With less than two weeks remaining in the transfer window, the media has largely focused on incoming transfers for squads at both ends of the Premier League table. Squads in the top dominate the headlines, as every agent leaks “interest” rumors to try and bolster transfer prospects amongst the clubs with deep pockets.
Oddly enough, the only team seemingly spending anything—everything—is Chelsea, who sit in 10th place with 28 points. The Blues have already added five new signings totaling £152M, creating a roster bloated with overpaid attackers who will inevitably spend time on the bench and while also riddled with multiple injuries.
But that’s another story. For now, we can focus on the bottom end of the table, where multiple clubs are currently scrambling to avoid the dreaded relegation zone. Many of those organizations already invested heavily in the summer and don’t have the resources to invest in promising youngsters that can be developed and nurtured.
Eddie Howe’s willingness to let veteran squad members go could provide clues as to where he will finally pull the trigger as the deadline gets closer.
Chris Wood has been linked to multiple teams across England ever since the Magpies brought in Alexander Isak, but his recent injury and Callum Wilson’s fragility shushed those rumors.
With both back to full fitness, The Athletic ($) published a report on Wednesday linking the Kiwi international to Nottingham Forest with the deal being “very likely”. Nottingham just lost forward Awoniyi for two months, and Jesse Lingard seems to have lost the magic that electrified Westham during the loan spell that seems ages ago now.
While Wood’s departure would be bittersweet for many (including me), the numbers make sense. A quick check on Spotrac puts Wood at eighth in wages on the squad, with a weekly salary of £80m. That’s almost double Wilson’s (£46m), and more than double Allan Saint Maximin’s (£38m).
One would have to assume that if Dan Ashworth is green-lighting this transfer, he has a deal in place for a replacement. Perhaps a winger, who could move up front in an emergency?
Another Magpie exit seems inevitable and it involves veteran Ryan Fraser. The Scottish international has only logged 311 minutes this season, and over the last few weeks hasn’t even appeared to be dressing for games. At 28 years old and with years of experience working with Howe, it appears the two have mutually decided to find a location with a team who can give him minutes to jump-start his career.
A majority of the Everton news outlets both in print and on audio all seem to approve of bringing Fraser in. Tactics-wise it makes sense as well, sitting in last place but with Dominic Calvert-Lewin fit again (for now) and gaping holes in their attacking midfield. For what it’s worth, Fraser’s wages are more than Maxi's as well (£41m).
Finally, The Chronicle has a great breakdown of the current goalie roster at Newcastle. The Magpies are expected to soon announce that Loris Karius will be staying through the season. The 29-year-old German had a steady career before stumbling in some big matches for Liverpool. This decision indicates that Howe believes he can be brought back on track. Nick Pope can be expected to stay as the starter, which then leaves Karl Darlow and recently recalled Martin Dubravka in relief.
The article’s author, Lee Ryder, leans toward Darlow getting loaned out this month, but I tend to favor a Dubravka move. Dubravka made his position clear earlier in the season, and the loan to Manchester United essentially planted him right in the middle of a major roster overhaul. Between all the issues plaguing that club and coming to a head with the Ronaldo mess, I’m sure he feels he deserves another chance. A team like Leicester who have sorely missed Kasper Schmeichel would make a lot of sense.
Where should those roster spots go? Who do you think we need to bring in for the push for European places? Let us know in the comment section below!