1958Villan takes a look at the squad, wage issues and where we need to improve.
It has to be a mixture really, I mean it’s been reported that Randy Lerner has suggested, that he doesn’t want to pay out anymore than £40k a week, as an average wage. With a 25 man squad that comes to a million a week.
I obviously don’t have a clue what our youngsters in the first team squad are being paid but, I wouldn’t expect them to be on anymore than £20k max and probably more like half of that amount.
Now if we take the higher figure as the standard, that is £20k for each of the academy recruits, it will leave us quite a bit of movement in wages for the experienced members of the squad, ranging from £20k to £80k a week.
Do we actually need a first team squad of 25 bodies?
I’m sure that even a manager who changed around a side on a weekly basis, could do a season with 20 to 22/3 players, leaving us an extra two or three £40k wage packs to play with.
The big trick will be, to bring in players that are a mixture of potential and experience. Although that might be easier this year as there are a number of highly rated players on Bosmans, for a number of reasons.
I would personally be looking to bring in some experienced players from the continent, for a number of reasons really. One, is that a player from the continent, who is of an equal ability to a British player, will cost less to buy. Two, that player from the continent will demand less a week in wages, therefore being a better all around buy. Three, players from the continent, tend to look after themselves a whole lot better than the majority of British players and so would be far better examples to the youngsters at the club and after the examples they have had over the last two years, they definitely need some positive examples to mold themselves after.
Now the type of players I would be looking at.
We need at least one goalkeeper who is going to be challenging Given and I would be looking at two keepers, selling Given.
It makes financial sense to sell Shay, he is slowing down, reflex wise and for the kind of keeper he is, one who stays on his line, that is the beginning of the end.
Also he is somewhat injury prone and on a long contract.
I would be looking at keepers of the quality of Craig Gordon, 29, and Yohann Pele, 26, from Toulouse.
Rightback, Hutton has already been told to find another club and we do seem determined to get Naughton.
Centrebacks, I would be looking to sell on both of our senior centrebacks and replace them with players of the calibre of Ghananian international Derek Boateng 29 from Dnipro, who is available for £2m. The reason for his availability at such a reasonable fee is that since he joined the club he has been subjected to some vicious racist attacks from the fans. He is also two players in one, being not only an international centreback but, a defensive midfielder too.
To partner him I would be looking at someone like Tonel, 32, a Portugese International centreback who is on a Bosman from Dinamo Zagreb.
Following these, I would be looking to strengthen the centre of midfield with a good holding player along the lines of Miquel Veloso, 26, from Getafe. Again a Portugese international.
I would like to see him partnered in the centre of midfield with someone like Milan Badelj, 23, from Dinamo Zagreb. They were willing to talk for a fee of £8.5m last year but, he has a year less on his contract now. Again this young man is a Croatian international.
We need a left-sided midfielder and I would love to see Maxi Rodriguez, 31, in our side. He can force a sale through as he didn’t start a set number of games last season.
Up front I know Jermain Defoe, 29, is available for £10m and he is on £60k at Spurs.
A Bosman that I would bust a gut to sign up is Alexander Frei, 33, from FC Basel. He has been scoring goals for fun all of his career, including in internationals. Last season he scored a hat-trick at Old Trafford to put Utd out of Europe, so I would think he could handle the Premiership.
If not Frei, then I would go for another Bosman in Olympiakos’ Marko Pantelic, 34, even for one season he would give invalueable cover and provide time to hunt around for a more permanent replacement.
However you do it, quite a financial balancing trick.
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