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It's Character Forming

Recruitment- Prem vs Champs ?

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It strikes me this season with Skipp Gibson Sorensen Giannoulis we seem to have actually improved our starting lineup despite relegation and selling a couple of stars (albeit we sold good players but easier to replace). Last season in the Prem I can’t really think of any joiners who improved the first team except Byram who was a known injury risk.

 

Obv it’s harder for a new player to look good in the Prem and we were particularly unfortunate with CB injuries last season.

 

But is there something else? Are we maybe gambling a bit more in the Prem on signings who might have potential at that level eg Amadou but paradoxically ending up falling short ?

 

The other thing that struck me in the Prem last season is the sheer impressive physicality of a lot of players in midfield in very ordinary Prem teams which we struggled to deal with.

 

 I guess my question is, what lessons should we learn if we go up, especially if we were to lose some important players over the summer?

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Well we only spent around £10 million in the Prem last season, so it was hardly surprising that the players we brought in didn't add to the team at that level. If we do go up we are already committed to spending £14 million on Gibson and Giannoulis.

I would say that the lesson we as fans should learn is that the Club are basically trying to defy the laws of football physics in the Prem - and that rarely ends well. 

 

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If Fulham go down, I would like to see Reuben Loftus-Cheek here. I agree about ICF's comment about the midfielders that tend to roam the Prem these days and RLC would fit that mould , but also add a  great attacking option in that position. 

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5 minutes ago, Crabbycanary3 said:

If Fulham go down, I would like to see Reuben Loftus-Cheek here. I agree about ICF's comment about the midfielders that tend to roam the Prem these days and RLC would fit that mould , but also add a  great attacking option in that position. 

Loftus-Cheek in the middle and Dan Burn at the back..

 

Then no one can accuse us of being lightwight 😉

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It really depends on who we lose.

If Aarons goes is Mumba ready to step up; probably not and Byram as much as I rate him is not an option for a full season.

If Emi goes we lose our flair and that's hard to replace unless they unearth another gem from somewhere.

My personal thought is that we need a striker like Pukki, another big centre forward a unit in midfield and another centre half plus another keeper.

And that's on the basis that we lose none of the current first eleven, ie Aarons, Emi and Todd.

I'd also argue we need another wide player.

Pace will be important for us if we go up.

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17 minutes ago, Crabbycanary3 said:

If Fulham go down, I would like to see Reuben Loftus-Cheek here. I agree about ICF's comment about the midfielders that tend to roam the Prem these days and RLC would fit that mould , but also add a  great attacking option in that position. 

Good shout, always rated Loftus-Cheek, would fit in that number 10 spot nicely and also has a bit about him defensively! 

 

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6 minutes ago, Rich T The Biscuit said:

It really depends on who we lose.

If Aarons goes is Mumba ready to step up; probably not and Byram as much as I rate him is not an option for a full season.

If Emi goes we lose our flair and that's hard to replace unless they unearth another gem from somewhere.

My personal thought is that we need a striker like Pukki, another big centre forward a unit in midfield and another centre half plus another keeper.

And that's on the basis that we lose none of the current first eleven, ie Aarons, Emi and Todd.

I'd also argue we need another wide player.

Pace will be important for us if we go up.

Yeah this is pretty much how I view it.

If we sell Aarons, Buendia and Cantwell then we're looking at a total rebuild almost- 6 or 7 new players. 

If we hang on to them and we can keep Skipp- then I'd be looking a central defender, striker and number 10.

I'm also hoping we can make better use of the loan market this time around.

I mentioned Ademola Lookman on another thread who would be a great signing both as a striker and an option out wide although potentially out of our range. Billy Gilmour from Chelsea could be a good Skipp alternative if we can't bring him back. There was talk or Arsenal being willing to let Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah go too- would any of them be within our budget?

I do think, even if we keep hold of our players, we have to be comfortable spending £40m odd on fees to make a decent fist of staying up. 

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9 minutes ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Good shout, always rated Loftus-Cheek, would fit in that number 10 spot nicely and also has a bit about him defensively! 

 

Worth noting he is on 60 grand a week so no chance of him coming here, much as it's a nice idea

Edited by cambridgeshire canary

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1 minute ago, cambridgeshire canary said:

Worth noting he is on 60 grand so no chance of him coming here, much as it's a nice idea

Yeah that's true - however that doesn't necessarily stop a loan being agreed, we'd just pay a portion of his wages rather than full whack - but seems likely that any other interested clubs would be able to offer more so we'd have to hope to be the only ones. He'd get good playing time here too to be fair! 

