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About Me

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  1. So, we're still early in the window and we've done some good business so far, but how is the squad shaping up in comparison to last season? With the various peripheral players moving on and some out on loan it all gets a bit confusing when we're really interested in the first team squad, so I thought I'd look at who actually played the minutes on the pitch last season and and how the comings and goings affect the expected matchday squad. Using the data on whoscored.com I sorted the squad by minutes played to create the following: Player Minutes Replacement? 1 Max Aarons 21, D(R) 4049 2 Oliver Skipp 20, DMC 3863 Billy Gilmour 3 Grant Hanley 29, D(C) 3780 4 Teemu Pukki 31, AM(C),FW 3452 5 Emiliano Buendía 24, M(R) 3340 Milot Rashica 6 Tim Krul 33, GK 3190 7 Kenny McLean 29, M(C) 2717 8 Todd Cantwell 23, AM(LR) 2635 9 Ben Gibson 28, D(CL) 2356 10 Jacob Sørensen 23, D(L) 1959 11 Mario Vrancic 32, M(CL) 1719 none 12 Dimitris Giannoulis 25, D(L) 1307 13 Lukas Rupp 30, M(CR) 1270 14 Christoph Zimmermann 28, D(C) 1212 15 Przemyslaw Placheta 23, AM(L) 1121 16 Marco Stiepermann 30, D(L),M(CLR) 1019 none 17 Xavi Quintillá 24, D(L) 976 (Giannoulis) 18 Kieran Dowell 23, AM(CL) 936 19 Michael McGovern 36, GK 816 20 Andrew Omobamidele 19, D(C) 712 21 Jordan Hugill 29, FW 679 22 Onel Hernández 28, AM(CLR),FW 583 23 Alexander Tettey 35, M(C) 465 none 24 Josh Martin 19, AM(L) 454 none 25 Adam Idah 20, FW 328 26 Ben Godfrey 23, D(CLR) 270 (Gibson) 27 Daniel Barden 20, Goalkeeper 135 Angus Gunn 28 Bali Mumba 19, Defender 114 On the face of it we're currently four first team players lighter than last season. Notably we've swapped four attacking midfielders for one. While Tettey and Martin were only used sparingly, Vrancic and Stiepermann were not insignificant parts of the squad. Even if you accept Gilmour and Rashica as direct replacements for Skipp and Buendia respectively, we're still objectively weaker than we were last season with the obvious exception of reserve goalkeeper. Now, I'm a little bit changeable with my attitude; swinging wildly from happy-clapper to pant-wetter. Right now things are in the balance. I'm guessing we've got £20-25m remaining transfer budget from which we need to strengthen the whole squad. We're widely reported to be after a centre back and another central midfielder. But it's the attacking end of the pitch that I'm most concerned about. I really want to see another signing of a similar magnitude to Rashica so that we haven't put all our eggs in one basket. Do I have too little faith in Hernandez and Placheta? Do we already have enough weapons to hurt other Premier League teams? Are we going to play so much more defensively that we won't need so many attackers?
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