As he says, 4 or 5 games (or goals) isn’t enough to warrant a new deal just yet. I see nothing wrong with letting him enter the last year of his deal and if he starts next season well and Ralph sees merit in keeping him then offer him a short extension. He clearly wants to stay but he ought to earn it. As you say his pace and work rate are his strengths and you would naturally expect both to lessen with age, and at 32 I’m not sure how much mileage he has left. His finishing is still pretty dreadful… that miss yesterday when he hit the post…
I do like him though and have respect for the way he goes about it on and off the pitch.
Austin will be the one moving on and there will definitely be clubs after him. I’d expect to recoup more than the £4m we paid for him, albeit not a lot more.
Boufal is getting more game time at Celta Vigo so perhaps he will leave permanently. Cedric isn’t getting a game so he’ll be back unless there are any takers. I’d be a bit surprised if we couldn’t sell him to a lesser Italian/Spanish or Portuguese team.
Carrillo will almost certainly be back. Is he mobile enough for Ralph to get a tune out of him? Possibly not. He hasn’t really pulled up trees in Spain so I doubt they’d be wanting to make it permanent. But Pellegrino is in charge so you never know.
Now we are safe, maybe give Forster a game and get him in the shop window? Let other clubs know he’s still around.
Slightly off topic but so far I must admit that I don’t think there is much if anything between Gunn and McCarthy. One hardly warrants the number one shirt over the other. Both have conceded goals they probably should have saved and both have come and flapped at their fair share of crosses.
Take whatever offer you can for Stephens.
Has Hoedt done enough to earn a permanent move? I think he’s been injured of late. He’ll probably be one to go out on loan again.
Is it time for Gallagher to go now? We keep loaning him out and then giving him just a few minutes here and there without much in the way of performances. Maybe he is one for Ralph to work with in the summer to see if he warrants a place in the squad.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Lemina go. Whilst Ralph has stated he likes him, he is one of the few who could command a decent transfer fee and with the resurgence and emergence of Romeu and JWP respectively (plus PEH of course) we have demonstrated we can cope without him.
Elyonoussi has been a massive disappointment it has to be said. No goals and no assists. Considering he was Tadic’s replacement it is remarkable we managed to stay up. This truly shows the scale of the job Ralph has done in the way he has got goals from almost all of our midfielders.
Just a few thoughts at this early stage but I really hope we can back this manager with at least a few important signings.