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60 grand a week really wouldn't be pushing the boat out for a decent loan with view to permanent transfer next year if we are serious about trying to establish ourselves. Its about £3m over the year. sustaining Prem football is worth at least £150m and RLC is an asset who would sell if we needed to.

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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.

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Both Stuart Webber and Kerian Scott have said that it didn't work out last season and they were surprised by the number of players who weren't up for the challenge.

Aside from the lessons learned, we are in a much better financial position than last time so I would expect them to be a bit braver. 

I would personally hope for a centre back, a centre mid, attacking mid and a winger/striker.

We can't be so reliant on Pukki this time around, so we need a reliable backup st and more goal contributions from the three attacking midfielders behind him. Emi has stepped up this season so sorting that no.10 position is key imo.

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I hate to say it but Leeds recruitment has been spot on.

They went up with a good side (like us)

Identfied areas they needed upgrading (like us)

Sensibly invested (unlike us)

Now they already look like a estabilished Premier League side, with a couple of players of real quality and with one player inparticulary who they can develope and recoup propbably all their spend for this season.

Whilst we went with loans for  Ralph, Amandou and Roberts who were all back with their parent clubs by in time for Christmas dinner.

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1 minute ago, CDMullins said:

I hate to say it but Leeds recruitment has been spot on.

They went up with a good side (like us)

Identfied areas they needed upgrading (like us)

Sensibly invested (unlike us)

Now they already look like a estabilished Premier League side, with a couple of players of real quality and with one player inparticulary who they can develope and recoup propbably all their spend for this season.

Whilst we went with loans for  Ralph, Amandou and Roberts who were all back with their parent clubs by in time for Christmas dinner.

Agree with your general drift but do look at their defensive record. They don't half ship in goals. You'd expect major investment in that area next season.

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26 minutes ago, It's Character Forming said:

It strikes me this season with Skipp Gibson Sorensen Giannoulis we seem to have actually improved our starting lineup despite relegation and selling a couple of stars (albeit we sold good players but easier to replace). Last season in the Prem I can’t really think of any joiners who improved the first team except Byram who was a known injury risk.

 

Obv it’s harder for a new player to look good in the Prem and we were particularly unfortunate with CB injuries last season.

 I guess my question is, what lessons should we learn if we go up, especially if we were to lose some important players over the summer?

The key lesson from last time. Players who look really great at champs level don’t automatically do so at the elite level. Sounds l obvious yet so easy to forget in the flush of (not quite) dominating tier 2.


Of those, I suspect we won’t even have Skipp. Gibson was surplus to requirements in the prem. Hopefully the other two will translate. However brutally speaking, if we’re repromoted I’d expect the club to have to upgrade most positions to stand a chance of staying up

Agree with the observation about big athletic prem players, I’d say not just the midfielders. Players tended also to be fast  and relatively skilful even at the lower table level.
It was the tactics (not the players) that were direct/simple but they didn’t need to be too clever to beat us.

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Leeds have also spent massively in order to get that extra quality needed:

Rodrigo = £27m

Llorente = £18m

Raphinia = £16m

Costa = £16m

Koch = £11m

Meslier = £6m

That's £94m before you even think about wages. 

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2 minutes ago, sonyc said:

Agree with your general drift but do look at their defensive record. They don't half ship in goals. You'd expect major investment in that area next season.

Yet they still look an estabilished side.

Frustrates me because thats exactly how we could have been - No dobut we'd still have conceeded but wth a CB, a proper defensive CM and abit of quality at 10 we'd have been fine.

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Having watched Mumba in the U23s game a few days ago I reckon he could well be our Max replacement. He stood out a country mile. In fact he reminded me of a U23 match I watched just before Max broke through; we had that French lad (sorry forgotten his name) & possibly Idah? Who were getting all the interest, but it was the right back who looked the business to me ....

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7 minutes ago, Bovril said:

Leeds have also spent massively in order to get that extra quality needed:

Rodrigo = £27m

Llorente = £18m

Raphinia = £16m

Costa = £16m

Koch = £11m

Meslier = £6m

That's £94m before you even think about wages. 

All we'd have needed from them was a Rodrigo, a Raphina and a Koch.

Ralph was our Mesilier - They also have Casilla who was a chunky signing.

Llorente has only played 3 times for them so hasnt contributed to where they are now.

And Costa was a bizarre pre-arranged signing from previous year.

Edited by CDMullins

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4 minutes ago, ron obvious said:

Having watched Mumba in the U23s game a few days ago I reckon he could well be our Max replacement. He stood out a country mile. In fact he reminded me of a U23 match I watched just before Max broke through; we had that French lad (sorry forgotten his name) & possibly Idah? Who were getting all the interest, but it was the right back who looked the business to me ....

