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Yellow and Green

Squad for next season

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Thought I''d spark up a debate about what people think about our squad and what is likely - or what we would like - to happen in the summer.

With a hole of 30 million pounds to fill, we are clearly going to get some of the high earners off the books - as well as selling some key assets.

Angus Gunn - keep if we can. I think everyone would love Angus to stay. He has had a near faultless season, which is even more impressive when you consider he hadn''t made a first team appearance before joining. Sadly, based on what Gunn senior said to Michael Bailey in one of his post match videos, it looks like they will try to get him a loan move to a premier league club next.

Which leaves a very important vacancy to be filled.

Remi Matthews - keep. He seems to have had an impressive season down at Plymouth. He joined in October, when they were bottom of League 1. Ten clean sheets later, they are now fighting for promotion, in fifth place. Having gained 47 first team appearances at four loan clubs so far, he says that he wants to play first team football, wherever he is. If we can''t persuade Angus to stay for another year, it would be great to have another local lad claim the number 1 jersey.

Michael McGovern - He never looked 100% convincing when he challenged Ruddy for the goalkeeping position last season and DF doesn''t seem to rate him too highly either. With one year left on his contract, he could provide experienced back-up if Remi Matthews were to be given a chance. Keep as a back-up - if his wages are reasonable.

Paul Jones - Release. His contract is up at the end of the season and was always seen as third choice, having only played once for us.

Aston Oxborough - A regular for the u23s, he has one year left on his contract, if the club decide to activate the clause. With no first team experience, he will most likely go out on loan to prove himself.


Grant Hanley - Keep. He has been one of the best new signings this season. Consistent and able to deal with the physicality of the Championship - something that Daniel Farke needs next year.

Christoph Zimmerman - Keep. Everyone fully expected him to be a firm back up when he first arrived and has grown to be an ever-present in our starting line up. Fair play to him and let''s hope that Farke/Webber can unearth some more gems like him from European obscurity!

Tim Klose - Keep, if we can afford. After struggling a bit last year, Klose has proven that he can handle it in the Championship. Unfortunately, as priceless as his social media antics are, he must be one of the higher earners and, with next year being the last year of his contract, it might have to be time to part ways.

Sean Raggett - Keep - Daniel Farke hasn''t been convinced enough to give him his debut yet. Having said that, everything I hear/read from Lincon coaches/fans seem to be raving at how talented he is. Hopefully he can get some minutes in the remaining few games to help him adapt to life in the Championship.

Marcel Franke - keep. It''s easy to forget that Franke was one of our most expensive signings last season. With money tight, Webber and Farke must have seen a decent defender in there to spend a large chunk of the budget on him. They also rejected Dynamo Dresden''s approach to insert an option to buy him at the end of the season. Hopefully he can use the few appearances he made in City colours to help prepare him for next season.

Russell Martin - A mixed bag... sell. Club captain, a lovely guy, loves the club and got given a contract extension that potentially runs until 2020..... however he gets stick from the fans due to questionable defensive performances, his age goes against SW''s ''young and hungry'' philosophy and would probably be one of the higher wage earners. He seems to be enjoying his loan at Rangers and a summer move could benefit all parties.

Jamal Lewis - keep. He has been one of the success stories of this season, breaking through from the academy with aplomb. Hopefully he can kick on next season, being a year older and wiser.

James Husband - keep as backup. After a disappointing start, I''ll be generous and say that he has done OK. He has struggled defensively but he has shown that he has potential to contribute at the other end of the pitch. Hopefully, after a ''settling-in'' season, he can kick on and become more consistent.

Ivo Pinto - keep? This is my most controversial comment: Is Ivo Pinto worth the wages that we pay him? Now I have no idea what his wages would be, however if I were to hazard a guess, I think he would be one of the mid-to-higher earners - based on being signed from a club in the Champions league whilst we were in the Premiership.

My point is that I''m not sure that we can justify paying a player who isn''t effective enough at either end of the pitch. As an attacking full back, he is very average defensively and has scored two and assisted just once this season.

I think that a big reason why we''ve conceded so many when playing four at the back is because Pinto, Husband and (to a lesser extent) Lewis aren''t that great at defending... That''s half of the defence! When I think back to our most solid defence in the Championship, it was undoubtedly Edworthy, Mackay, Fleming and Drury. Why? Because they could all defend. That provided the solid base, which enabled the rest of the team (Hucks, Iwan etc) to score.

Stewart Webber''s approach to sign Tyronne Ebuehi in January suggests that it might be an area that they are looking to improve.


Alex Tettey - Hopefully keep. Whilst I would understand it if we released him/he left due to wages, he has proven his importance over the last few years and is seriously missed when he''s not in the team. As he can''t play every game due to his dodgy knees, it would be nice to see him share that position with Godfrey whilst he continues to learn his trade in the Championship.

Ben Godfrey - keep. He seems to have impressed on loan at Shrewsbury, having been an ever-present in a team that got to the final at Wembley and is currently fighting for promotion. Hopefully he can hit the ground running and become a key member of the squad next season.

Tom Trybull - keep. Another gem from Germany. He was key to our good run of form and formed the great ''Tetbull'' partnership. Hopefully he can avoid the injuries a bit more next season.

