With no game this weekend, I thought I’d just do a quick update of what has happened on the transfer front this week as the January window enters it’s last few days (it closes on Monday). After the three arrivals last week, “look at me, look at me” messageboard posts apart, there has been little or nothing reported on the incoming player front as Everton’s James Vaughan, widely touted as a virtual certain signing for us at the turn of the year, signed a loan deal with Crystal Palace until the end of the season.
No, it’s been departures only this week and what speculation there has been has centred on a possible departure for, arguably, our most promising youngster. Two players have left this week with Aaron Wildig going to Scottish Premier League club Hamilton Academicals on loan for the rest of the season and Danny Drinkwater returning to Manchester United after the cancellation of his season long loan deal.
Watching the way Wildig created a goal in the game against Hull in September and the way he was able to get away from his Stoke markers in the FA Cup replay last week, had me thinking that we could have made more use of him from the bench so far this season. As long as he gets regular games at Hamilton though, going to Scotland (albeit to play for a team struggling against relegation) is probably for the best at this time in his career.
As for Drinkwater, after a great start to the season when he looked to me like a box to box merchant who was also a good technical player, he just faded out of the picture after returning from a two month long injury absence in early November. The fact that Dave Jones put him straight back into the team for the Swansea game suggested he rated Drinkwater highly, but, after, hardly surprisingly, looking rusty in an outplayed City team, the manager’s opinion seemed to change and when Drinkwater did get a game, it tended to be in wide positions where he didn’t shine. In the end, Drinkwater just wasn’t getting the first team experience that I am sure Alex Ferguson expected him to when he agreed the loan deal and, under the circumstances with City only able to name five loan players in a match day squad, it was probably best for all concerned that he returned to Old Trafford.
It has been reported this week that Adam Matthews, who has, apparently, now been offered the new contract he was due by City, may be on his way to Celtic for a fee of £500,000. With Matthews’ current contract being up in the summer and him now having slipped down the pecking order to fourth choice right back, it is easy to see why City would be tempted to accept such an offer (especially if the money received were to go towards getting more new players), but I hope we don’t sell him – it’s very much a case of work in progress with him at the moment, but he is a talent and I believe Celtic could be getting themselves a bargain at that price.