Often Partisan

The Roger Johnson Connection

A two line story on the Daily Mail website, firstly mentioned by Neil Moxley on twitter last night, has got some Blues fans a-flutter. It would appear that Peter Pannu’s insistence that no one was going to be sold cheaply was more than just bullish words for a newspaper reporter – Blues want big money for their players and have quoted Sunderland £14mil for Roger Johnson.

If I’m honest, I don’t believe Roger Johnson is worth that much money. Okay, he’s a courageous player, who will play on with gritted teeth despite hurting. He’s not afraid of much, he’ll put anything he can on the line to clear the ball and he’s a leader-type. In saying that, I fear Rog has started to believe the hype himself, and the last few months at Blues have been scarred with some performances that haven’t reached the high bar he set himself.

In addition to that, as far as we know Rog has just 12 months left on his contract. Now it may be that there is an option on his contract – in fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that was the case – but if that isn’t the case, an eight figure sum is huge for a player who can effectively walk away for nothing in a year. Whilst I understand it’s the starting point for negotiations, I personally cannot see any team offering anything close to that. I think we’ll be lucky to get more than £8million for Roger – and that is pushing it for a player who has only two years top flight experience.

Maybe I’m doing Rog a disservice. I don’t believe he’s missed one minute of Premiership action under us – he’s certainly started every league game. That would give the impression that he doesn’t get injured much, and he’s not been suspended for any league games – both of which are admirable qualities in a rugged centre-half. As I’ve said before, he’s a leader-type and it’s true to say that there are a few defences at the top end of the Premiership who lack a leader – Arsenal I think are a brilliant example of this. At 28, Roger is probably at the peak of his fitness and his game – a ready made player for most Premiership teams. Throw in the fact he’s “homegrown” according to the quota rules, and presto – he’s probably worth a fair bit.

Do I think we should sell? The answer to this for me is yes, if we can get more than £7mil or so for him. He’s a good player, way too good for the Championship, and I fear if we kept him and failed to go up he’d lose a hefty chunk of his value. Whilst there has been no outward indication we’re hurting for cash I’m sure Carson wouldn’t mind a cash injection of £7mil plus, in addition to the savings in wages. We’re pretty well covered at the centre half position with Dann, Davies and even Ridgewell who can slot in. We’ve done well in the past in picking up good centre-halves and I’m sure we could find another young player to use as backup to what we have for a lot less than £7mil.

At the end of the day (oh how I hate that cliché), it’s a two line article on the Mail website. It may well not be true, Johnson could very well be lining up for us when the season restarts on August 6. However, I think this is the first shot in the transfer battle for a few of our players this summer.

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9 Responses to “The Roger Johnson Connection”

  • Aff says:

    Hard to disagree with any of that, mate. Although I’m sure many will try :-)

  • Surely the point isn’t neceessarily what the player is ‘worth’ but more to do with the fact we’ll have to replace him! We’re already down to the ‘bare bones’ (another cliche!) so need to build, not sell, so if we’re to sell a £7m rated player (your own value) teams will need to pay a premium. The £10m+ suggested by Pannu is smack on IMHO.

    I just hope – if we are selling ANY players at all, that we do it NOW, so we have time to bring in replacements!

  • Lee says:

    I didnt actual know he had 12 months left and if that’s the case then you make a very strong argument that providing ofcourse that blues can’t tempt him into another contract. But let’s not kid ourselves fellow blue noses Johnson knows that biggers clubs want him which means a bigger stage to play on and a good crack at international football. I don’t think he would want another contract with us unless he is very loyal

  • Ron Tennant says:

    I think that all the players who “helped” The Blues” go down should stick around if still wanted by the club & play their part in getting us back up again. Signing Best from Newcastle seems a good idea..lack of goals was ultimately the reason we got relegated.Pity Kevin Philips isn’t 10 years younger!
    I realise a few of the big earners will have to be let go but I’m sure an immediate return to the Premiership can happen.

  • AR says:

    If we have an option on his contract I would be very disappointed to let him go for £7 million. If one can believe that Bolton want £18 million for Cahill, then surely RJ must be up there.You have pointed out his number of appearances & lack of suspensions apart from his gutsy ability, & I believe we paid £5 million for him as a Championship player. £7 million just isn’t enough, & we can be sure that other Premiership clubs will be after the younger Dann. Then what?

  • Billy says:

    Seems pointless to sell for that much, we get a few injuries (Dann breaks down again) & we are screwed.

    Other than Carr we are extremely short on full backs & if we move Ridge into the centre it gets even worse.

    With the potential riches of promotion its seems idiotic to sell unless its big money as it may cause us not to get promoted.

  • tom jones says:

    I think you’ll find that blues have an option on him, I remember seeing it quoted on another site! as for his worth people have already mentioned cahill @£18m and not forgetting Smalling who was just a bit part player at fulham who went for between £8-10m. RJ has had 2 premier seasons under his belt and played better than most centre halfs in the prem. £14m doesn’t seem a bad starting point

  • mark gold says:

    think its got to 14 million or he stays 7 mill way to cheap

  • Intheknow says:

    Neil Moxley and the Daily Mail have an agenda against Pannu and Blues. Remember that and Johnson has more than a year left on his contract

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