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16 Days Untill the Shops Open


villafan306
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By villafan306

And the January Sales begin, who will come and who will go? Villafan306 speculates.

New owner, new manager, all that’s left are new signings. Whilst Petrov has been the only signing that commanded a transfer fee, Chris Sutton has also been very valuable to the team. Didier Agathe has faltered and Gabor Kiraly is only a short term solution.

The January window gives Martin O'Neill his first big chance to stamp his mark on the team. He can begin to mould the team the way he sees fit and with Lerner's millions behind him new faces are bound to arrive at some point in January.

The last two seasons have given us a miserable January - with only one signing made in those two Januarys and lets face it he has hardly set the world alight. Ok, that's an exaggeration - he has hardly made the team sheet would be more appropriate. Eric Djemba Djemba was signed in January 2005 on the 31st. A panic buy really, and a waste of £1.3million.

This season however, it is likely that we will see some players coming in who will make a difference.

So far the most hotly tipped player to join us is Tottenham’s Jermaine Defoe. The England international is reportedly frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities at White Hart Lane, and with Baros misfiring at the moment Defoe could be the answer to our striking problems. Another link has been Man Utd's Alan Smith. I assume it is as a striker and not a midfielder because, well, he isn't really a midfielder. However, with Luke Moore returning in January and counting Agbonlahor we would have 6 strikers should another striker join, so the smart money would be on at least one of Baros and Angel leaving (my money would be on Baros).

Our real problem position for me though is right midfield. Gabby has pace but for me he is better as a striker and his final delivery is a little lacking. The links for this position have been James Milner, who Newcastle recalled on the deadline day just as he was about to sign on the dotted line for us, and Shawn Wright-Phillips who is also coveted by West Ham. Either would be a good solution in my view. They are both young, talented and will be knocking on the door of the England international team if they can get a solid first team run. I can't really see why either player would reject a move here at the moment, especially if we are in the top 6 come January. As far as midfielders leaving go, I expect Djemba Djemba to be on his bike sooner rather than later and don't be surprised to see Berger or Hendrie leave the club on a permanent basis.

Defence is a tough issue. Personally I think we need a right back and that's all. Others feel a new left back is required though and I think MON will be looking in both areas for new signings. No links here that have been widely touted but Matthew Upson of Small Heath is one of the names that has been thrown around while Leicester City's young right back (his name escapes me - Stearman perhaps?) is another potential signing. I doubt any defenders will leave in January, maybe in the summer Samuel and Hughes will be off though.

As far as goalkeepers are concerned I can't see any movement in the near future. Kiraly will stay until both Sorensen and Taylor are fit but unless he really impresses he will be heading back to Selhurst Park.

It will be an interesting month - that's the only certainty. I personally think we will see 3 or 4 new faces and say goodbye to one or two old ones. Agathe and Djemba Djemba are my tips to leave, but who will come in? That's the issue we can get excited about for the first time in quite a while.

Word of warning though, looking around the boards I see names like Klose being banded about. That won't happen. Yes we have money but to attract the top players like that we first need to get into Europe. That will be done by buying top players from the Championship and quality signings of the squad players from the top teams in the country. The likes of Defoe and SWP are most likely the best players we can attract right now. The summer could bring in one or two real world class players, but don't expect too much too soon.

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I would have thought Defoe is more of a long shot now considering his recent run of goalscoring form.

I'd love SWP but I'm sure West Ham are favourites at the minute seen as making the short trip across London perhaps on loan would suit most parties. (except us)

Also haven't Newcastle said Milner won't be leaving?

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Right down the Middle for me

Goalkeeper

Sorenson - reasonable enough keeper and well worth the 2m paid. But is he actually world class ? - if we can't get murray from wolves - then I wouldn't be surprised at a big name signing from abroad

Centre Back

Laursen - I have given up on - you would be foolish to rely on him for a whole season.

Ridgewell , Looks only to be a squad player - Cahil - seems to need a little more time - Delaney quality - but injury prone. That only leaves Mellberg !

Centre Forward

Bellamy, from what I hear is number 1 target - his recent form form liverpool may mean they are reluctant to sell though. Can't see us getting defoe , if MON is after a small nippy player - Bent from charlton would seem more gettable.

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This is part of the problem, tbh. People aren't looking at now, they are looking at January - the whole club is pointing towards that. We have very hard games before then, and will probably find ourselves quite low down.

Who will want to join us then?

In a Premiership where all but four at the top and one or two at the bottom are seperated by a gnats knacker who will want to sell ?

The most important player to come into todays team in January might yet be Luke Moore.

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Right down the Middle for me

Goalkeeper

Sorenson - reasonable enough keeper and well worth the 2m paid. But is he actually world class ? - if we can't get murray from wolves - then I wouldn't be surprised at a big name signing from abroad

Centre Back

Laursen - I have given up on - you would be foolish to rely on him for a whole season.

Ridgewell , Looks only to be a squad player - Cahil - seems to need a little more time - Delaney quality - but injury prone. That only leaves Mellberg !

Centre Forward

Bellamy, from what I hear is number 1 target - his recent form form liverpool may mean they are reluctant to sell though. Can't see us getting defoe , if MON is after a small nippy player - Bent from charlton would seem more gettable.

I agree with your reference to centre back...... despite the development of the two lads we need at least one maybe two experienced guys in there who can push forward and push the midfield on to the forwards and close the gaps...... we are defending in numbers and the forwards are being starved, because there is not enough faith in the centre back positions. Paradoxical i know but i believe it to be true.

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We are linked with DEFOE but since his recent goalscoring form, this seems more doubtful.

There was a rumour about today that weare linked with a deal for Nigel Reo-Coker...... do not know if this is wrong but...

Bellamy now seems to be the number 1 target, but i do not see why he would leave liverpool he seems to be happy there an playing the best football since many seasons back.

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