As we sit here with 3 days of the transfer window left.
We all hear plenty and have our own views: –
The Squad is too thin
This and that player needs to go.
Judge the Board on 1st Feb.
Judge the Board in the Summer.
We need to sell first.
Until you look at it in detail, do you really understand how big a problem we are in and if we don’t add to the squad now with 2-3 permanent replacement players then the summer will be a massive problem if we are going to have a squad to complete for anything other than a relegation fight.
As I see it today, we have a senior squad of 23 players
This includes 2 loans in Joe Hart & Jaoa Mario and I have included Declan Rice from what I would call youth players.
GK Adrian, Hart
Defenders Cresswell, Masuaka, Zabaleta, Bryam, Reid, Fonte, Collins, Ogbonna, Rice
Midfield Kouyate, Obiang, Noble, Arnautovic, Lanzini, Antonio, Fernandes, Mario
Forwards Carroll, Sakho, Hernandez, Ayew
Youth not included – Cullen, Burke, Quina, Haksabaovic, Oxford & Martinez
You could argue that the squad is 22 without Rice who is 18.
And Arnautovic is a forward.
So is the premier league squad too thin in numbers, probably not as the limit is 25.
But if you take out the players with constant injury problems such as Carroll and Sakho then 22-23 probably is.
Check my table below, including age on 1st Aug 2018.
You don’t need to agree will all my views but see what number you get to after reviewing each player.
Replacements may come from youth but if we are going to run with a 23 man or less squad again then we need to be sure they are at the right level such as Rice.
Otherwise 23 men will be short.
Also look at how the squad is ageing. Quite a few have been at the club a while now.
If we do not take on any permanent signings in the next 3 days then we could need up to 8 players in the summer.
NO WAY will this happen to the level we will require to improve and even if our board suddenly changed overnight, not many teams do well when that number of players are brought in at the start of a season.
And what sort of money would it take?
Ok 2 or 3 could be loan and then should be kept filling last minute gaps and for young players showing potential with an option to buy as per Lanzini.
A few of my thoughts.
Hart – Not impressed so will need to be replaced with a back up keeper or No1 above Adrian.
Masuaka – Very skilful and still young but needs to improve his final ball otherwise should not be in the 1st team
Zabaleta/Byram – I feel there will need to be a change at RWB for 2018-19 if we continue with a back 3/5, it is not ideal for Zabaleta at his age. Will he be happy to finish his career as a squad player?
Winston Reid – Is he still as good as he was? I always thought Ogbonna was the week link when they played together but I’m not sure now with Ogbonna playing well without Reid.
So is it time to replace Reid?
Fonte/Collins – Probably only room for 1 of them at their age, 1 needs replacing.
Rice – 1st teamer in my view for next season
Mario – Too early to see how good he will be but will need to be signed or replaced.
40 million to keep though? Will have to be outstanding and even then, I can’t see our board paying.
Arnautovic/Antonio/Lanzini – The team needs to be built around these in my view.
With the correct players being brought in for a system with them in.
But if a club comes in for any of them and we sell then they will also need to be replaced.
Kouyate – Replace due to form but only if a better player comes in
Noble – Still a 1st teamer for me, at least until better players come in.
Carroll/Sakho/Ayew – All need to be replaced. Carroll and Sakho just for injuries and Ayew as I don’t know where he fits.
Hernandez – What is our system going to be? If it doesn’t involve 2 up front then he needs to be replaced. Or we need to build a system around him
So how many players do you feel need to be replaced before next season taking all the factors into consideration?
Form, Age, Injury record, system played, value for wage.
Be interesting what number you get to.
|DOB||Age (1st Aug)||IMO – 1st team / Replace?|
|Joe Hart (Loan)||GK||19/04/1987||31||Squad||Replace|
|Aaron Cresswell||LB||15/12/1989||28||1st Team|
|Pablo Zabaleta||RB||16/01/1985||33||1st Team/Squad||Last Season age|
|Sam Byram||RB||16/09/1993||24||1st Team/Squad|
|James Collins||CB||23/08/1983||34||New 1 year deal|
|Angelo Ogbonna||CB||23/05/1988||30||1st Team|
|Declan Rice||CB?||14/01/1999||19||1st Team|
|Mark Noble||CM||08/05/1987||31||1st Team/Squad|
|Jaoa Mario (Loan)||AM||19/01/1993||25||Replace or Sign|
|Marko Arnautovic||AM||19/04/1989||29||1st Team|
|Manuel Lanzini||AM||15/02/1993||25||1st Team|
|Michail Antonio||RW||28/03/1990||28||1st Team|
|Javier Hernandez||CF||01/06/1988||30||1st Team||But probably replace as don’t fit System|