A few thoughts on next season

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dm
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A few thoughts on next season

Post by dm » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:26 am

Far too soon I know, but here are a few thoughts on next season’s squad. Assuming we’re not relegated, and I don’t think we will be, these areas will need careful consideration.

Who will be sold on?
With our player ‘develop and sell’ strategy we must accept that one or two of our best players will be sold each season. Who will it be this summer? Dieng, Dickie and Chair are our top assets and I can see at least one of them being sold should a good offer be made.

What to do with our fringe players?
Conor Masterson – will return to first team squad. George Thomas – I think he needs a season out on loan. Ody Alfa – same. Olamide Shodipo – probably worth us giving him one more chance. Liam Kelly – will be sold for a nominal fee to Motherwell. Paul Smyth – his contract won’t be renewed. Aramide Oteh – same. Dillon Barnes – same.

What positions will need strengthening?
Obviously Dieng, Dickie or Chair would need replacing should any be sold on. Both full back positions really do need better quality than we’ve currently got. Depending on whether we can retain Austin, we will need one, perhaps two strikers. I say that because for me Bonne needs either moving on or loaning out. I don’t think he has the required technical ability on the ball to play at this level.

In case you’re wondering, we’ve got some promising U23s but I’m not sure any will be ready for the first team next season. I suppose potential wonderboy Sinclair Armstrong might be the exception.

FYI, Lumley, Wallace and Cameron's contracts expire in the summer and I’d be surprised if any were renewed.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by UxbridgeR » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:01 pm

Thanks dm, interesting post.

Probably the biggest decision to be made is whether or not Warburton will still be our manager. His contract is up in the summer, and I've yet to hear any noises about him being offered an extension. I'd be happy for him to stay, but if he doesn't, his replacement should at least be somebody who wants to play in a similar style. We need to establish a firm identity for the team in the same way that Swansea, Brentford, Bournemouth and arguably even Barnsley and Coventry have for years now. Managerial appointments should be made to fit that, rather than everything being thrown up in the air whenever a new man comes in.

I agree with most of what you say about players moving on. I doubt we can afford Austin permanently, but the first half of the season proved we need one proven Championship striker at a minimum. I hope Dieng sticks around for at least another year, as a good keeper makes a huge difference to the whole defence. Dickie currently looks our most saleable asset to me. For all his ostensible trickery, Chair's lack of end product doesn't seem likely to persuade anyone to splash big money on him.

Bonne should just be moved on if we don't think he's up to this level. He's 25 with 200+ first team games under his belt, so loaning him out would just be delaying the inevitable. I think the fact that we're in the habit of loaning out players aged 23 and upwards is a bit of a failure of policy really. If they're not good enough at 21/22, we should be looking to get rid. You might get the odd one wrong, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb in my view.
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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by dm » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:24 pm

Thanks for yours, Uxbridge. I agree Warburton should be given a new contract at the end of this season. He has his faults but he's bought into the club's strategy and believes in a way of playing that works well for our club. He's a good fit for us and, with Ferdinand, Hoos, Ramsey and others, establishing the identity not only of our playing style, but also of the club itself, feels well underway.

You make a good point about us loaning out players who are 23+. It shows our recruitment work needs to improve but, that said, it has got a great deal better than in years gone by.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by deadendjob » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:18 pm

Definitely think we should keep MW on. With the clubs limitations, I still think he's doing well and we really need some stability. I guess where we finish at the end of the season will define what happens with his contract.

I'm sure the only reason we're loaning out players 23+ is because we can't find a buyer and need to reduce the wage bill.

Bonne should definitely be moved on. I'd much rather we had a youth player as our 3rd striker. It does beg the question as to what our scouts saw in him or whether we just took a punt on a cheap striker.

Charlie is out of contract in May, so we could make a pre-contract offer ala BOS or even on a free. In saying that, he's 32 this year, injury prone and if he keeps his form up, I'm sure another Championship club pushing for promotion will pick him up.

I think we really need strengthening across the park. Full backs and middle of the park in particular. Cameron will go, Amos will return from injury but may not return to form, Dom Ball is ok, but he isn't really a starter.
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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by QPR_John » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:47 pm

deadendjob wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:18 pm
Definitely think we should keep MW on. With the clubs limitations, I still think he's doing well and we really need some stability. I guess where we finish at the end of the season will define what happens with his contract.

I'm sure the only reason we're loaning out players 23+ is because we can't find a buyer and need to reduce the wage bill.

Bonne should definitely be moved on. I'd much rather we had a youth player as our 3rd striker. It does beg the question as to what our scouts saw in him or whether we just took a punt on a cheap striker.

