As the season has gone on and I've dared to even contemplate promotion, the question of the team in 18/19 versus the one this season has kept pushing its way to the surface. The truth is that I don't know. I thought I did in 18/19 because I'd just witnessed a fantastic campaign and I definitely thought with our team of youngsters that we were fit to compete. We did in moments too, despite that terrible tail off.
This season has been less spectacular, even frustrating (!) but it's clear we are more balanced. I feel sure Max has been given the okay to leave because why else all the fuss in the media about bids knocked back (yet another story today!) and Delia's comment. Do we have a ready replacement in Mumba? It feels doubtful. He is an unknown relatively. Will Emi stay? He might. Irreplaceable kind of player? Probably.
I believe Skipp has not only been fundamental to our success this year but I'd say now (and I've watched lots of football during lockdown, more than usual) that Olly Skipp is the best player in the Championship. He has adapted to the physicality, the speed etc. There is some football brain there (THE most important thing for me for a midfielder) so his reactions and anticipation have saved the defence many times. He likes the forward pass too. For me, the complete midfielder. I believe he would step up no problem. It's what we needed in 18/19 and for the last decade. We've never had such quality. If we could retain him I would be ten times more hopeful.
The Skipp role, if we can call it that, is the most important, as the middle of a spine (Krul/Gibson/Skipp/Pukki). Can Teemu continue? Class act but he needs some equal support. Jordan and Adam might be that but I would want a decent signing alternative in as well.
In summary: (1)Skipp plus (2) striker plus (3) RB needed. Of course we will look at all positions.
No more predictions for me if we do go up other than to simply be like all the media and say bottom 3. Underpromise and hope to be so very wrong rather than gung ho followed by disappointment.
Finally, will Daniel Farke stay? I really hope so. He has said he will see out his contract. Will other top teams want him? Definitely. Once again retaining him could be our best signing for next season.