Alex McLean - He sounds promising, according to reports from Scotland. After to listening to the latest Pinkun Show thing, Stewart Hodge seemed confident that McLean would go on to be an ever-present in the city side next season. I''ve often wondered what kind of a player he is and apparently he is best as a deep lying midfielder who can dictate play - however he can also play higher up the pitch as well if needed. Fingers crossed he comes good!

Harrison Reed - who knows? There have been a few calls for us to try and sign him in the summer. I must admit I''m not one of them. Whilst I think that he''s a good player and has a great attitude, I just don''t think that he is physical enough for the Championship and doesn''t add enough to our play. Whenever I see a Reed/Vrancic midfield partnership, I know that we are going to lack the necessary defensive shield that we need. He has only got one goal (albeit a cracker) and four assists. If we are going to be without James Maddison next season then we need more players to contribute offensively.

Louis Thompson - keep. I hope for him - as much as for us - that he can overcome his injury next season. He looked like a decent player when he got his chance and hopefully he can feature next season.

Marco Stiepermann - keep. It must have been a weird season for him. Joining a new club in a new league, being played out of position and then getting injured. After a full season, we still don''t really know what his best position is. He''s done his best in difficult circumstances but hopefully we''ll see the best of him next year.

Mario Vrancic - keep. He has done well to improve this season and to adapt to the Championship. I think I see him more as a squad player for next season though. He has proven that he can play as a central midfielder this season but I feel like we must have better options if we want to challenge next year.

James Maddison - keep if we can. He''s had an unbelievable season and, if we''re honest, deserves to play in the Premier League and push for an England place. I''ll be happy with 20 million. If he stays I''ll be delighted!

Moritz Leitner - keep if we can. Clearly a very talented player and we''d be lucky if a) his club sell him and b) if we can afford him. I do wonder if the plan is to fund the purchase of Leitner with the Maddison money, if he goes. As mentioned on the Pinkun show, it would probably be the best that we could do if we sold JM.

Josh Murphy - keep. His potential can be summed up by saying that he has been highly frustrating, even though he''s scored 10 goals. He must aim to build on this, he is capable of more - especially getting more than 2 assists (transfermarket.com).

Onel Hernandez - keep. He has adapted well and provided another pacey option on the wing. Hopefully he can add a goal threat to his attacking displays next season.

Marley Watkins - possibly sell. After a successful season at Barnsley, Marley was one of the few summer signings to have any experience in the Championship. I''m struggling to recall a good performance from him and needs to seriously step it up if he wants to stay here next season. Sounded like a bit of a tool in his press conference too.

Matt Jarvis - sell. There is a part of me that feels for him: It must be frustrating for a footballer to have lengthy injuries - and he wasn''t the one who offered himself - a 29 year old, injury prone midfielder - a three-and-a-half year contract in the middle of his loan. Those decisions weren''t his fault. But it is extremely frustrating for us to be shelling out for his wages every week when he hasn''t contributed anything to the club for the best part of two and a half years.

Todd Cantwell - keep or possibly loan - He seems to have done really well on loan at Fortuna Sittard, with 2 goals and an assist in six appearances. If Hoolahan, Maddison and Leitner all leave then he could find himself with an opportunity to claim his place in the squad. He could alternatively benefit from spending another season on loan at Fortuna Sittard, if they get promoted this season (they are currently top of their league). A season in the Eredivisie would be a fantastic experience.

Wes Hoolahan - my heart says to keep him. Soon to turn 36 (in May), I am fully preparing for this to be Wes'' last season with us. Whilst I still think that he could still play at a high level (his game has never been reliant on pace), he has been largely on the bench this season. I''ll understand either way if he stays or goes.

Steven Naismith - sell. It hasn''t quite worked out for either club or player and it seems to be just a case of finding a club who can afford his wages - even though he says that money isn''t his priority.


Nelson Oliveira - Possibly leave. Understandably, many people have voiced their desire for NO to be sold at the end of the season due to his bad attitude and the fact that he has not been productive enough this season. Whilst this may be accurate - as well as having high wages - I would be concerned about our ability to attract a goal scorer with the same ability.

Goal scorers are like gold dust. Any decent striker in England is going to cost us more than we can afford, even players from the lower leagues. Strikers abroad might be available for less but will likely have competing suitors and they will have to get used to the Championship. If we want to hit the ground running, we can''t afford to have another Srbeny - someone who takes a few months to get used to the pace and physicality of the league. If we are confident of replacing him with a striker capable of scoring 15-20 goals next season, then fine.

Denis Srbeny - keep. He has done OK so far and seems to be getting better with each game.

Carlton Morris - keep. It sounds like he has also done well at Shrewsbury - scoring 9 goals and assisting 6 in 45 appearances. One would assume that he would not be a guaranteed starter, so he will have to fight for his place and take his chances when they come.

Adam Philips, Savvas Mourgos, Tristan Abrahams and Pierre Fonkeau seem to be the next batch of loanees.

So I think:

Try to sell/release:

Jones, Martin, Reed, Watkins, Jarvis, Naismith

Maybe sell/release:

McGovern, Klose, Pinto, Maddison, Wes, Oliveira

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