And another transfer window closes.
The January transfer windows seem to be increasingly anti-climatic, sadly for the boffins behind the organisation that rules our once-beautiful game, Sky Sports.
I struggle to recall more than a couple of transfers that have taken place this window. Austin to Southampton. Derby signed Blakemore from Reading. Pretty sure Sheffield Wednesday signed a proven goalscorer (by the way, they are my tip for finishing second). And of course, Rhodes to Middlesbrough – who isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders.
That it has been relatively silent in terms of incomings for City, is something I am grateful for. Granted it is easier to say now that we are top, than at the end of December when we had endured three uniquely awful away performances – I would have happily accepted no extra faces then as I would now.
For me, one of the errors that Bruce made last season, was signing too many players in the first transfer window, thereby upsetting the apple cart. One should not destabilise with a winning team – but you do add quality where possible.
Any more than one or two signings could easily distract a winning team. If we get promoted, I do not want to see a rash of signings.
I only saw one main need this window, and that is a perennial requirement – another striker, in case Hernandez becomes injured. Which is very possible.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of a target man – a plan B, if you like. Call me old fashioned, but I recall when Reading signed Jason Roberts in the January window – not a goal machine but his 6 goals and several assists helped Reading go on an 8 match winning run, as they clinched promotion to the Premier League. I suspect his experience was vital – then again we are not exactly short on experienced players.
I’d seen us linked with Bendtner, again, and whilst he would have filled the criteria of the back-up striker that I was hoping for – whether he would accept being second-fiddle to Hernandez is another matter, and I do question whether he would have been an appropriate presence in the squad if he became unhappy.
The alternative option was a loan for a young hungry striker from a major Premier League club – we have kind of managed this.
Patrick Bamford could have been an excellent alternative as a loan striker, especially given just how many he bagged for Middlesbrough last season. But alas that one slipped away.
Nick Powell seems a very interesting loan signing. We’ve long been linked with him on loan, he clearly has potential given that Man Utd once paid (up to) £6m for him, and Ferguson was expecting him to be the long-term replacement for Scholes.
His versatility will be useful and he is clearly capable of scoring a goal or two. Hopefully he will feel that he has something to prove given his recent injury problems, and also the early termination of a previous loan spell due to an alleged lack of commitment to training.
Interestingly he scored on his Premier League debut for Man Utd, after a pass from a Hernandez. Surely this is a sign?
It is kind of a shot to nothing. He could blossom into a wonderful loan signing like Cameron Stewart, or a disappointment, like Cameron Stewart.
I know nothing about our new back-up goalkeeper so won’t pretend otherwise, but it is hard to argue that we don’t need an alternative back-up to the Jak-up.
I think we have enough quality within the squad to achieve promotion without any further signings, so I’ll be totally nonplussed if we don’t sign anyone.