We all know that we’re not a rich club (understatement) and that the squad needs strengthening.
We’ve already lost 3 senior playing staff in Neville, Mucha and Hitzlsperger. None of them played really major roles last season, except perhaps Pip, but it does mean that, in order just to be back where we were at the end of the season, we need 3 new players. And that’s before we even start talking about strengthening.
From what I’ve seen in the press, it appears that Martinez is in an all too familiar sell-to-buy situation.
The BBC football website published a list of players released from their clubs in the Premier League and I think there are potentially 3 or 4 who could come in on a free and do a job, at least as squad players. Whilst, for the better players, wage demands might well kill any potential deal, there are some that are worth checking out.
There’s not too much to get excited about, but in my opinion, the pick of the bunch are:–
Arshavin, at 32 still has a few decent years left and would certainly bring some skill and creativity to our attack. Although he’s been a bit off the boil recently at Arsenal I think that, given a run in the first team, he’s probably the only player on a free who might really improve our first 18.
Benayoun and Malouda from Chelsea, whilst both on the old side, they certainly have the talent and experience to add something. Also Turnbull and Hilario have been released by Chelsea, who could be adequate replacements for Mucha. The obvious sticking point for any Chelsea players would be wages.
Another keeper released is Schwarzer who, despite being the wrong side of 40, would be good cover for Howard, albeit very temporarily.
If Heitinga really wants to go, then perhaps Gallas would be a decent option on a free from Spurs. Again, at 35, he is getting long in the tooth but he would bolster the squad with his experience and leave any money from Heitinga’s sale to be spent on improving other areas, or bringing in a younger centre back. Again wages may be an issue.
One player who may be a realistic option is Franco di Santo, released by Wigan. Whilst his stats aren'’t that impressive, he was in a struggling Wigan side and, at only 24, he has time on his side.
Richard Parker, Posted 13/06/2013 at 07:42:16
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422 Posted 13/06/2013 at 15:12:33
Alcaraz on a free is fair enough, but we need young hungry players, not over-the-hill has-beens who just want a last pay day.
423 Posted 13/06/2013 at 15:16:43
424 Posted 13/06/2013 at 15:12:41
The rest are simply too old or in Turnbull and di Santo's case not good enough, just because they are free agents doesn't necessarily mean they are value for money, the likes of Gallas and Benayoun would expect top dollar in wages. Would be interested to see who has been released on the continent though.
426 Posted 13/06/2013 at 15:27:55
All of the half-decent ones will have massive wage demands and no sell-on value.
430 Posted 13/06/2013 at 16:09:42
433 Posted 13/06/2013 at 16:33:33
442 Posted 13/06/2013 at 17:16:27
443 Posted 13/06/2013 at 17:16:14
I wouldn't mind seeing Parker and Dunne at the club myself Jim. I think both may look to be regular starters though so it would depend on who makes the space. With this in mind, I could see both players go to newly promoted clubs instead.
445 Posted 13/06/2013 at 17:28:41
I don't believe that Martinez has to sell to buy either.
Moyes, Mucha, Neville, Hitz all off the wage bill. I suspect that is the best part of £10M saved per season. I also assume that RM will get the bulk of the additional tv money that is coming this season. I'm not aware that any of it was spent by Moyes after the Fer transfer collapsed.
453 Posted 13/06/2013 at 17:49:20
Don't see any value in any of the other freebies mentioned.
458 Posted 13/06/2013 at 18:01:10
(*On that note first choice keeper should have 1 on their backs not their favourite high school basketball players number or whatever it is and whilst I'm ranting keepers wear green tops and only other colour permitted should be yellow if they're internationals, and jumpers for goal posts...)
471 Posted 13/06/2013 at 18:56:48
Wouldn't take any of them on a free. That includes free wages!!!
473 Posted 13/06/2013 at 19:43:42
479 Posted 13/06/2013 at 19:57:26
It's pretty tough to keep two high quality competitive keepers happy, because the position doesn't lend itself to rotation in the same way as outfield roles.
480 Posted 13/06/2013 at 19:53:55
Remember Howard, Distin, Jagielka, Hibbert, Pienaar and Osman are all in their 30's and Baines and Jelavic are only a couple of years away from joining them.
Martinez needs to start looking at younger players and maybe even giving youngsters like Barkley, Stones, Duffy and Vellios a decent run in the team.
481 Posted 13/06/2013 at 19:59:49
If Martinez seriously respects our youth set up then give them some experience at least - Villa did it, wobbled a lot but at the end of the season they have developed some good youngsters for future seasons
482 Posted 13/06/2013 at 20:12:47
485 Posted 13/06/2013 at 20:13:36
I agree with comments about bringing some of our youth on - particularly those mentioned above - but also feel we need 4-5 decent signings (keeper, centre back, 2 midfielders and a striker ~ an outlay of circa £20m if we shop abroad?).
After all, I fully expect us to be in the CL places and "you don't win anything with kids."
486 Posted 13/06/2013 at 20:19:30
487 Posted 13/06/2013 at 20:26:33
489 Posted 13/06/2013 at 20:29:56
However the skeptical among us will remember the Yobo loan agreement and Fenerbache's ungentlemanly conduct reneging on the payment.
495 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:01:55
The other ones though are a no go. I shudder at the thought of the wages that Gallas and Arshavin would want. Think Gallas would do a job for Monaco or something. Schwarzer would be expensive cover as well.
Hear that Redmond from Birmingham is likely to leave for 1m this summer. This is the sort of 'bargain' we should be looking at
496 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:12:43
499 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:14:15
500 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:22:04
501 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:29:09
Can someone remind me what happened with these players and the manager at Wigan? So someone thinks the way to improve our team that finished 6th is to buy 4/5 players that just got relegated. You couldn't make it up, let's hope that the press have put 2 and 2 together and got 5.
502 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:40:48
Aston Villa have a young side who will be better next season with the experience they've had, their issue was the lack of older heads to guide the young ones - we have them in abundance at Everton and plenty of young lads who hardly got a chance under Moyes. Be interesting to see how the Everton players in the England U20's fair.
508 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:19:18
512 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:28:14
Martinez would surely be better looking at players with a re-sale value than those coming to an end of their career. Appreciate that there are still some cracking players out there but as its been said we have an ageing squad already.
617 Posted 14/06/2013 at 14:24:25
Such an appointee would need to be in place sooner or later if we are to be in the hunt for bargains rather than shopping at the last minute clearance counter, as is usual.
695 Posted 14/06/2013 at 20:10:50
Ross Turnbull (Chelsea)
Sanchez Watt (Arsenal)
699 Posted 14/06/2013 at 20:32:20
Conor Henderson (Arsenal)
806 Posted 15/06/2013 at 15:04:36
081 Posted 16/06/2013 at 14:34:11
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