Immediately after formalizing the capture of Stewart Downing, Damien Comolli gave the Club’s website an interview which sums up the Club’s activities so far this summer. When asked ‘Is there still work to be done, though?’ his answer was the following:
‘It’s difficult to say. I’m sure there will be players going out because some players would like to play more and have more minutes. We will probably have a few loans as well; players who we would like them to develop, into the Championship or the leagues abroad. In terms of players coming in, it’s difficult to say. I think we are going to sit down, look at the situation, see where we are, see who might leave and then we will reassess later. But we have done most of what we wanted to do.’
From my perspective the above-statement somewhat indicates that the spending bracket (without any return) was placed at Stg 50 million, which is more or less what has been spent so far inclusive of add-ons. When Comolli says ‘we are going to sit down, look at the situation, see where we are, see who might leave and then we will reassess later’ he is essentially saying that if we manage to off-load some of the players that have been earmarked for the departure lounge, we will have ‘extra’ funds to use for the eventual capture of one or two more targets.
The general consensus is that the Reds still have a requirement to sign a quality left-back, and that perhaps we are a bit over-crowded in the midfield area of the park. Whether or not the Reds still have the intention to sign another striker remains to be seen. What remains highly noticeable is that although FSG’s main priority seemed to be a cost cutting exercise of the wage-bill front, this, at least so far, has only increased with the latest arrivals.
There is no doubt in my mind that as Comolli anticipated (if there ever was a need for him to do so), players will leave and others, mostly the young stars that may risk spending unfruitful time on the bench, will be loaned out either to give enhance their experience or just as importantly, to enter a burden-sharing exercise with the club that takes them on loan.
I know that most of you, upon reading this article, will start punching away at their keyboards in the comment box reiterating that players like Jovanovic, Poulsen, Insua, Jones, Degen, El Zhar, and even perhaps Aquilani and Cole should be shown the door, but it’s not that easy! Buying is always easier than selling and for a player to leave, you need a club that wants him and is ready to accept his personal demands, and the player has to want to go to that club. If that is not the case, you either let him run out his contract (not recommendable) or release him. It’s as simple as that!
From my perspective, I don’t think the Club will stop here as there is still time for moves to happen and I have a feeling we will be in for one or two surprises. We all know what happened in the last week of last January’s window so imagine what can happen in the remaining seven weeks or so…….!