentley, and might be saying to Eck that they’d like a higher return on the investment they made. Nikola Zigic may have scored eight times for us this season, but there is no chance we’ll get anything like the £6mil we spent on him if we sold him; I think there is going to be more concentration on signing players with resale value.

If I’m going to stick my neck on the chopping block, I’d say that I don’t think we’ll spend more than £10million (net, after sales of other players) on players for next season. I suspect we’ll probably end up selling one of our defensive assets if a big team comes in for them; I doubt we’ll make bids for Derbyshire, Bentley or Martins. I’m not paying much attention to transfer stories in the press at the moment, because I think they’re mostly agent-fuelled as they gear up to try and engineer moves; or because they’re people within the national media trying to add two and two to get four.

For me, as I’ve always said it’s not about how much we spend, but who we sign. Providing we stay up, we’ve got to be looking at players who can give us a little bit more guile in midfield, a little bit more pace going forwards and a killer instinct when it comes to sticking the ball in the onion bag. Not only that, but the players we sign have got to have the same grafting ethos the rest of the team shares. Finding them won’t be easy, but things that are worth while never are. As the stories come in, in the close season, I’ll be updating Often Partisan to keep abreast of the rumours. If you hear anything juicy, drop me a line on twitter, or to almajir@oftenpartisan.co.uk


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One Response to “Comings and Goings”

  • Dan says:

    As much as I hate to talk down the work and energy Jerome and Zigic put into their game throughout the season, but we need a clinical striker. Someone who scores on a regular basis.

    I am alright with our defense though I’d like to see another central defender as backup there. The midfield isn’t all too bad, but ageing. Some fresh blood there would be healthy in my opinion.

    And….a striker. And I have to empathise clearly that I hate the constant trashing of Zigic and Jerome everywhere else, but strikers are rated upon their goals which both of them didn’t score too many.

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