Weekly review 10/6/17.

Back to transfer talk this week and there’s been more about who might be leaving than who could be coming in, but the main news has to be that we have made a third signing of the close season and, like Neil Etheridge and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, it’s a Bosman type free transfer signing.

However, there are differences between this one and the other two. Firstly, Hearts right back, cum wing back, cum winger, cum central defender, cum striker Callum Paterson is only twenty two, so there has to be a compensation “development” fee (believed to be around £450,000) paid to his old club and, secondly, with all due respect to Etheridge and Mendez-Laing who have the look of squad players to them at the moment, my feeling is that Paterson, who has won five senior caps for Scotland, comes here with the plan being that he is going to be a very important part of Neil Warnock’s strongest team next season.

Looking at Paterson’s Wikipedia page, the thing which jumps out at me is his goalscoring record. Yes, it can be explained in part by the fact that he has been used as a target man type striker in the past by Hearts, but I believe that his nine goals last season were all scored when he was playing full back, as indeed were the majority of the goals he scored at a rate of virtually one every four games.

I mentioned a number of positions Paterson was capable of playing in earlier, but, reading about his pace and athleticism, I got the impression that he plays as a full back, wing back and winger all in the same game – in that respect, he seems the epitome of a modern day full back and, youngster Cameron Coxe apart, I don’t believe this applies to the other right backs we have.

In an ideal world, when someone your club has just signed is called “the bargain of the summer”, you would prefer the compliment to be paid by someone at another team, rather than a fan at the one he used to play for. However, as this messageboard thread shows, Hearts fans are virtually united in their high opinion of Paterson and, given the number of contributors involved, that’s as good a testimony as to a new City signing’s abilities as I’ve seen from fans of a former club.

There is, of course, a fly in the ointment, Paterson was badly injured shortly after scoring in Hearts’ 4-0 win over Kilmarnock on 27 December last year and has not played since. His recovery from the cruciate knee ligament damage he sustained that day appears to be on course, but Paterson is not going to be available until September or October it seems and, although injuries of this kind are hardly ever the career enders they sometimes were in my youth, there has to be that nagging doubt as to whether his effectiveness will be reduced when he comes back.

However, given that it was widely reported that there was Premier League interest in Paterson at the turn of last year, with there being plenty of speculation that he was on his way to West Ham, I think it may be true to say that he is only at Cardiff now because of that injury. Even if he hadn’t moved in January, I believe we would have had plenty of rivals for his signature if he had played a full season at Hearts.

Patterson signs on a three year contract and, apart from those slight concerns about his injury, he strikes me as a bit of a step up from the type of signings we’ve become used to in recent years – welcome to Cardiff City Callum, I hope your stay here will be fruitful for all concerned.

I was going to say that this week saw the end of our long running interest in Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes who we had two bids for rejected back in January. It had been reported that City had dropped out of the running for his signature because of the time it was taking for the situation to be resolved. However, this morning, this story has appeared on the Wales Online website which contradicts the earlier reports – indeed, the winger, who started for the Republic of Ireland against Uruguay earlier in the week, is said to favour a move here, with his club, apparently, preferring that he signs for Celtic.

Another transfer which went through in the last few days was Deji Oshilja’s move to AFC Wimbledon on another free transfer. The versatile and speedy defender has spent so much time out on loan in recent seasons that it felt like he’d left anyway, but he goes now having never made a league appearance for City to go alongside the ones he made in cup competitions – I still think worse players than Deji have played Championship football for us since we got relegated, but this seems to be a good move for him as he is reunited with former City Academy boss Neil Ardley at a club he did well for during a loan spell in 2015.

Another imminent departure would look to be Peter Whittingham if this story is to believed. What gives the report more credence is that City team mate Matt Connolly posted a picture of himself and Whitts on Twitter with a couple of sad face emojis added to it – there were no words to confirm the rumours, but the inference seems clear enough to me.

I mentioned last week that my feeling about this summer has always been that any “big money” moves for new players would have to be funded by transfers out of the club, so it was interesting to hear that City had turned down a bid of £3 million from  Sheffield Wednesday for captain Sean Morrison.

Callum Paterson in action for Scotland.

I believe Morrison’s contract is due to expire next year, so I feel that there could be further bids for the centreback over the course of the summer, but it was good to see the club turn down Wednesday’s offer with Neil Warnock remarking that £3 million wouldn’t even buy one of the player’s legs!

I agree with our manager there. Morrison has always had his critics among City fans and I daresay there are many who would think £3 million is a good price for him, but I’m not one of them. Yes, like lots of big centre halves, he can struggle when players run at him and I agree with those who say his heading can be better in the opposition penalty area than it is in ours. However, I think week in, week out, he has been our most reliable centreback in the last three seasons and we’d struggle to find one who contributes as much as Morrison does when it comes to attacking play – I’d be looking for £5 million, at least, if we decided we could let him go.

Finally, I talked last week about the successful tours of the Netherlands and Spain by City’s 9 to 11 age group teams, well this piece gives a few more details on the trips – turns out we played a couple of games (one a win, the other a draw) against Inter Milan as well.

 

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6 Responses to Weekly review 10/6/17.

  1. Colin Phillips says:

    Thanks for keeping us in the picture with regard to transfers, Paul.

    If Paterson fully recovers from his injury (I’m hoping that’s no too big an “if”) it looks like a good deal.

    The reaction to the Morrison offer is pleasing too, hopefully it sends the right message to the rest of the team that we are not going to have a “fire sale”.

    If the story about Whitts to Blackburn is true that will be a lot of unhappy Cardiff fans, his fan club is very loyal. If he does go I wish him the best of luck and thank him for the marvellous service he has given to our club.

    I know it is early steps in the dance that is the transfer window but I would be pleased to see our name being mentioned in connection with a mid-fielder who might be able to fill the role that Whitts so successfully in previous years.

