It’s that time of the season again, we know what we have at the club and we know what we need to kick on this season. We sit five points outside of the play-offs after a roaring start to the season and an equally big flop that we have now got past. As the next few weeks come we have games that could see us potentially move back into the top six, but what can help us push on this season.
Tommy Elphick – Aston Villa
A centre- back that has vast experience in the Football League and promotion, helping Bournemouth to the Premier League a few years back. He was one of the players who eventually fell foul of the Premier League money at the disposal of Eddie Howe as he recruited some better quality players. Elphick is a central defender who could make a real difference to any team in this division. What we do know is that some players simply haven’t settled at Aston Villa in the last few years. Ross McCormack is a prime example, and add that to Scott Hogan, two very big names in this league and neither seem to be able to make any sort of positive impact at the club, indeed McCormack has been shipped out to Melbourne City! Elphick could certainly add some competition to the centre-back position because we have looked shaky there at times this season.
Phil Foden – Manchester City
One of the brightest prospects currently in English football the attacking midfielder needs to be playing first-team football. There is little doubt that he needs to be sticking with Pep Guardiola for as long as possible, look what the Spanish manager has done with Raheen Sterling this season, but it’s so important that players are loaned out to get some experience if they aren’t getting games. The academy at Manchester City is now one of the most advanced in the world and the player most likely to break out and into the first-team is Foden. So quick on the ball with a low centre of gravity he could really add some ability to the side, linking up with the likes of Samu Saiz and Gjanni Alioski from deeper positions. Guardiola will probably want to hold onto him rather that loan him out but he would suit us, and I think loan moved from young English players is so crucial to their development, but don’t tell Cameron Borthwick-Jackson that.
Jarrod Bowen – Hull City
In theory we really should have some money to spend if the right players are available. We still have a huge profit from the summer dealings, Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor reaching around £23 million between them. On that note, Bowen would cost more than we normally pay, somewhere between £3 million and £4 million in this market. The Hull City youngster has probably been the only shining light for the club this season and he is certainly playing at a higher level than the rest of his team-mates currently. He plays from the right or left and is pretty consistent given his age and lack of first-team experience. What has also impressed me is that he continues to get goals since he scored his first at Aston Villa towards the start of the season. There will be plenty of teams monitoring his progress.