Charlie is out of contract in May, so we could make a pre-contract offer ala BOS or even on a free. In saying that, he's 32 this year, injury prone and if he keeps his form up, I'm sure another Championship club pushing for promotion will pick him up.

I think we really need strengthening across the park. Full backs and middle of the park in particular. Cameron will go, Amos will return from injury but may not return to form, Dom Ball is ok, but he isn't really a starter.
West Brom have a one year option. If they are relegated they will certainly be interested in how Austen has performed.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by IJM » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:25 pm

I can't understand this anti Bonne sentiments which I continue to see. For me, given service, he has proved to be far better than Dykes, the Conor Washington Mark 2, and it is Dykes who we should let go - I'm sure a League One club should find a place on their bench for him to keep warm.

Returning to Bonne, I think we should persevere with him, for at least his 5 (?) Goals have all come from open play.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by dm » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:59 am

IJM wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:25 pm
I can't understand this anti Bonne sentiments which I continue to see. For me, given service, he has proved to be far better than Dykes, the Conor Washington Mark 2, and it is Dykes who we should let go - I'm sure a League One club should find a place on their bench for him to keep warm.

Returning to Bonne, I think we should persevere with him, for at least his 5 (?) Goals have all come from open play.
Bonne's overall contribution to play is consistently poor and he rarely seems to bring the ball under control. As Uxbridge pointed out, he's 25 with over 200+ first team appearances so whether he can significantly improve his technique must be in doubt. Many Charlton supporters said as much and were surprised when he moved to us. His finishing is okay and he's scored 3 goals, each fairly straightforward, not 5.

Dykes' form has been underwhelming so far but, even so, he gives us more in a game than Bonne and has shown for Scotland he can perform to a higher level.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by guyrob07 » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:19 am

I agree - Huge fan of Chair but he's yet to register an assist this season, love watching him on the ball but his crossing and passing range won't be attracting the big boys. Confident he'll stay, his valuation will rule out any Championship move.

Really hope Dickie stays, he's premiership quality for sure but who is willing to take that risk? Could see him as a Burnley/Newcastle type of signing. If he is to stay and continue his growing partnership with the vastly improved Barbet then we need to get a replacement for Cameron to fit in that back three. Someone In the same mould as Dickie a young emerging defender from League 1. Who knows might have that in the shape of Jordy de Wijs!

Would love to secure the services of both Austin and Johansen, brings great experience to the spine of the team, think the later will start proving himself in the next few games. A keeper like Dieng is rare to come by and expect out of all the players for him to leave. I wonder what his value would be?

Our attacking options could do with a few additions but have faith in Willock and the returning Mide to make an impression.

Priority has to be Full backs/wing backs, It's a shame Manning is just warming the bench at Swansea, I'd take him back in a flash, If they get promoted he might be available? Crazy to think he was being with West Ham etc and now doesn't even play!

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by old pauline » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:35 am

Far too early to be talking about next season. Teams down the bottom are picking up and we are not out of the woods yet. Maybe think about it when we reach the 45 point mark but until then I just want to think about what we need to do now.
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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by LP » Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:14 pm

Agree with your points, dm.

While Dieng, Dickie, Chair are the top candidates to be sold - unless someone is going to take a real punt, we'll hopefully have them until the end of next season to polish them up a bit and work on drumming up the asking prices. We've had a bit of a blip with the production line in terms of Bright and Manning, but we've got this next lot on decent contracts so that's the first step in correcting it.

If we can get the likes of Dickie, I'd hope we can steal a march on the likes of Brentford/Peterborough and pick up some gems at RB/LB and maybe even in terms of genuine goalscorers.

Well aware of where we shop these days, but not blown away by Thomas. Nominal fees for Kelly, Smyth might get us a sell-on %, maybe even Lumley who I think is decent and warrants an extension. Wallace and Cameron have probably served their purpose and imagine Geoff is one of our bigger earners, think Johansen would be a very decent upgrade there?

Hard to talk about Bonne & Dykes being sent out on loan, purely because they are the first strikers we've actually owned in some time. Dykes is pretty raw and sure, we might have taken a punt on someone like Bonne before he went to Charlton - but these are two whose development will hopefully be better serve in empty stadiums rather than people getting on their backs at LR as was noticeable at the Stoke game(!)

