The way I see it, our Management didn’t think that we were going to lose Nathaniel Clyne at the time, and the purchase of Cedric was considered to be one ‘for the future’, who would be groomed (no, not like that) as his natural replacement over the course of the season, getting some game-time in spells when required to cover, and generally taking our time to improve him in training this year whilst he settled into the squad and got used to the English way of life, and the intensity of Premier League football.
Clyne left for more cuntish climes, Cedric was suddenly required to make the step up immediately, and Cuco Martina was brought in as an “oh shit!” after-thought as desperation cover.
Cuco (and Saints!) was widely laughed at and mocked by our Dutch friends when learning that we were signing him, with the general consensus that he wasn’t good enough for a mediocre FC Twente side, let alone English Premier League football. And early signs in pre-season appeared to at first support that conclusion.
However, as the season has progressed, it has become apparent that Ronald doesn’t yet really trust Cedric sufficiently in the Right Back role, or at least that he has not done enough to hold down the position and make it his own. He’s played very well at times in my opinion, but Ron seems to have doubts regarding his defensive qualities, and has often prefered Martina there in games where we expect to have less of the ball and be under pressure ourselves.
Cuco, to be fair to him, has matured and grown into the role as the season has progressed, and at the least, silenced the howls of derision, and proved himself to be a mostly pretty solid option. I was going to say “solid if not spectacular” – but then, I can’t think of many more appropriate words than “spectacular” to describe his wonder strike against Arsenal.
There is clearly a very good player there in Cedric waiting to emerge on a more consistent basis given time, encouragement, training and support. And I am sure he will continue to improve over time. Cuco I expect, has pretty much reached the pinnacle of his development, and is unlikely to get much better than “a solid option”.
So, given that we’re a progressive Club on the up, looking to become a regular challenger for the European places, can we afford to leave things as they are for next Season, or do you feel that we need to splash some of the massive amounts of cash that the new TV deal will soon be showering us with?