    Keep the hard news and the rumours coming, Paul, please.

  2. BJA says:

    Good morning Paul, and all of your devoted followers. This close season seems to be like no other as we seem to have been associated with many possible arrivals and departures and I am becoming obsessed with seeking up to date news on these situations.
    As far as arrivals are concerned, it seems that the Rotherham strikes is coming to Wales in the next few days and that might be a good bit of business, but no real developments with regard to Gallagher, nor Adam, nor Heneghan and as for Hayes, goodness only knows. If selected for Ireland to-day, I hope to see just how he performs in an international setting. I learn that Crystal Palace have finally announced that both Campbell and Ledley are now available, but that the former, as a Huddersfield lad, may well favour a move there, and Ledley may not wish to drop down a division with reduced wages. No mention of Hennessey though.
    With regard to departures, Alfie to Bolton, Deji to Wimledon and Huws mentioned as possibly moves to a number of Championship clubs. I appreciate your comments about Morison, but if the right money was offered, it may then be possible to maintain Manga on our books as he is surely a better defender than the aforesaid.
    And now we come to Whitts. Seemingly on his way north as he seems to have run his race with us. Disappointing as it may be, I don’t think NW sees him now as a first team regular as he requires someone with more energy in mid-field. If, as I understand, young Weymans is still with us as I believe he has a contract until June 2018, then he could be worth a punt – but I am biased.
    Keep all of your news and views coming, it makes the week-end worthwhile, particularly with your references.

  3. Richard Holt says:

    Thanks for the update Paul. May seem strange but I think I’d be quite pleased if Whits joined Blackburn. Obviously it’s sad in many ways to see such legendary City figure leave and certainly marks the end of an era. However, him increasingly becoming a bit-part figure at City would be sadder in my view. If he joins Blackburn I would imagine that, initially anyway, he’ll be a regular starter and if he’s successful then we can applaud and enjoy his success and not worry about him damaging our own chances in any way. If he joined another championship team then we just know what would happen when we played them.

  4. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Hello all and thanks for your replies. Colin, regarding your wish for a midfielder to replace Whitts, I should have mentioned this story I saw during the week.

    http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2017/06/08/cardiff-city-keen-on-senegal-star-cheikh-ndoye/

    N’Doye isn’t a Whittingham type player, but, by the look of it, he’d be a good addition to the squad

    BJA, you remind me that there were some other things I forgot to include this week, such as the story about Danny Ward coming here, Adam LeFondre leaving the club and the confirmation that Hoilett and Peltier has signed new contracts. My excuse with the first two is that so much has happened in the last few days that it feels like they are stories which I would have covered earlier, turns out I hadn’t – for what it’s worth, I believe we will sign Ward, which I suppose probably makes Hayes coming here look a bit more unlikely.

    Yes, we may be able to offer Manga a new deal if we sold Morrison, but he tends to miss more games than Morrison and always strikes me as the more error prone of the two – Manga is definitely the better footballer and he is a good defender at this level, but I honestly think I’d prefer to keep Morrison.

    Regarding Marco Weymans, my information is that he has left the club and will be returning to mainland Europe, but it was all a bit vague and so you may well be right when you say he is contracted with us until next summer, maybe he could be going out on loan to a club like Kortrijk?

    Richard, I agree with you about Whitts. From what I know about Tony Mowbray as a manager, my guess is that he wants Whittingham to be the fulcrum of his Blackburn side and so I would expect him to be a regular starter for them. Usually, I would be concerned about how Whitts would fare in the more physical lower leagues, but I can remember hearing quite often a couple of years ago that the character of League One had changed and there were now more footballing sides in there than you might expect – I would say Whitts should be alright unless that situation has changed again in the past year.

  5. Russell says:

    Apologies for my lateness, close season has me adrift of time .

    Well pleased with the Patterson signing , I hope we don’t rush him into action , you can’t say we’re short of fullbacks , I wonder if thd plan is to have twl quick wing backs next year ?? If so doweneed Hayes??

    Sorry to see Whitt’s go however it was inevertable and you can’t blame him taking one more pay day. I thought last year he didn’t look right , seemed way off the pace at times, he wasn’t blessed with much pace anyway, but wow what a player he has been for us over the years .

    Still think we need a midfielder wonder if that Joe deal will make traction now the Welsh game is out of the way and he’s officially now released from Palace.

    Keeper still not settled or is it going to be Etheridge??

    Few things mystify me what’s wrong with driving Saddi a chance and why hasn’t Huws made an impact or impression on Warnock

    Thanks for the link to the 9 to 11’s, bloody good results considering the technically gifted lads they were up against.

  6. BJA says:

    Good morning Paul. Thanks for the links to N’Doye. Just watched some of his goals on YouTube and he is a handful in an opponent’s penalty area scoring many goals with decisive headers. Many of these goals came from dead ball situations taken by a left footed player by the name of Mangani whose deliveries were the equal of someone about to depart for pastures new!! Although N’Doye will be available in a few weeks time, Mangani is contracted to Angers until the summer of next year.
    So sad if Weymans has left us. I believe that you also thought highly of him, but here is another youngster who does not seem to have been given any opportunity to be associated with the first team squad. If, as I understand, he was captain of a Belgium under 21, or younger team, then there must be something about the lad that was worth persevering with. Disappointing.
    Watching Ireland’s performance last evening, I fully expected to see Hayes to arrive at sometime – but no – McGeady was the preferred wide man substitute. Not quite sure what that tells us other than he may not be held in such high esteem in other quarters.
    Personally, not bothered if he joins us or not as we now have three wide men and a certain Mr. Patterson who seems more than capable of operating wide right.
    Looking forward to another interesting week, and your next review.

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