I like Jozo Simunovic. I would have him in the squad, if not the team, when everyone else was fit.
My centre back partnership would be Jullien and Ajer, but he is more than an able deputy for either of them.
When he is fit. And there is the issue.
Jozo Simunovic is injury prone.
He cannot be relied on to play more than a handful of games at a time without disappearing for weeks.
This has haunted him all the way from the moment he signed for the club.
He is a classy footballer, but this happens a lot.
He signed for us in 2015, and almost immediately got an ankle injury that put him out for a while.
The issues have haunted him ever since. He has had three seasons in five years where he’s made more than 30 appearances, but only one in which he had more than 20 in the SPL, and that was his second. This season he has yet to appear in a domestic game.
He managed only 18 league games in the whole of the last campaign, when he was one of our first choice players.
This is a real concern.
The season before that he played only 15 times in the league.
We all love the guy, but he’s no use to us on the side-lines.
I would not have sold Simunovic in the summer. I wouldn’t sell a fit Simunovic now.
But this guy spends more time out of the team than in it, and that doesn’t help us.
It’s the argument against keeping Bitton, but I’d give Nir a new deal because he’s versatile and one of the positions he’s played this season is at central defence.
We need to think about the future here, and although Simo has proved himself a very capable footballer his injury issues should concern us, as should his tendency to do rash things in big games. There may be a case here for looking at a January sale … if we can replace him.
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