Yesterday we look at those out of contract players, and those coming back from loan who have a year left on their deals. Today, and as Dougie mentioned some players with contracts have been told to look for new clubs. Who they are has been a major talking point.
As well as the types of player above, we briefly mentioned the fringe squad members who may be available. Veldwijk, McLaughlin, Vaughan. Hand y to maybe have as squad players, but Vaughan is surely not cheap, and hasn’t looked much good lately. Veldwijk has looked just an awful buy. McLaughlin has never kicked on beyond a few appearances every so often, and doesn’t look like ever making a break through.
In all of this the following criteria of embargo need to be considered
“Clubs will be prohibited from registering any new professional players (permanent contract or loan) unless they have:
• 24 or fewer established players (players aged 21 or over that have made at least 5 starting appearances for the club).
Where clubs have fewer than 24 established players, they will only be permitted to sign players in the following circumstances (with the player in question being added to the club’s list of established players regardless of his age or previous playing experience):
• Where the employee costs of a player being signed are less than £600,000 per annum (or pro-rata if signed on a shorter contract).
Where clubs have 24 established players, they will be permitted to trade on a ‘one out, one in’ basis but only if the employee costs of the player coming in to the club are no more than whichever is the lower amount of:• 75% of the equivalent costs of the player going out.
• Or a maximum of £600,000 per annum (or pro-rata if signed on shorter contract”
That’s key because that 75% of players going out, if we have more than 24 players means we can still pay a good portion of wages. So high earners on the fringe may be earmarked as departures. They can be used but very shrewdly in FFP. However, if all contracts run through, then by my quick calculations, we will have 22 players. That’s going to be tricky, unless, and the caveats of the rules I am not sure here, but for instance, Bosman or free transfers generally go through on July 1st. So in essence, there could be a period where Harding, Halford etc. become Forest players again, and then we trade them off in that regard. If that’s the case we could make Bosman signings for the value of 75% of those players, and some of them are on moderately high wage.
One major name, but not this season that looks like he may be surplus to requirements is Jamie Paterson. After being the darling of the fans in early 2014, this season has seen him used sparingly. When he has come on, he has looked average at best, admittedly feeding from scraps. He would hopefully command what we spent on him, but it would be a shame to lose a player with promise who is an able deputy. But the simple truth is if he isn’t playing and if Freedman doesn’t rate him, it might be time to move him, despite having a long term contract he signed last season (till 2018 I believe) With the embargo though, selling talented players on long deals like him might not be wise.
Henri Lansbury might attract attention again. The issue with him last summer, and his contract, for me the extension always meant we’d get an extra year and he’d then move on for a good fee, rather than merely leaving us with a cut price year again. I can frankly see him wanting a move if any Premier League club makes an approach, and frankly we should seriously consider accepting. Reid will be back, as will hopefully Cohen and Osborn has cemented his place, and a loan could cover for Henri, as much as it hurts me as I have always championed him as a key player.
Michail Antonio has had a stellar year, although the last few weeks have seen him go off the boil, possibly due to tiredness, or possibly simply form. Either way strong rumours circulated Premier League clubs have been taking a closer look. Pace and power are valuable weapons at any level. There is no suggestion he wants off, but the fact remains wages could be doubled or trebled by moving up a division. I don’t care who you are that holds an appeal. Antonio would be hard to replace, but it would represent a quick (for football) turnover in revenue on a player.
Further High earners are the likes of Dexter Blackstock, who still has a long time to run after signing a 4 and half year deal just 2 years ago. Whether there are any takers, remains to be seen, and Dexter is a model pro. He looks like he could well do a job still. Michael Mancienne, Jack Hobbs and kelvin Wilson will all no doubt be on more than £20k a week, and as such offloading one could be an option. On the other hand they make a wonderful set to have although Wilson can at times be a liability (see last night’s Watford game)
Danny Fox will be on higher wages than his performances would suggest. In that case if we had the requisite 24 senior pros he might be worth letting go. Problem is if we don’t. Youngsters of course can fill the squad up, as they do in many other teams in the Championship, but they need to be good enough quality. We haven’t had a host of youngsters making the remainder of a squad for a while, so with Osborn, and now Oliver Burke and Tyler Walker it possibly allows for one or two fewer forays into the market. Meaning trimming the fat on some players will give some financial leeway. But selling a player in these circumstances with less than 24 pros means we just have to bring in free agents on around £10k to replace. At this level these days, that’s a squad player, not a team leader. So we need to be savvy about how we do this and in what timing. Unfortunately with Fawaz that might not be easy.