No wonder they call it the silly season. Over at TIFF, normally my favourite place to gauge the views of the Fulham faithful, we’ve just had of a day of pretty hectic debate about the merits of Dickson Etuhu (and it wasn’t all that high-minded at times).
Apparently, Etuhu is Roy’s latest transfer target. Nothing wrong with that – but Sunderland and Preston fans reckon he’s pretty poor. I wonder whether signing Etuhu instead of spending £500,000 more (allegedly that it what it would take to match Blackburn’s offer) for Vincent Grella would signify our ambition. Most likely it would probably indicate that having bought in Johnson, Zamora, Pantsil and Stoor, Roy’s spent the vast majority of his transfer budget.
What seems certain is that, for some games, we’ll need a holding midfielder with a bit of bite to compensate for the rather lightweight pairing of Murphy and Bullard. That’s what I thought Roy bought Leon Andreasen for back in January. And when he signed Andranik (and I saw him play in a couple of pre-season games) I thought the Iranian was a nailed on starter. The problem with changing the midfield around is that we’d be losing an essential component of the quartet that secured our safety last season.
Already it looks like Clint Dempsey will have to make him comfortable on the bench for much of the season. Simon Davies was our most consistent performer last term and, while that isn’t exactly high praise, he also filled in on the left for much of Roy’s tenure. Now with Zoltan Gera looking like he’s coming straight into the side, Davies’ long-term future must be under threat unless the Hungarian is going to be deployed out on the left for much of the season.
Dropping one of Bullard or Murphy will sacrifice some of our creativity, but make us harder to break down. The conumdrum that most be going through Hodgson’s mind is whether we can afford to lose some of our potential for unlocking defences, especially when he’s just shelled out for two new centre forwards.
It looks like they’ll be plenty of departures as the transfer window shuts. Moritz Volz, a lovely guy who has slipped behind Pantsil and Stoor in the pecking order, might be off to Ipswich for £500,000. Is it just me or does half a million pounds seem a little light for Volzy? The real shame is that he took to life in the Premiership so well after replacing Steve Finnan, but seemed to stand still (or even regress) under Coleman’s coaching. Apparently, convincing Moritz to drop down a division is testing Jim Magilton, so we’ll await news of his departure with interest.
Sky Sports News are reporting this morning that David Healy, once a transfer target for Newcastle (if you believe what’s in the press), has had a medical at Sunderland whilst on international duty with Northern Ireland. This deal could be part of a swap for Etuhu, but we’ll have to wait and see.