Below is a list of our current first team players at SAFC to highlight just how much work is required by Steve Bruce this summer. It is scary when you see exactly what is available for the manager to choose from and highlights the urgent need for virtually an entire new team of players at the club. Assuming we have approximately £30-£40m available in the transfer kitty from the sales of Bent and Henderson it is hard to envisage many (if any) big marquee signings unless he is willing to take a risk that our injuriy crisis will not continue.Goalkeepers (1) Gordon (22)Mignolet
Defenders (2) Bardsley, (3)Richardson, (4)Turner, (12)Angeleri, (19)Bramble, (29) Ferdinand
Midfielders (6) Cattermole, (7)Zenden, (8) Malbranque, (10) Henderson, (16) Riveros, (18) Meyler, (27)Elmohamady, (28) Sessegnon, Colback
Strikers (9) Campbell, (31) Noble, (33) Gyan
Ok so we have 2 very good keepers, unfortunately Gordon is constantly injured so we do not have any competition or cover for Mignolet most of the time. We undoubtedly need to bring in one more keeper and Westwood seems the likely contender - available on a free from July 1st. An adequate addition in my opinion.
In Bardsley and Bramble we have a couple of good defenders, the rest are decent at best, and strengthening our defensive options are a must. For me, Richardson is a midfielder (not a LB) and Angeleri has not exactly stepped up to the plate since he signed. Realistically we need to bring in a minimum of 3 additional defenders - possible additions for me would include: Stephen Warnock, Roger Johnson, Wes Brown and I would love to see us go for Jonny Evans again (if Man Utd sign Phil Jones).
Assuming we lose Zenden and Henderson again that leaves us short and relying on youngsters like Colback who I think looks the real deal and Meyler (who has been injury prone to say the least, as is Cattermole), so again I think we need to bring in another 2 or 3. Obviously we would all love to see N'Zogbia join us but with the bigger clubs sniffing around we may struggle. It sounds as if Seb Larsson is quite likely and would be a strong addition to the squad, I think we could do worse than bringing in Reo-Coker on a free to help add soem experience and depth, David Vaughan and Darron Gibson are also heavily linked (again I think they would be useful additions but doubt they would be improvements on what we have/had. Would like to see us try for Charlie Adam (doubt LFC will want him if they sign Jordan) and he'd be guaranteed to play for us.
OK so we have Gyan and that's it really as Campbell is already confirmed to miss next season through injury. There are strong rumours that Ngog will join us as part of the Henderson deal and I welcome the addition, I think he is a hard working striker who could develop into a good striker over the next couple of years but I would not want to rely on him as a first choice striker. Would love to see us go fro Pavlychenko but the noises from Spurs suggest we are more interested in Crouch (I wanted him a couple of seasons back but not convinced so much now), would certainly be a good addition nonetheless. Personally I'd love to see us break the bank on Daniel Sturridge but can't see it happening. Rumours of Jay Bothroyd seem to have died down, possibly bring Danny Welbeck again?
So there we have it, can we afford to bring all of these players in on a budget of £30-£40m? Probably not but there are a number of available free transfers included in my suggestions above who I thik could do a useful job for us, hopefully we can bring in another 4 or 5 loanees like last season?
Oh and just to depress people further, bear in mind we are likely to lose are 2 best players in the form of Gyan and Sessegnon to the African Cup of Nations in 2012 too.