Adam le Fondre to Crystal Palace – One can win the league with just 1-0 wins, but despite Palace’s resurgence under Tony Pulis they have still struggled to score goals with only 18 so far this campaign. It’s a shame that the Championship’s top scorer last season Glenn Murray has been out of action since the end of that promotion campaign. He could have been their Marcus Stewart or – ironically enough – his old Palace team-mate Kevin Phillips who, with Ipswich Town and Sunderland respectively, both made the leap from the second tier to the top division with aplomb.
Dwight Gayle was playing in the Essex Senior League three years ago and, although a good player, doesn’t look like one that will score enough goals to keep you up (not this season anyway). The same applies to Marouane Chamakh. An extra striker is needed. Enter Reading’s Adam le Fondre.
A quick 40 odd mile trip to the home of Reading Festival and a corner of a street that smelt suspiciously like the contents of a man which are needed to impregnate a woman (wasn’t just me who thought that) could prove to be very profitable in terms of Premier League survival. Le Fondre scored 12 goals in the top-flight last season despite being a substitute for much of the time. People may say that if he couldn’t get into Reading’s flops then he cannot be that good a player, but the fact is that when he was called upon, he did the business in a struggling side.
With a better team around him, who knows how many more goals he would have got. Whether Palace are that team is open to debate, but he would definitely get The Eagles those extra goals that will be crucial in their battle for survival. Also, he’s said to be disappointed with his lack of first-team football, so that could bode well for Palace, a division higher than Le Fondre’s present club.
Danny Ings to West Ham United – it’s understandably hard for managers in the transfer window to convince a player to join their club, particularly when they’re struggling. Sam Allardyce has lamented it saying ‘‘every time we go to sign someone, someone else comes in and fucking takes them.’’ He has also moaned about how difficult it is to get players from overseas.
If this is the case and he hasn’t already tried it, why not go for someone like Burnley’s Danny Ings. He’s already wearing claret and blue – so that’s one obstacle out of the way – and he’s scoring plenty of goals this season with 16 from 25 league games so far. It’s a position amongst many for The Hammers that needs strengthening, although they do have Ricardo vaz Te coming back soon. Still, you cannot solely rely on him, the injury prone Andy Carroll and the often ineffective Carlton Cole.
Every team gets affected by injuries, but West Ham have been more unlucky than most. A match doesn’t seem to go by without an injury to a player that will keep them out for the next game at least (on Tuesday it was the turn of Joe Cole and Mohamed Diame). So in this light, they need one striker plus one or two players in both defence and midfield. Ings must be worth a punt.
Tom Ince to Swansea City – even if his father Paul wasn’t sacked this week it was likely he would have left at the end of this season if not this month. But now it looks certain. Despite the press reports linking him with a move to Monaco, Michael Laudrup and Swansea should try and hijack the move and go in for the England Under-21 international who has a high rate of assists and goals. The side could do with a lift and a bigger squad to cope with upcoming FA Cup, league and Europa League fixtures, particularly with many players out injured. More importantly, he would suit their style.
Jordan Rhodes to Norwich City – another side whose players have not often heard the ripple of a net shortly after the ball has left their feet. Summer signing Gary Hooper has done well coming back from his injury to pop up with more than a few goals for The Canaries, but they are still very lightweight in that department. Ricky van Wolfswinkel has disappointed so far given his decent scoring record in the Dutch and Portuguese top-flights; which makes me think they should go for Jordan Rhodes. The amount of goals the Scotsman has scored in his career is impressive: 139 times in 256 matches. He deserves his chance in the Premiership and even if he turned out to be not quite as prolific, the club who acquires his services is guaranteed goals that could provide the difference between a loss and a draw and/or a draw and a win.
Paul Pogba to Manchester United – we’ve seen recently from Chelsea in buying back Nemanja Matic that there’s no shame in purchasing a former player at a greater price then the one you sold him for; it’s what is better for the club in the present and future. It appears pretty certain that Juan Mata is making the move north to Manchester from west London (although I will not be convinced until I see the Spaniard posing with a United shirt), but despite the mouth-watering prospect of a front three consisting of Van Persie, Rooney and Mata, the Red Devils still need more players especially in the midfield area.
The defending has been poor, but it’s no wonder when they are under pressure all the time. And that is because they are so flaky in the middle of the park, letting teams play through them. The more times they’re put under the cosh, the chance they have of conceding goals. Pogba is mainly an attacking midfielder, but with his quality and creativity, it would be another player making sure the ball is in the opposing team’s half rather than United’s.
Aside from Paul Pogba I could have applied any of the Championship players to those clubs I mentioned that are fighting relegation from the Premiership. Obviously, they will cost money, which those clubs might not have at the moment, but with nearly everyone desperate to recruit, I am sure they can offload some personnel too. It’s all part of the merry-go-round.
In any case the money they pay for these players will cost less than the money they will lose should they fall out of the top division; which is what they are in danger of doing. If you have a washing machine that keeps letting you down you get another one within your price range that gets the job done. And it is this somewhat poor metaphor that I feel the bottom clubs should abide by. So get moving!