Friday, 22 January 2010

Johnson, Behrami, Canales linked

Big day of transfer rumours.

First there's Jason Burt claiming that we have bid £15m for West Ham's Valon Behrami:

The offer for the Swiss international will test the resolve of West Ham’s new owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, to hold on to one of their star players. However the co-chairmen may decide that, by cashing in on the 24 year-old, they may be able to provide extra funds to bolster Gianfranco Zola’s relegation-threatened squad.

West Ham have so far made it clear that Behrami, who was signed from Lazio for £5 million, on a five-year deal in July 2008, is not for sale.
Then a story from Shaun Custis saying that we are 'weighing up a swoop' for Middlesbrough's 22 year old winger Adam Johnson:

City have asked the winger's agents about his situation, with Chelsea, Sunderland and Wolves also showing strong interest.

Johnson is out of contract in the summer and Sunderland had stolen a march on their rivals by getting an agreement in place with previous Boro boss Gareth Southgate.


Adam said...

Our transfer priorities have to be:

1) Decent left-back to fight it out with Bridge

2) Wingers/wide midfielders: We've got Bellamy, SWP and Petrov who are all good choices to play wide (not even going to bother counting Robinho), but the latter two are inconsistent. We need another option there, especially if Mancini wants to play 4-4-2.

None of the above mentioned transfers fit into those categories... except for Johnson who I think would be an excellent additional option.

Philip said...

Well, as to whether it will work or not depends on a few things.

Firstly, the willingness of the manager to blood youngsters, tolerate their mistakes and encourage them to learn. On this front, it's clear that Mancio is more willing than Hughes - while injuries and absences have undoubtedly forced Mancio's hand, there is no way that Hughes would have started Boyata in the CC semi. I would also note that Vladi Weiss was given his first, and only, first team start by Mancio, not Hughes.

Secondly, as you rightly state, the culture of the club comes into play. Here also there is room for hope. Our academy essentially kept the club afloat over the last 10 years, and there is now a tradition (unlike at Chelsea or Liverpool) of youngsters coming through. I don't think that has been totally wiped out by the takeover - Richards, Ireland and SWP are all important members of the squad, and Joe Hart is clearly still valued.

I am confident that, provided the board choose the right manager, this approach can work. Hughes wasn't that man, but maybe Mancio is.