Now, I know it’s only mid-January but is anyone else becoming slightly worried that we don’t seem to be too active at the quality end of the transfer market?
I’m sure we were all shocked and saddened when Blackburn Rovers’ Matt Jansen, a lovely bloke by all accounts, suffered his awful motorbike crash in 2002. But, when I heard that he was training with us, following his release by Rovers, I let loose a frustrated sigh. Hot on the, not that speedy so I hear, heels of the signing of Finnish free agent, Tuomas Haapala (who doesn’t even feature in our squad on the official website), this wasn’t the kind of transfer activity that made my blood tick.
I’m sure Stuart Pearce is looking at Jansen with a cool, dispassionate eye and will surely only offer him a pay as you play contract until the end of the season but that’s really not the point. I also understand that we’re offering a trial to Costa Rican international Cristian Bolanos, an apparently tricky little winger expected to make an impact at the World Cup.
However, is it too much to ask that we sign someone who doesn’t need a trial? Who is of proven Premiership class? It’s not as if we don’t have the money. It’s common knowledge that we have about £10m of Shaun Wright Phillips’s transfer fee available to spend and whilst I have no wish to return to the days when Kevin Keegan would spend £2m on a promising armchair, I do think that Pearce is perhaps too dogged in his determination to be the antithesis of Keegan.
We need at least two more players added to the squad to have any chance of reigniting our season. We need a forward and a midfield player. They need to be able to force their way into the side pretty much immediately. They need to be of high quality and quality costs. So, come on Stu: show us the money!