Fulham - What Would You Do With £25m?
Of course, the past few weeks have been dominated by transfer speculation, and the inevitable impatience with the lack of activity has driven the papers mad.
Their answer is to post a list of footballer`s names on a wall, label darts with the names of the various clubs, throw these darts at the wall and then write stories linking the darted player with the impaling club. Well, not really, but that`s how random it seems sometimes.
For clubs like Man City and Chelsea, the links tend to be with prominent players and high cost transfers. With clubs like Fulham, there is no limit to the speculation. We`re linked with players that range from accomplished Premier League veterans all the way to individuals kicking a ball against a wall in sub-Saharan Africa. Suffice to say, I haven`t been overly pleased with the calibre of the player we`ve been linked with thus far, but it`s early yet.
We will be battling on two fronts next season, and at present, we are unprepared to do so. We will not simply be able to look for inexpensive, out-of-favor role players or aging castoffs from other squads. Success has actually forced our hand and I suspect we`ll be looking for a better quality of player this transfer season. Still, we`re a small club with a modest budget.
According to The Guardian, we have about £25m to spend, which is a pittance compared to some other clubs, but very much in line with what I expected. The issue is how do we use these funds to secure another top-ten finish in the league, and offer a spirited and hopefully laudable performance in the Europa League. To further complicate the situation, Fulham are not the youngest team in the Premier League. We need veterans to sustain Premier League status, but we must build for the future, also.
These demands certainly make for worrying times for Roy Hodgson and his staff, so I thought I`d provide a little help, as I`m sure they read Vital Fulham (who doesn`t?). I thought I`d try to create another entire starting eleven with £25m that provides depth, quality and some youth.
Let me qualify this little exercise. I`m using valuations I`ve found in various papers and websites, taking advantage of Bosmans (some may eventually re-sign, but last I read, they`re out of contract) and allowing myself one loan deal. I know very well that this would be a 'perfect storm` scenario that`s not going to happen.
We`re just having a little fun here.
GK: Carlos Kameni - Espanyol (FREE)
LB: Felipe Lopes - CD Nacional (£3m)
CBL: Digao - AC Milan (LOAN)
CBR: Matthew Bates - Middlesbrough (FREE)
RB: Nathaniel Clyne - Crystal Palace (£3m)
LM: Jamie O'Hara - Tottenham (£4m)
CML: Tom Huddlestone - Tottenham (£6m)
CMR: Darron Gibson - Manchester United (FREE)
RM: Lee Martin - Manchester United (FREE)
F: Matt Derbyshire - Blackburn (£5m)
F: Andriy Voronin - Liverpool (£4m)
What do you think? How would this lineup fare? This was just my take on it. What would you do with £25m?
Editors note - So come on folks - anyone going to rise to the excellent challenge thrown down by Samboney?