Bargain Basement: Who would be worth snapping up?

It’s a nice feeling to essentially be home and hosed this season with a few games to spare, particularly having had such a lacklustre start to the calendar year.

It’s a nice feeling to essentially be home and hosed this season with a few games to spare, particularly having had such a lacklustre start to the calendar year.

Discontent with our achievements can perhaps now become a distant memory, with everything now seeming to be on the verge of rosy. Being in a fortunate enough position to be planning for another term in the Premier League, all attention will now be turning to who we can bring in to strengthen the squad for next season. Big Sam will also be mindful that more of a purposeful finish to 2014/15 is vital in preparation for the much anticipated (or dreaded) stadium move.

So where can we look and what sort of players do we need? The obvious initial ports of call would be those clubs in immediate danger of relegation, with Sunderland being a fairly good place to start. Adam Johnson just cannot seem to settle anywhere since leaving Middlesbrough, but for a handful of inspired periods for Manchester City and this year for the Black Cats.

He has recently been mooting his worth in the England set-up, but this has been beaten down by some as a delusion of grandeur having mostly been a nonstarter for Gus Poyet. There is, however, absolutely no doubting that Johnson has talent in abundance. Perhaps he has been lacking a manager with the tenacity to bring it out on a regular basis.

Steven Caulker was a bold purchase for Cardiff City once promoted and the defender was immediately given the captain’s armband at the tender age of 21. A reported price tag in excess of £8million, the towering centre-half has been part of a well-financed Cardiff side this season. He has the attributes to play a major part at a midtable club, which is why he could provide yet more excellent cover at the back for us with a footballing brain beyond his years.

Bradley Johnson is a player I think fits the mould of a player favoured by Big Sam; hard working, adventurous with the ball and powerful. His performance at the weekend was outstanding, with a Hollywood pass over the Fulham defence being a highlight. His Norwich team was not rewarded with a win, but he is doing his market value no damage whatsoever should they not avoid relegation. His game oozes energy, and having entered the world in Hackney he might just be tempted with a move to East London.

Wilfried Bony has done everything humanly possible to help Swansea stay away from the drop, notching an impressive 17 goals. The Swans should have been well out of sight by now, but a dip in form and a sacked manager has left them dangerously close to the bottom-three. Would he provide a good enough strike partner for Andy Carroll, or does our towering, long-haired Geordie prefer cutting a loan figure?

Regardless, we need serious reinforcements in attacking positions, so the Ivorian could be a decent option. Diego Poyet, son of the famous Uruguayan Gus, was rumoured to be a target for us on the back of his displays for Charlton in the Championship this season. The Spanish-born 19-year old is a creative and composed holding midfielder, perhaps not quite ready for the Premier League but certainly a strong prospect for the next few years.

I think a lot of our success will depend on the approach taken by both the executive and footballing management towards youth development, with a view to creating a strong and preferably English squad for our move to Stratford. Signings from relegated clubs can go either way for the purchaser, either a deflated player with his energy spent or a hungry winner, determined to prove himself despite his side dropping out of the league.

The danger with recruiting from beneath the top flight can present the same problem, with time needed for them to find their feet. In any case we are not exactly renowned for pulling in show stoppers, a pattern which needs to change and fast if we have any hope of ambitiously broaching the European spots. What good is a 55,000- seater stadium with more empty seats than fans inside it?

The danger with recruiting from beneath the top flight can present the same problem, with time needed for them to find their feet. In any case we are not exactly renowned for pulling in show stoppers, a pattern which needs to change and fast if we have any hope of ambitiously broaching the European spots. What good is a 55,000- seater stadium with more empty seats than fans inside it?

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