Date:Monday August 31 2009
The clock is ticking, we are inching ever closer to Tuesdays 5pm transfer deadline - and there is still plenty of business to be done you feel, both coming into Fratton and also players probably still leaving...
There have been so many names 'linked', but some more strongly than others - we will add to the names that arrived last week, the question is how many?
I think that it is safe to say that at least 1 central defender will arrive, I would suspect 2 and I feel certain that Steve Gohouri will be one of them. The guy is available on a free and has been training with us for the past week, so lets snap him up, although I guess he could be kept on the back burner as we could still bring him in after Tuesdays deadline if we cannot bring in others?
Mike Williamson continues to be strongly linked but a fee cannot be agreed with Watford, although it is 'said' that this compromise is not far off happening so there is a good chance that a highly-rated, albeit inexperienced, young defender will arrive - and I for one back this, as if he is good enough I would rather we signed him and then nurtured him along than someone else. I would not expect him to be a regular week-in-week-out this season but he would be very much involved in the squad.
Then the name of Tal Ben Haim keeps cropping up, and cropping up strongly now. Yep he makes mistakes and yep maybe he is not as good as he thought he was but for Chelski to wanted him, and signed him, when 'The Special One' was in charge must mean something. Citeh will let him go, so if the price is right why not?
I do not see full back areas as a priority to be honest, I certainly would not be using up the final domestic loan that we have to sign him but Nicky Shorey has been mentioned as another to bring in on a season loan from Villa - a good footballer, and a full back that I like but as I say I do not see a full back being as high on the priority list as other areas, nor would I want to use this loan for this player, but hey ho I am not the boss am I...
Midfielders Hadj Aissa - the Algerian one - and Nuno Assis - the Portuguese one - remain in the frame, although it remains unclear which one is most strongly linked? The News feels Aissa is the one but 'word on the street' is that Assis is a strong possibility... If either can add another level of creativity to the side so be it - bring em on!
Benjani is one that Paul Hart confirmed is on the list, along with Ben Haim, but with Citeh agreeing a fee with Hull it looks like the former Pompey striker will be moving elsewhere - and whilst I have been torn on this issue I now feel it probably best that we opted against this as I feel, as strikers go, we have enough 'work horses' now so do we really need another? What we need is a goalscorer but these are hard to find and do not come cheap!
Again, 'word on the street' has it, that despite Zamalek's claims to the contrary Amr Zaki is another striker that could well arrive? His club say that he will not be released until January - but we shall see on this one, as a main focal point striker with the likes of Freddy P, Aruna Dindane and Tommy Smith alongside, or around him in winger-type roles he, and we, could do well...
There continue to be rumours of this player and that player moving on - again some stronger than others... I still feel that before 5pm on Tuesday at least one player will move on, we just have to hope that their departure will not be felt as much as it might should it be another player...
David James has been subject to 'will he, wont he, he will, he will not' transfer talk all summer - he has expressed a desire to stay but did have a pop back along, which left the media under the impression that this meant he wanted out. The weekend saw plenty of 'reports' again and the general vibe from the media is that he will be gone by 5pm tomorrow... Hart continues to say that he is the best keeper in the country so he wants to keep him, but does he want to stay? Problem is if we want a player out they usually go, but I would have James as a player that I would keep at any costs. Yep, he makes the odd mistake and anywhere up to £2m for a 39-year-old is good business but I think that he is worth more to us than the money we could bring in, he is worth at least 10pts to us that could prove invaluable. That said 'if' he does want to go then get rid - we cannot afford to keep players that want to move on!
Notts County were thought to have been on the verge of signing Matty Ritchie several months back, but this never happened - it is 'said' that they remain interested so there is a good chance a deal will be done. I would keep him, but as he is not looking likely to get much of a look-in this season chances are he will go, but I would only loan him out and not sale...
Niko Kranjcar still flatters to deceive for me - yep there was more effort applied on Sunday but he has made it clear he wants out so why delay the inevitable? I would cash in on him now, Spurs need a midfielder, Jamie's Dad loves him so if he stumps up £6m I think I would take it - in all honesty I am not sure how he will even fit into the side now with new arrivals, and I think accommodating him is what we would be doing - on his day a world-class player but I cannot seriously recall many of 'them days' for us anyway! Talk of an £8m bid for James and Kranjcar from Spurs is being 'reported', l would take money for Niko but not Jamo.
I think that Dave Nugent is a player that we would sell but I am not sure that we will get the offers for him? If it were me I would seriously consider moving on as his career is just stagnating here and just seems to be getting worse - at the very lest Dave accept the opportunity of a loan move somewhere, score some goals and build some confidence and prove that you have a future here, although to be honest I think the vast majority are now losing patience... The new arrivals will see it even harder for him to get a look-in as well now.
The 1-month contract that Kanu signed is coming to an end, weekend reports 'linked' him with Notts County - I would not be surprised to see him go, if not before Tuesday then with him released at the end of his month long contract to make the move on a free... He again showed unbelievable footwork against Citeh when he came on but when he does this around the box or out on a flank who is in the box to take advantage? No one. For me, as effective as he could be most of this is lost when he comes on to replace the lone striker not play alongside him.
What do we reckon guys? What are we expecting, or hoping to happen over the next 24-hours or so?
Share these thoughts, as always, below...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Monday August 31 2009
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