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chicken

The Squad of 25 and musical chairs.

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A couple of things over the last couple of weeks had me wondering. To start off with this is who we currently have on the books (although I am bound to forget someone) that are over 21:

GK: Ruddy, Bunn. (2)

DF: Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Turner, R.Bennett, Garrido, Ayala*, Barnett*. (8)

CM: Johnson, Tettey, Howson, Fox*. (4)

Wing: Snodgrass, Pilkington, E.Bennett*, Surman*. (4)

AM: Hoolahan, Butterfield*. (2)

STR: Holt, RVW, Becchio, Vaughan*. (4)

By my reckoning that is currently a list of 24 players. So we currently have space for one more over 21 player. If Redmond is confirmed it won''t make any difference to that number.

The point I am coming to is that at some point we will come into a one in, one out situation. Those I have stared I see as the ones that could go to make space depending upon who is signed and for what position.

The one interesting thing for me surrounds the third keeper slot.

A few weeks ago we had a rumour, although possibly iffy, that Big Mac had said at some charity event that he expects between 5-8 players to come in over the summer.

Lets say for arguments sake that we have two of those in Garrido and RVW. That leaves between 3-6 more players to arrive.

We have space for one.

To add to that, were they expecting Steer to leave? In which case is the arrival of someone like Nash going to require an additional slot that we were not planning for?

Also, defensively, if Hughton doesn''t feel Barnet or Ayala can offer us anything expect to see two defenders come in. That could be a right back and a left back with Martin switching to the centre. Otherwise one of the two will be kept for another year simply for backup.

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So basically we can expect maybe 3-6 players to leave the club (or go off on season long loans) during the transfer window.

I assume the ones with stars by them are the ones you could see realistically doing this.

They are look likely to me apart from Benno as he is good cover for both the wings and even as a right back or the centre.

Of course if the worst case scenario happened, we would not have to have them in our named squad, but would still be paying a player not to play. Not good business, not very McNally!

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I doubt whether Ayala, Fox or Vaughan will feature again for us in the Prem. Of these, Vaughan is the most saleable.

 

So that''s three more available spaces in the squad. Just because they are on our books does not mean they have to be named in the squad.

 

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Vaughan seems likely to be off - perhaps even an ''auction'' involving Blackburn and Huddersfield. If we sign another striker, I think it likely that Holt could be off. (He now has a summer spot on local radio in the Carlisle area, so perhaps he has begun the transition.) Ayala may be more difficult to raise any cash from, and Fox may not even go unless his contract is up.

 

One name not mentioned is that of Butterfield, who either struggled from his injury or is not valued by CH. (He also failed to set the world alight in his loan period.) He was mentioned as part of a double signing by Huddersfield, but they seem to be concentrating solely on Vaughan. If we sign a dynamic midfielder, Toivonen or someone else as the Swede is looking unenthusiastic, then Butterfield would seemingly be ranked behind any new signing and the "newly discovered" Howson in the advanced midfield role, not forgetting Wes and Surman.

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I have included Butterfield in that list along with a ''*'' next to his name to indicate that I think he could be one to go.

I think which ever way you look at it we are at a one in one out stage almost.

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Yup. One of the points I made after the list was about whether Hughton was planning for having to replace Steer who would not count towards the 25 due to his age.

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While this is true, I''d be amazed if we don''t loan out (or sell) Ayala and Butterfield, and it would be a surprise if we don''t sell Vaughan this summer.  Which would give us 4 places available.  And then you have Fox, Surman, Barnett who are all on the fringes.  So I don''t think the 25 limit will be a real constraint.

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Well, it would appear that there are now two spots available in our squad.

I wasn''t stating that the 25 squad limit would be difficult rather that in some areas we are quite strong number wise - such as midfield - and it would be interesting to see who makes way.

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McNally tweet just now seems to back this up -

david mcnally @davidmcnally62 9m

Good luck to all of players who left this Summer.We are close to zero appearances lost from last season though & new ones will arrive

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I think we will be back to the old ''one and a spare'' as with Lambert

GK: Ruddy, BunnRB: Whittaker, Martin, LB  Garrido, CD
Bassong, CD Turner, R.BennetRM Snodgrass,E.BennettCM Johnson, CM Tettey, Howson,LM Pilkington, SurmanFWD RVW Hoolahan, FWD: Holt, Becchio,

That gives 19 squad players with Butterfield, Fox still possibly having a placeRedmond if he joins will not be part of the 25Which suggests at least another four players even with Fox and Butterfield in the squad, presuming Ayala and Barnett.Front runners for those four places are Olsson, Toivonen, Fer and Byram, which if true looks like we are bringing in players with a good bit of their career and potential ahead of them and would fill those gaps in the 22We are moving from players playing at their absolute maximum to players who can develop to their maximumLooking good which ever way you spin it

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Redmond is added to the mix.

So city1st I take it you doubt any of those you don''t include will be here come the start of the season?

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