Edouard and Christie are leaving today, and I don’t doubt that people at our club see their replacements as waiting in the wings.
The thing is, this is plainly not what the manager had in mind when he said that there need to be more incomings if there are outgoings.
The bean counters might think some of us will be fobbed off (most of us won’t be) but I don’t believe for one second that the manager will be.
If these two go – as seems likely – a lot of the board apologists will clap their hands at one player for each position coming in. But we were short wide left before Christie left. With Edouard in the squad he and Kyogo were our only dependable strikers.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that we need to go above and beyond just replacing these guys, though on the left we might be okay as Montgomery starts to emerge as a proper member of the first team squad.
I’m concerned about other areas of the team where the need for reinforcements remains acute.
We still need a central midfielder. This is a song I’ve been singing for months, in spite of us capturing McCarthy.
We lost Brown and we lost Ntcham.
We need at least one more midfield ball winner.
We have done well to get cover at right back, but where’s the left back?
We have brought in one central defender, but we lost two from the first team squad in the summer.
The loss of Christie doesn’t hurt us if we’re signing Jota. It’s a good move, he’s a good player and more than a decent upgrade. Rogic’s return to the team means we’re covered in the attacking midfield department, so I’m not mourning that.
But I’d also like to see us bring in another forward, even as a short term option.
We lost Klimala, we’re losing Edouard and now Griffiths as well.
We’ve brought in Kyogo, who’s been a sensation, and the Greek arrives today … but the manager’s made it plain that this might not be enough.
Our board has raked in £50 million in transfer fees in short order.
That’s a net gain of more than £25 million considering spending.
Some of that money should be kept in reserve; I’m a realist, I have no problem with that. But banking a massive surplus whilst the team remains short in critical areas is just not on and people will have a serious problem with that.
I don’t believe that there aren’t UK based targets we can go out there and get. This is the day for it. Some of them remain on our doorstep; Doig, McCann, Nisbet, Ferguson, Porteous. Some of those guys can be tied up easily, if we’re willing to pay for them.
I’m not daft enough to believe there won’t be at least one loanee above and beyond the Portuguese.
This task was never going to be completed in one window without that, no matter how far we were willing to go with the spending. But no more projects to develop for other people; I’d rather see us spend nothing and give our own youth a chance as do that.
The manager puts a lot of store in having rotation options.
This squad does not presently allow him to have those options.
That might fly at a club which was on its knees, which hadn’t sold out season tickets, which hadn’t raked in a massive sum from sales of players … but it’s not going to fly when we have tens of millions sitting in the bank.
Is it the balance sheet we value, or the team sheet? We have a manager with a singular vision, a manager who knows exactly where he wants us to go.
This board must not become an obstacle to that.
Today they can show us something positive … or they can set themselves on yet another collision course with the fan-base, and this one having to actually face the supporters inside the ground.