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by Greyhound » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:05 pm

Bonne has certainly had a slow start for us, but bear in mind he has spent about the same amount of time on the pitch as Wallace, slightly more than Willock and less than half the amount of minutes as Dykes. He's scored 3 and got 1 assist, but managed to pick up four yellow cards. His pass success is slightly better than Dykes and Austin, and he's well down the list in terms of overall game rating. He's presumably been somewhat distracted by the family situation that we mentioned a few games back. For me, I've seen some promising signs (Cardiff away) mixed up with some frustrating habits (conceding free-kicks and offsides too easily). For (up to) £2m, we are clearly gambling on a player who may come good over time, and I think he deserves a bit more of it.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by dm » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:16 am

Our current loan players have been mentioned and I think we'll retain 2 of them next season.

Jordy de Wijs - Hull, and Sam Field - WBA, have both been brought in with a view to sign them permanently. That must mean Hull and WBA have already agreed they can leave at the end of this season. We've yet to see them play but the club must have done their homework on them and believe they're worth keeping. We should assume they'll be here next season.

With Stefan Johansen - Fulham, and Charlie Austin - WBA, there's no such arrangement. It's been stated that WBA can extend Austin's contract to 2022 and Johansen's contract lasts until 2022. It looks likely both clubs will be relegated so I'd have thought it quite possible their parent clubs will want to keep them. Also, as much as we'd like Austin to stay, his wages would be a problem for us. Johansen's wages are almost certain to be too high for us as well. I don't expect them to be here next season.

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by guyrob07 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:23 am

dm wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:16 am
Our current loan players have been mentioned and I think we'll retain 2 of them next season.

Jordy de Wijs - Hull, and Sam Field - WBA, have both been brought in with a view to sign them permanently. That must mean Hull and WBA have already agreed they can leave at the end of this season. We've yet to see them play but the club must have done their homework on them and believe they're worth keeping. We should assume they'll be here next season.

With Stefan Johansen - Fulham, and Charlie Austin - WBA, there's no such arrangement. It's been stated that WBA can extend Austin's contract to 2022 and Johansen's contract lasts until 2022. It looks likely both clubs will be relegated so I'd have thought it quite possible their parent clubs will want to keep them. Also, as much as we'd like Austin to stay, his wages would be a problem for us. Johansen's wages are almost certain to be too high for us as well. I don't expect them to be here next season.
Didn’t realise that about Sam Fields, looking forward to seeing what he has to offer, was highly rated and has a fair bit of experience for a 22 year old. Capped at youth level and was WBA young player of the year. Could be a steal!

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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by ZENITH R » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:30 am

dm wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:16 am
Our current loan players have been mentioned and I think we'll retain 2 of them next season.

Jordy de Wijs - Hull, and Sam Field - WBA, have both been brought in with a view to sign them permanently. That must mean Hull and WBA have already agreed they can leave at the end of this season. We've yet to see them play but the club must have done their homework on them and believe they're worth keeping. We should assume they'll be here next season.

With Stefan Johansen - Fulham, and Charlie Austin - WBA, there's no such arrangement. It's been stated that WBA can extend Austin's contract to 2022 and Johansen's contract lasts until 2022. It looks likely both clubs will be relegated so I'd have thought it quite possible their parent clubs will want to keep them. Also, as much as we'd like Austin to stay, his wages would be a problem for us. Johansen's wages are almost certain to be too high for us as well. I don't expect them to be here next season.
Surely, only if Charlie agrees to the extension though. It is an option at the end of his contract, but the thing about options is that usually both parties have to agree.
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Re: A few thoughts on next season

Post by QPR_John » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:57 am

ZENITH R wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:30 am
dm wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:16 am
Our current loan players have been mentioned and I think we'll retain 2 of them next season.

Jordy de Wijs - Hull, and Sam Field - WBA, have both been brought in with a view to sign them permanently. That must mean Hull and WBA have already agreed they can leave at the end of this season. We've yet to see them play but the club must have done their homework on them and believe they're worth keeping. We should assume they'll be here next season.

With Stefan Johansen - Fulham, and Charlie Austin - WBA, there's no such arrangement. It's been stated that WBA can extend Austin's contract to 2022 and Johansen's contract lasts until 2022. It looks likely both clubs will be relegated so I'd have thought it quite possible their parent clubs will want to keep them. Also, as much as we'd like Austin to stay, his wages would be a problem for us. Johansen's wages are almost certain to be too high for us as well. I don't expect them to be here next season.
Surely, only if Charlie agrees to the extension though. It is an option at the end of his contract, but the thing about options is that usually both parties have to agree.
If both parties have to agree then there is little point in having an option. What is the point of a player agreeing to sign a contract with an option if the club can ignore said option.

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