Not a great deal to report this week. Apparently, nearly all of the decision makers at the club have been away for one reason or another lately and so it was always going to be a quiet week where what news there was would be of the speculative type.
Having been linked with a Chesterfield player last week, there were reports this week that we are interested in at least one more.
The midfield player Sam Morsy, who was said to be a target last week, impressed in a losing cause for Chesterfield in their 3-0 (aggregate score 4-0) loss to Preston in the League One Play Semi Final (it will be them or Swindon in the Championship next season after Monday’s incredible 5-5 draw with Sheffield United sent them through on a 7-6 aggregate score), but lone striker Sam Clucas had a tough time of it against a pair of commanding centre backs.
Clucas was released by Leicester as a 16 year old because he was considered too small which tends to make the point that he is hardly ideally built for a lone striker role (ironically, Chesterfield’s neat build up play may have got some tangible reward with someone like Eoin Doyle up front),
However, Clucas has made his name more as a winger cum wide midfield player (he’s also occasionally played at full back).and, if City really are after him, I would assume this is where they would want to use him.
Word is that Chesterfield may have to sell after the failure of their promotion bid. Certainly, the departure of manager Paul Cook to League Two side Portsmouth days after their season suggests that they may be about to enter one of those “transitional phases” that City have specialised in recently- albeit this time it would be the break up of a winning team rather than the dismantling of a mediocre one.
So, perhaps the players we are being linked with would be available at reasonable prices and, if that is the case, then I’d hope that rumours that we are also looking at Chesterfield’s impressive right back Tendayi Darikwa are true as well.
Just when I was beginning to think we would spend the summer being linked only to Chesterfield players, there were a couple of stories that we were chasing Wigan central defender Rob Keirnan (reportedly Reading and Birmingham are also after Keirnan who would cost us a “nominal” fee) and Bosnian international midfield player Senijad Ibricic who is, seemingly, available on a free at financially stricken Turkish club Kayseri Erciyesspor – with forty two caps for his country and a record of thirty five goals from seventy six games during a spell at Hajduk Split, Ibricic would appear to represent a step up in class from our other “targets”, always assuming there’s any truth in these stories!
Finally, Brentford and Ipswich will be on our fixture list next season following their defeats by Middlesbrough and Norwich respectively in the Play Offs. For me, Boro were the more impressive in their 5-1 aggregate win over the Londoners compared to the 4-2 in Norwich’s favour over the two games in the East Anglian Derby, but that counts for little in what is always described as the richest game in football – with no confidence whatsoever, I’ll go for a narrow Middlesbrough win.