Often Partisan

Transfer Targets

With it being the close season, besides the World Cup the only thing to talk about in club football is the transfer market.

Birmingham City have already spent a fair old wedge of money to secure three signings – Ben Foster from Manchester United, Enric Valles from NAC Breda and Nikola Zigic from Valencia. With it only being the second week in June, this is pretty good going; most transfers don’t really start to happen until clubs report back for pre-season training; with this being a World Cup year it’s even harder for some of the top players to think about moving clubs whilst they train with their respective international sides.

I personally believe that this summer window will be a markedly different one from ones that have gone by. I think the years of massive spending by a lot of clubs is over; a lot of clubs seem to be concentrating on conserving their cash a little as the economic downturn still has the world’s markets in it’s grubby grip. There is also the prospect of a new quota system which restricts the number of players over the age of 21 a team can have to just 25, and forces them to register a certain number of homegrown players.

I suspect that this means some of the more fringe players at the top clubs will now find at the age of 21 they have the choice of either getting into the first team sharpish, or finding a new team sharpish. Teams can’t afford to carry fifth or sixth choice players who are older than 21 because it will take up a place on the team that could be better used elsewhere. I suspect this is one reason Ben Foster was moved on – with two other keepers overage in the squad, Manchester United probably didn’t feel they could carry a third overage keeper.

I also think this is the reasoning behind us signing Enric Valles – he’s probably barely a household name in his own house, let alone here, but he’s young (20), and thus doesn’t take up that space on the squad – and thus is a useful cover player. We’ve signed him for 12 months – if he gets into the first team and proves himself, we extend the deal, we win. If he doesn’t, we ankle him, we lose little. Eck was quoted as saying that he’s not on Premiership wages BUT he is incentivised to make the first team – ie he’s probably got big appearance fees in his deal.

I think this is the way for Birmingham City to go. We can’t afford to sign top, top players yet – even with our millions of Chinese Yuan coming into the club; we need to look for the stars of tomorrow, bring them in young and develop them. Sure, only a small percentage will make it, but Keith Fahey is proof that gambles can pay off. Fahey isn’t a world beater, but he’s probably worth a damn site more than we paid St Pats for him. Terry Westley is supposed to be a top youth coach; Paul Montgomery is supposed to be a top scout. Let’s make them prove their reputations.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating