Fulham - A Centre Back Quandary?
With the squad away in Lithuania preparing for the first leg of our Europa League qualifying tie, we imagine that Roy Hodgson has a few more furrows on that brow of his.
As the media go merrily about their business trying to manipulate a move to Arsenal for Brede Hangeland, Roy must have concerns about the tall Norwegian jumping ship.
Whilst Roy has already acknowledged that the squad needs bolstering, as it is painfully thin, I doubt he have ear-marked replacing his influential centre back as well.
Earlier this month, rumours emerged that Roy was keen on the Hull City centre back, Michael Turner. But those rumours were based around Bobby Zamora agreeing a move to Hull and Roy using the £5 million agreed fee as a large chunk of the transfer fee.
As that particular transfer appears to be dying a slow death, we doubt whether Roy would be prepared to spend £9 million of straight clash on Turner. Besides, our initial interest appears to have opened a can of worms with several other Premier League clubs, including Spurs and Everton also now showing an interest in the Hull defender.
If Brede does go, Roy may have to make do with what he`s got possibly leaving a transfer swoop for the latter end of August.
If that`s the case Roy may persist with young Chris Smalling.
Chris broke into the first team squad towards the back end of last season and last week featured in the 3-3 draw at Peterborough. Unfortunately, many pundits see those two errors Chris made, both of which led to goals for Peterborough, as evidence that the relatively untried youngster is not the immediate answer.
So what does Roy do?
Does he persist with Smalling and hope that the youngster grows into the role?
Does he blatantly ignore any requests for clubs to speak to Brede, thereby stalling on a transfer but risk having an unhappy player in the squad?
Or does he call for Chris Baird or John Pantsil to fill in whilst a frantic search is orchestrated for an adequate replacement?
Like I intimated earlier, worrying times for Roy!