Young Defensive Duo to Step Up?

Following the news that Anthony Gardner won't be signing for the club it makes me wonder what role the young central defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Karlton Watson will play for the Reds this season.

Anyone who follows Karlton Watson on Twitter knows that he is coming back from along lay off and is a long way off what he regards match fitness. He has been allocated squad number 30for the season,and yes, squad numbers aren't always something to be read into into,but it does possibly suggest he will be on the fringes of the team. Remember he was Academy Player of the Season a couple of years ago before his injury problems

Lascelles has been mentioned for a round 6 months now as the next great hope to come through our youth ranks (with the Arsenal interest being a significant factor in this) He has squad number 44 this season, which could suggest that the club expect this year might still take a while to mature.

One major reason is that we have moved back from 7 subs to 5, and therefore there are of course two less spots on the bench to fill. Therefore Joel Lynch would probably be a integral sub alongside Moloney as cover. Lynch's preferred position is centre back rather than the left back role he so often has been asked to fill in. We have barely seen him in this role and like Chambers, actually playing where he likes might allow him to blossom.

Apart from these players,there aren't many others looking like breaking through. Kieron Freeman looks like a best of the rest, alongside Danny meadows and Neill Byrne, but I expect these to end up like Mark Byrne and Hamza Bencherif, looking like maybe stepping up but disappearing (and often reappearing at Meadow Lane)

This of course forgets that the other likely angle the club will take is possibly young loanee's from the Premier League.You can't help but notice the roles Henri Lansbury and Fabio Borini played in Norwich and Swansea's respective promotion pushes. These are cheaper options than the like of Konchesky or Boyd on loan as wages are cheaper an the parent club positively crave giving these players fist team action.(if not for their club progression but also to improve market value to cash in on)

So all in all, it will be interesting to see how these players are used,if they are. And how they progress. I thought maybe Niall Rodney would have been offered a dealand that never occurred. There is also of course time till the window closes again,and there is time to bring in players, though the noises from the club suggest this is highly unlikely and that yes, Chris Cohen will indeed be left back.