This Summer Transfer Window is expected to be an active one, with Monk already beginning his clearout with Jason Lowe and Andrew Shinnie departing. It sure won’t be long before others follow them out of the door, as with Financial Fair Play being a big factor this year for Blues, shifting high-earners and deadwood out of the door will be a top priority for the Blues boss.
Although Monk won’t be wanting to inject a complete overhaul into the club, he will be focusing no doubt on quality rather than quantity. Also, with a fantastic youth system already set up, he may be looking to uncover more hidden gems we’ve seen with the likes of Wes Harding and Beryly Lubala stepping up towards the latter stages of the season.
Fears of a transfer embargo seem to have diminished as news broke Blues are among a dozen Championship clubs breaching FFP regulations. Although that’s not something to rave about, it will be a good thing for the club that others are in the same boat and if the EFL were to brandish an embargo, it would have serious complications in the overall transfer system.
Therefore, the only alternative is to balance the books and I think that’s exactly what Monk is starting to implement. Big paychecks can be cashed in, so to speak, for better-lower-paid talent than the club currently has at their disposal.
Following the news of David Stockdale being told he can leave the club, wages seem to be the main reason why he is to be sent his marching orders. The same goes with Jonathan Grounds, who’s also being transfer listed, but who else will we see depart?
Craigy Gardner is a Blue, but for how much longer?
There’s no denying Gards has been a great servant to the club, but has he ran out of steam? The 31-year-old looks like a shadow of his former self, the one that steams through 30 yards out and pulls the trigger with a low rocket, fooling everyone in its firing line. That’s the man we expected to be rejoining the ranks last year, but his move simply hasn’t paid off and as he’s one of the biggest earners at the club, can we find a player with similar, if not better traits with a cut-price?
The only thing I would mention is Gardner’s ability to pick out a pass from any area on the pitch, but is he worth keeping on the books?
Cheikh N’Doye – everyone’s World Cup hero
I, for one, haven’t been lucky enough to get my hands on his world cup sticker, but I have been one for trying. The Senagalese powerhouse, okay maybe minus the house part, but he’s definitely built like a brick, has been hit and miss this season.
The St Andrews faithful admire those that give in 100% the most and there’s no denying Cheikh has done exactly that. However, his ability on the ball has been very lacklustre to say the least and the only suitable position for him at the moment would be him coming on with 10 minutes to go to be a nuisance in the middle of the park so that Blues can hold on to their 2-1 lead.
Another player Monk will be assessing closely this Summer and one that could find himself on the transfer list sooner rather than later. I would prefer him to stay for at least another season, as I do think he can live up to the definition of ‘powerhouse’ in good time. Oh and if anyone has a spare sticker, please could you send it my way…
Cheick Keita – running defenders ragged
Blues are certainly looking for a flair player that can operate on the opposite flank to Jacques Maghoma. Mags has the ability to dribble around defenders with ease and we saw multiple glimpses of that towards the end of last season, resulting in him snapping up the player of the season award.
Keita was given the left-back slot by Zola and Redknapp and although he was one for the showboat, the 22-year-old struggled with the defending side of things… Somehow implementing him in a new-look system would be a shout, as we all know there is talent in abundance there. Also, it’s also worth noting Solomon-Otabor is back in contention for next season following his successful loan spell at Blackpool, so an interchangeable, wing-back like set-up between those two could help fuse a speedy and affluent partnership.
I can see the youngster playing a part in next season so it’s likely we won’t seeing the back of Keita any time soon.
This transfer window will be an interesting one, as the cloth is expected to be cut even further due to that ever-looming embargo. The interesting part will be how far the owners are willing to back Monk and who he brings in to replace those that are at the top of the wage bill.
Who do you think Monk should be giving the boot to? Let us know your thought’s below or on twitter @bcfcfollowers, we’d love to hear your opinions.