During the summer we lost arguable 3 of our better players in Hooper, Wanyama and Wilson, I think the only position we came close to covering was Centre half. Virgin Van Dijk looks a snip at £2.6M and just got a call up to the Dutch nation squad, or there is heavy talk of it happening. We signed two players who were known to be injury prone in Steven Mouyokolo on a free, who is a decent player and Derk Boerrigter from Ajax for £2.2M, sadly we have seen very little of both players and it doesn’t look like we will for a while yet.
Nir Biton at £720,000 looks ok, but will he play against Ajax? I don’t think so, then there is £1.5M on Amido Balde, I am sorry, I see another Marc-Antoine Fortuné sadly. Wilson was huge loss, Wanyama we know and Hooper we just never even got close to replacing. Pukki looks like a bargain at £2.2M but the chances he misses are too often and he is never where a Hooper would be when crosses come into the box, he needs a bit longer to get used to our style of play. Balde needs a season at least to get to grips with the Scottish game.
Sadly we didn’t replace well, I would rather we had kept hold of Tony Watt, he can score, but perhaps we dented his confidence? Only the kid will know it would be a crying shame if in 10 years we say “Remember that kid that scored the 2nd against Barcelona” I think there was more there. Did we give Gershon and Lassad enough time? Should we have let go of McCourt and Rogne?
My opinion is I think we have a really good squad, but as we head into the Ajax game, here is how we shape up
5 of these players probably would have started, perhaps all 6.
Ledley and Forrest are not fully fit, Izzy was ill.
During the summer here was all the deals we done minus a few loan deals for younger players going out. I think we came out stronger, a smaller squad but stronger, but the smallness of the squad looks like it will haunt us on Tuesday. I will do a pre-match game on Monday regarding the Ajax game; we still have several international players that will play, Ledley, Samaras, Kayal and others.
What are your thoughts on the squad, who we let go and who we brought in? Keep in mind it is perfectly normal for people to disagree with my opinion, because this is all this is, opinions. I would like to hear others on the state of squad. Are we better or worse than last season? I think our biggest mistake was not signing a natural goal scorer who is well known. Alfreð Finnbogason would have been the type. But all said and done, this is what we have, is it good enough? When fit I thin so
Teemu Pukki, Centre Forward, 23 years old, signed from FC Schalke 04 in a £2.2 Million deal
Nir Biton, Defensive Midfield, 21 years old from MS Ashdod for a fee of £720,000
Derk Boerrigter, Left Wing, 26 years old signed from Ajax for £2.2 Million
Steven Mouyokolo, Centre Back, 26 years old, free contract
Virgil van Dijk, Centre Back, 21 years old from FC Groningen for £2.6 Million
Amido Baldé, Centre forward, 22 years old from Vitória Guimarães SC for a fee of £1.5 Million
Total paid: £9.22 Million spent on bringing players in
Tony watt on loan to Lierse SK – No Fee
Paddy McCourt to Barnsley FC for free
Kelvin Wilson, Centre Back, 27 years old sold to Nottingham Forest for £2.5 Million
Gary Hooper, Centre forward, 25 years old to Norwich City for £5.6 Million
Victor Wanyama, Defensive Midfield, 22 year old sold to Southampton FC for £12.75 Million
Thomas Rogne, Centre Back, 23 year old on a free to Wigan Athletic – No Fee
Daryl Murphy, Centre forward, 30 years old on a free to Ipswich Town – No Fee
Lassad Nouioui, Striker, 27 year old, released – No Fee
Miku, Centre Forward, 27 years old, went back to Getafe CF – Loan
Rami Gershon, Centre Back, 24 years old away back to Standard Liège – Loan
Total money brought in: £20.85 Million (Do we dare add 2 seasons of Champions League money) 😀