As speculation is rife to who Kenny Jackett will bring in this month to bolster Wolves squad, Ryan Plant takes a look at who could actually leave Molineux in this transfer window.
For most people, January 1st is a day of celebration for the commencing year, the New Year’s resolutions, the ‘New Year, new me’ promises. However, for football fans, it signals the start of the second transfer window of the season. Time flies, this time last year Nouha Dicko and Leon Clarke both began their second spell at the club, whilst James Henry and Michael Jacobs made their loan deals permanent.
However, lets concern ourselves with the players we are likely to be seeing the back of. Last year, Wayne Hennessy (after a controversial turn of events at Gillingham) and Leigh Griffiths both left the club. So what about this year, who could we be seeing leave Molineux? Are they likely to endure the same living hell sat on a substitutes bench that Hennessy and Griffiths have experienced?
I think one player that we can consider extremely lucky to have kept to this day is Bakary Sako. A collapsed move to Fulham, huge interest from Nottingham Forest, and a whole host of Premier League suitors have been mentioned already. There is some doubt in my mind as to whether Sako would be effective in the Premier League. There is dancing around Inigo Calderon for 90 minutes against Brighton (without a final product might I add) but facing Branislav Ivanovic or Pablo Zabaleta is a whole new ball game. However, maybe Premier League scouts have seen the unbelievable mazy runs, set pieces and long range shots – after all, 30 goals in just over 100 games isn’t a bad return for a winger. It may be time to cash in, we have plenty of depth in his position.
Another talented player in the Wolves ranks that may move on soon is Danny Batth – of Brierley Hill, apparently. In the summer, Aston Villa were said to be considering a £5 million approach. It would not surprise me the slightest if there were to be interest from other Premier League clubs. Batth shows unbelievable maturity for a young man of 24, is a great presence in the air and already has admirers in the game, as Kevin Davies showed his admiration for Batth’s performance against Preston last year. Not only that, Batth’s contribution of goals from set-pieces are invaluable. These qualities are of great importance to a centre back – we only have to look at the shambolic performances of Arsenal and Everton’s defences for proof.
Fan’s Player of the Season. Player’s Player of the Season. League One Team of the Year. The 2013-14 was a superb first season at Molineux for the strong, powerful and mercurial Kevin McDonald, seeing him named in the Scotland squad in 2014. It was rumoured that Celtic were considering an offer for in my opinion, by far the best player in League One last year. They must’ve seen the incredible statistics from last season – McDonald became the first player in English football to make 500 successful passes, before anyone had made 400.
A powerful central midfielder with such talent is something many of the top tier clubs desire -who will Palace look to after Mile Jedinak’s imminent departure? Can Aston Villa rely on Fabian Delph to pull the strings in midfield? Is Lee Cattermole ever on the pitch long enough for Sunderland? They may look no further – Kevin McDonald already has top tier experience with Burnley, whilst scoring two goals at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal in the League Cup shows he is one for the big occasion. Although this season McDonald hasn’t been quite so successful, even if Wolves are not soon in the top tier, he will be once again.
Next, a player who certainly divides opinion. The Derby County faithful, although the feeling may not be the same now, were very aggrieved to see a player of Michael Jacobs’ talent let go so cheaply to Wolves. Able to play on the left, on the right, or in the number 10 role (or the Dave Edwards, as I like to call it) Jacobs has a wand of a left foot. He’s able to make swift, darting runs at defences, which saw him notch an impressive 7 goals last season – including my vote for goal of the season away at Brentford, where he was simply unplayable. This season though, Jacobs has found first team appearances hard to come by.
Bakary Sako is a near dead cert to start games on the left when he’s fully fit, the position behind the striker is where Dave Edwards seems to have found his place, and James Henry has been incredibly consistent out on the right. Beneath them, the extremely talented and athletic Rajiv van La Parra and let us not forget Tommy Rowe lit up the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final on the left wing for Peterborough at Wembley last season. It’d be incredibly sad to see Michael Jacobs leave after a relatively short stay at the club, given his performances last season, but it may be time to cash in. A host of Championship clubs are in need of a potential match winner and creator, even if it may be on loan.
However, one thing is for sure, it is incredibly unlikely Wolves will get through this transfer window, as with any, without players leaving the club. Here’s to the January 2015 transfer window.