…of a closing down sale
Midfielder Mark Davies is reportedly on the verge of completing a switch to Sheffield Wednesday after a fee in the region of £700,000 was agreed upon. It is also claimed that Middlesborough made an offer of £500,000 earlier on but this was rejected by the club. This has been met with mixed feelings from the Wanderers faithful, many of whom feel that Davies` talent means that he should have commanded a much greater transfer fee.
I personally feel that this is a fair price. It`s not a reflection of his ability at all, but if football was just a reflection of ability the England squad would probably contain the likes of Ravel Morrison and Hatem Ben Arfa would be one of the best players in the world. There doesn`t appear to be anything wrong with Sparky`s attitude unlike those two mentioned- he always seems to work hard as he scampers around the pitch and he hasn`t moaned but at the same time he simply cannot play enough games due to his constant injury concerns.
If we had one of the biggest wage budgets in the Championship (which we once had)- let`s say we`re in Derby`s position now, (they`ve got an ex-Real Madrid assistant as manager as well as the funds to shell out over 10 million on two centre mids even though they already have the likes of George Thorne, Geoff Hendrick and Will Hughes) then I`d be happy to carry Mark `20-Game-A-Season` Davies around because he`s a very talented individual. However, the position we`re in is such that we simply cannot afford risks- that`s why we let Craig Davies go in the summer- great when fit but not fit enough.
It is also said that Mark Davies` wages cost the club around £1 million a year which probably is the going rate for a player of his ability in the Championship so, not that he doesn`t deserve it, but we cannot afford to be paying that much money for anyone- let alone someone who can only play 50% of our games.
With Mavies I`ve also always got the impression that he`s one of those players who really needs to be playing alongside good players to bring the best out of him. With the likes of Stuart Holden in the Premier League he looked good enough for England. With Neil Danns and Darren Pratley, not so much.
So there`s some money in the bank, but it`s certainly not our financial problems solved! Davies gone, we`re left with the returning Liam Trotter, captain Darren Pratley, hardworking Neil Danns, the ex-captain Jay Spearing and homegrown Josh Vela. That`s a lot of centre midfielders, and in all honesty, we`re probably fine in that department without him.
That is, if we don`t lose anymore. I`m not going to go into much detail about Liam Trotter- you know what I think about him: he`s strongly built, okay on the ball but weirdly immobile and doesn`t look to me like he cares which is something I hate saying. Pratley works hard and we can never take that away from him, but since returning from injury and being handed the captains armband, he`s looked like the Darren Pratley of old and for those who are just joining us now and don`t know who the Darren Pratley of old was or just want to read some of former editor, Quentin X`s finest, look no further: “As for the rest, you don’t need to get me started on Dazza Prazza. Brendan Rodgers must piss his sides every time he hears the name. Yes, he was a free, but I’d still be looking for the money back. He is just not Premier League quality and it is no surprise that Rodgers took the decision to leave him out of the Swansea team towards the end of their promotion season. As such, alarm bells should have rung in the Reebok offices. Instead, his signing was gleefully announced as a major signing and he then spent the rest of the season determined to prove them wrong. One goal in the league, a free header against QPR, a number of woeful appearances and a mystery virus at the end of the season. As I said in my round up of the midfield, he has proved to be the worst buy in a long time. Even though he was free, there should be recourse to getting some money back.” Now Neil Danns is a decent Championship midfielder on the whole- he works very hard which is his main asset. However, I feel that he, too, needs to be playing alongside someone with that extra bit of quality and cutting edge to bring the best out of him. My feelings with regards to Jay Spearing are that he`s a very good Championship midfielder but plays for the wrong team and needs a move away which is a shame because it`s clear that he loves Bolton. Now, onto Josh- one of the bigger topics: I feel he`s talented, and has a natural footballing brain. However, I`m going to be a bit controversial here and say that I don`t think he`s that good on the ball- he doesn`t have the quality that the likes of Spearing has. (Don`t get me wrong, he`s not bad though!) And I don`t think that he will improve that much. I would cash in on him. There`s also this chap called Kamara on our team list. Is it Chris?
To be honest, with the exception of Zach Clough and Max Clayton, I would cash in on any of our players and I presume that`s what will have to be done. Neil Lennon has made it clear that he won`t just give everyone away, which is encouraging, but if we receive anywhere near a fair price for anyone else, I think we`d take it. The likes of Dean Moxey, Dorian Dervite and Francesco Pisano are all already linked with moves away. As I`ve always said, if you`ve played regular football in the Championship for a few seasons (not that Pisano has, his interest if from Italy), it stands you in very good stead and recognised Championship players can almost always find themselves Championship clubs if available on the cheap- be it a loan or free transfer because of that, no mater how they performed last season.