Roy Hodgson seems worried about the prospect of signing Giles Barnes on a permanent basis if the midfielder is unable to prove his worth to the first team by the end of the season.

Barnes has yet to play for the first team since joining on loan from Derby and has seen his eye-catching form for the reserves disrupted by injuries. While Hodgson has no complaints about the youngster’s attitude – and has recently commented on how much weight he has lost since being at Fulham – he would be reluctant to gamble on a player who he hasn’t seen in a first team game.

Talking to my local paper, Hodgson said:

If the worst happens and we have to inject him – then it’s two weeks before he can play while the ankle settles down – and that would take us through to the end of the season.

You say it might be cheaper to buy an injured player. But it would mean we would be taking a chance on somebody whom we haven’t researched properly.