Last time Mumba played for us he was outstanding. Real unlucky to get injured

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Difference with us and Leeds is the external investment meaning they could gamble that £90m and then if it went **** up they'd be bailed out. We would have been bust.

Shame but that's the way things are. Have had to explain this to plenty of Leeds fans until I'm blue in the face.

I'd hope if we go up this time then we can at least spend £50m or so for 3 or 4 quality players but even that's probably stretching things

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It’s noticeable that Zimmermann & Hanley aren’t premiership quality, Gibson could be, so definitely a new CB is needed.

 Rupp, McClean, Tettey, Vrancic aren’t premiership quality, can we loan Skipp another year? Hopefully but we need Sorensen to be another Soucek, but we will need at least one CM of premiership quality for definite.

On the wings, if we can keep Buendia & Cantwell with Hernandez & Placheta as back up, we could have enough there.

Number 10 we struggle with in the championship, so really hope that Martin pushes on with his development because what we have seen of Dowell & Vrancic nowhere near the quality needed. Again must look for a AM option.

Strikers well, Pukki has proved himself but we need a striker to push Pukki to start, not going to be Hugill or Idah, really thought Idah would push on with his development but looks to be going nowhere, would be good to get him out on loan next year. So there again in my opinion better quality striker needed.

Not sure how much we’ve got to spend but never going to have enough to cover all those areas, so we might be looking at the likes of Soto, Bushiri, McCullum, Mumba & Famewo to cover some areas.

But if we rely on those who were here last time then we’ve only got five or maybe six players good enough for this level, the rest only squad fill for a premiership team.

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Thanks guys.  I hadn't thought about DF leaving, thanks @sonyc 😂

 

The really big frustration last time in the Prem was that we looked relatively comfortable playing the top 6 but against mid-lower level Prem teams we struggled to hold our own, games reminded me of a boxing match where one fighter just has a longer reach and the other one is just not really able to lay a glove on him.  It was irritating to play teams that looked distinctly mediocre like West Ham or Burnley or TBH Sheffield Utd when we played them near the end of the season and ending up losing most of those games.

 

Having said this, our injury problems were shocking and Liverpool have shown this season if you have enough people out at key positions you're going to struggle and that certainly happened to us.

 

Overall though I feel a bit more positive reading a lot of the comments, hopefully we can learn the lessons, unearth a few gems, have a decent bash at staying up and if not, be well placed to go again...

 

Also to remind everyone that recruitment is about transfer fees plus wage spend and wages are what matters.  People tend to equate ambition with transfer fees you pay, but there is no link between that and success - there is a clear correlation (and as we all know, correlation = causation 😉) between wages and success in football.

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Everything for me hangs on the DM position. Without a strong midfielder able to cover the back four you will be opened up again and again as teams run at your defenders and force them out of position. That's just life in the premiership and we completely failed to address that last time up. 

It's one of the hardest positions to fill in football though so I don't hold out much hope unless Skipp is free for a second loan.

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Was clear after Van Dijk's header in the first game that we were really going to struggle defensively. Felt like that was why Farke persisted with Stiepermann just because he could at least be used as a marker from set pieces. CM should be where we invest most heavily if we go up - not sure how Phil Billing has done this season but could be an option (granted - he has already been relegated twice). Would also offer a large loan fee to tempt Spurs to let us have Skipp again - seems increasingly unlikely though.

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58 minutes ago, sonyc said:

Agree with your general drift but do look at their defensive record. They don't half ship in goals. You'd expect major investment in that area next season.

They are I think a valid comparison as they had similar weaknesses. Bamford, like Pukki, has surprised people with his ability to step up. Harrison, Ayling and Cooper all improved; Phillips is a superb player and they have added some flair with Raphinha, Roberto and Costa, but yes they've gambled. Spending £100m as they have simply isn't an option for us, even if we could persuade those players to join.

Of our current first choice 11, we might suppose that 7 or 8 should be capable in the PL; but if Hanley, Vrancic and Pukki can't bridge that gap we don't currently have the quality elsewhere to replace them. Dowell might still come good at 10; Famewo can't really go from League One to the PL, and Zimmermann we know won't cut the mustard as first choice; neither Idah or Hugill is likely to be an adequate goalscorer.

In a nutshell, that's our issue. We're already committed to £14m. Do we/can we spend another £30-40m to beef up those three places?

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2 hours ago, CDMullins said:

All we'd have needed from them was a Rodrigo, a Raphina and a Koch.

 

Plenty of them on here...

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Some ridiculous comments here:

Lets sign Loftus Cheek if Fulham are relegated, unlikely as he is on loan from Chelsea.

Mumba looked good, yes was outstanding for the entire 15 minutes he has played, not too much time to consider if good or not.

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