With the season well and truly over, some look forward to having their Saturday’s free and enjoy the chance of getting away from football. However, I myself find having no football to attend on a Saturday a forced withdrawal, I mean without having a Millwall game on a Saturday what else are you meant to do with yourself? The Euro’s is an added spectacle of course, however there is more to following your team then just the game at 3pm.
To make up for the withdrawal from Millwall, I instead like many look through Twitter and other sites, on the search for potential transfer news and eager to see who will be joining the club but also who will be leaving. It looks destined that a departure out of our hands will be Mark Beevers, who looks set to leave the club and return to a club closer to home “up north”. While it’s a big shame to see Beevers leave after four years of great service, it also means the club will have a gap to fill, and makes it interesting as a fan to speculate over.
If you asked me last season what we needed in the side for new arrivals, you probably could’ve argued for a new player in every single position; of course after a relegation campaign no one could cover themselves in glory. We had a decision to make on who would be first choice goalkeeper, who would be in the heart of defence, and also which players would be leading the line and scoring the all important goals for the team.
This summer the feeling is different, we don’t have many of the seasoned pro’s who weren’t doing the business, instead we have a young hungry team with many of the players not even close to their full potential. Our best XI still has it’s flaws, but there isn’t any reason why we won’t be able to build on last season and certainly be in the battle for the top. I took to Twitter, and kindly over 100 of my followers had their vote and 71% of us all agree the priority for signings this summer is in the midfield area.
If you don’t follow me on Twitter, surely having the chance to vote on polls like this give you all the reason to follow right?
To break this down, most agree we probably need a central midfielder to provide the ability to keep the ball and have a range of passing under their belt; something we all felt last summer Shaun Williams would be able to do. There is also an obvious vacancy in the wide areas with loan signing Chris Taylor returning to parent club Blackburn, leaving us with Fred Onyedinma and Shane Ferguson as our wingers on either flank. It seems Taylor is likely to commit to the club at the end of his contract with Blackburn which expires this month, however its clear nothing is guaranteed with this deal as of yet.
Personally, I feel since Jed Wallace left the club after being recalled we haven’t had the same success which Wallace brought when playing. Direct and quick with the ball, Wallace provided an outlet which also brought other players into play, most notably Lee Gregory getting on the end of many Wallace assists for his goals at the start of the year. Taylor was brought in once Wallace had left, but personally I’d prefer we looked elsewhere to find a winger in the mould which Wallace was for the side.
Taylor did a great job in filling the void left by Wallace, but looking long-term I don’t believe signing Taylor is the answer. Perhaps Onyedinma could provide the answer, after starting last season being a regular, Onyedinma was quickly sussed by opposition and struggled to make the same impact. If there was a player I’d want Onyednima to mirror it would certainly be Jed Wallace. Still being on the other side of 20 still only a teenager, it’s obvious the best is still to come, and perhaps being out of the side could’ve done Onyedinma the world of good.
Perhaps due to the tactics and formation organised by Neil Harris, it seems on occasion during matches we struggle to keep the ball and miss out the midfield by constantly looking for Steve Morison with a “long punt forward.” There’s more to it then a long ball to the tall striker, but at times including our Wembley final we look very one dimensional and predictable. As a fan, I’d love to see the side have the ability to keep the ball, but at our club it is often said only one style of play is allowed.
Along with at least one winger, we have to make it a priority to bring in a ball playing midfielder. Shaun Williams just doesn’t seem to fit in to the side Harris wants to play, and when you’re at home against a team struggling at the bottom of the division, we need players who can get hold of the ball and pick out defence splitting passes. Lining up with Jimmy Abdou and Ben Thompson works superbly in an away game playing on the counter, but in games where we are expected to dominate we need almost a Nicky Bailey type midfielder. Not only did Bailey have the potential to pick out passes, he could get on the ball and dictate play, while not shying away from a tackle.
It would be great to have your opinion on even perhaps a player we could sign, be sure to leave a comment below or reach me on Twitter.