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The Engineer

The BIG clear out

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After compiling a list of the squad and their contract end dates according to transfermarkt we have 10 players out of contract this summer; Ruddy, Bassong, Turner, Dijks, Mulumbu, Rudd, Lafferty, Whittaker, McGrandles and Bennett. Our current squad also has an average age of 28.2.

From this list (obvs Dijks won'' stay) I would say secure new contracts for Rudd and Bennett. From this list of remaining players with at least a year left on their contract I would then also clear out Martin, Tettey, Naismith and Jarvis - though if Jarvis wasn''t always injured I would keep, but this isn''t the case. I would have moved on Wes too, but feel he deserves to see his contract out (2018) by which time he''ll be 36 and may be thinking of retirement... The whole clear out would severely cut the probable higher earners in Ruddy, Bassong, Mulumbu, Naismith, Jarvis, Tettey and Martin.

After that this leaves the following squad (contract end in brackets); Rudd (2017 -renew), McGovern (2019), Jones (2018), Pinto (2019), Klose (2019), Bennett (2017 - renew), Thompson (2019), Godfrey (2019), Howson (2019), Dorrans (2019), Pritchard (2020), Maddison (2019) Hoolahan (2018), Ja. Murphy (2021), Jo. Murphy (2021), Wildschut (2019), Jerome (2019), Oliveira (2020), Morris (2020).

After assessing the positions of the remaining players we would then need to sign 2x LB, 1x RB, 2x CB (maybe get a LB/CB cross like Dijks and only need 1x LB as a result), 1x ST. Depending on the suitability of Godfrey and Morris and whether they are ready we could also need to sign in their positions too. The remaining squad would have an average age of 26.2.

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Seen nothing from Bennett to suggest he will be good enough for a promotion pushing squad given his struggles this and every previous seasons. His wages are too much for a back up CB so let him go.

Rudd is harder to know, champs could be his standard and he won''t be dear but do we need better than either Rudd McGovern to challenge?

Suspect we will sell some of those with ongoing contracts

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I actually think Bennett is good enough to be regularly starting in this league, he''s definitely better than Martin in my opinion and if we let Bassong and Turner go then that leaves Bennett, Martin and Klose for next year. With Klose more than likely to be leaving I imagine that would leave us with just 2 CB''s going into next season with one of our CB''s not even a real CB (Russ is a RB - end of.) Thus if you moved Russ to back-up RB then we need to sign 3 CB''s - 4 if we let Bennett go too. And that''s if Russ stays.

I think Rudd has proven he is capable in this league and would certainly be good enough to be first choice next season. McGovern to be back-up would be the obvious choice too. Never really seen the point of having a third choice keeper as how often is it 2 keepers are out at the same time? Free up some wages and if needs be have a youthie on the bench if first choice gets out injured.

Now the question is, with Neil''s comments is he the man to clear out and rebuild or should this responsibility be given to someone else? He certainly sounds as though a big clear out is needed - will be a very interesting summer if he does stay.

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If you want Rudd and Bennett as first choice players you can forget about promotion.

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I''d happily say goodbye to Bassong, Turner, Mulumbu, Lafferty, Whittaker, McGrandles and maybe Bennett and Jarvis. Is Andreu out of contract too? I''d offer Ruddy another contract. I''d imagine all of these were available for sale last summer and in January, but no one came in for them or was prepared to offer the salaries that we''re paying them.

Then it gets tricky as players who you''d want to keep like Klose, Pinto, Dijks, the Murphys, Howson, Pritchard might be looking to leave - or certainly have clubs looking at them. Once we lose them, the rebuilding takes on an enormous scale.

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Whilst I agree with your list woodman, I do wonder about the practicalities of shifting so many players all at once, as you say the task could be enormous.

I''m hoping they already have the makings of a plan for it in place.

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I Wonder if Ruddy will sign another contract

this is his last chance for a big signing on fee and maybe better wages as he will be a Free agent

you hear clubs like chelsea wanting a back up Keeper

well at his age he may well look for one last pay day ??

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I think as fans, we can all have a general consensus as to whom we think should leave, but zero ideas who will replace those. Defence is the obvious one big area we all recognise that needs  sweeping changes, but as morty rightly said, the practicalities can, and likely will, mean we see a much smaller change than we imagine.Add to that so many unknown factors, will Alex be here as the guy to make these changes? If not, could a new guy make such radical and sweeping changes? Even if we had such a manager who could,  what of finances?..none of us know how big or small the transfer kitty will be. Where to look?...Alex has always had a policy of  checking the top two divisions or Europe for 1st team additions, only signing L1 and L2 guys as future prospects. If he is still here, will he still regard that as his policy? Depends if he and the club still view City as a Premier bound club, or face the reality that we are mid table Champs. Add to that the fact that those who leave are never 100% gauranteed just those out of contract. We simply have no idea as fans who may actually end up leaving. I would say at this point in time, the only two definites to leave are Turner and Lafferty. Highly likely Dijks will head  home to.It could be a summer of change and upheaval, but as much off the pitch as those on it.

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"It could be a summer of change and upheaval, but as much off the pitch as those on it "if those claiming they will not renew then yesgood news for those on the waiting list

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while there IS an urgent need to change the manager I do think that changing the squad is even more pressing.

The core of this squad has chosen to drop hands for Hughton and Adams before, so whoever the new manager (if when it happens) will almost certainly face the same arrogance. Its three strikes and out for me with this lot.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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