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Drinkwater situation is very odd. If it was some personal issues we didn't know about, I'm not sure Sarri would be out saying he doesn't fit his style and can move on etc - would be no need for it. He's always in training, so my guess is Sarri genuinely, for whatever reason, doesn't fancy him.

Belotti is an interesting one. I don't know loads about him other than reading stats etc, but my concern would be - why are no big clubs going in for him? Not that, that's the only reason we should sign players, but I'm surprised that one of the Italian 'giants' or another top club hasn't tried to sign him based on stats and how much he got talked up, maybe the scouts just don't see something in him. Maybe West Ham would be his level in the PL?

In terms of changes to our squad in the summer, it feels like a lot of players will be leaving and I hope we don't sign Kovacic (nothing against him, but he's no improvement on RLC or Barkley IMO) and I hope we go all out to strengthen that LCM spot, if Higuain works out, then that's our next biggest issue. After that I'd say a young striker who can be back up to Higuain if it's worked out, but that can step in to the starting 11 over the next couple of seasons. After that I think we have some needs - FBs (depending on how Emerson now does), maybe CB is Luiz and Cahill both leave and for me another AM and back up for Jorginho. It's potentially quite a long list, could we do all that in one summer?

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1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

Only the last 18 months.
In the past we have been very effective at keeping the first team squad numbers very low - often far too low for our own good.
Even now with a massive squad it seems to me that everyone actually would be rather playing than not playing.  
Drinkwater may be the exception, but I recall him as such a whole hearted trier at Leicester (and when seen at Chelsea) I feel sure there is more to the story.

We keep the first team squad numbers low, but we have huge numbers of first team failures out on loan - maybe we recoup some money in loan fees and have some of their wages covered but in general it's the result of our recruitment approach.

Non-academy players that have played for the first team and are now on loan - Baba Rahman, Eduardo, Kenedy, Zouma, Bakayoko, Kalas, Batshuayi, Miazga, Moses. Plus van Ginkel, Piazon and Drinkwater who are stuck in the departure lounge. Possibly Zappacosta too.

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4 minutes ago, chiswickblue said:

We keep the first team squad numbers low, but we have huge numbers of first team failures out on loan - maybe we recoup some money in loan fees and have some of their wages covered but in general it's the result of our recruitment approach.

Who is a first team failure out on loan then?  Zouma, Bats and Baba is all I can think of.  If Zouma is a failure.

We have had a fair few before, but averaged over the last 8 years there were never many at one time.  Especially if you treat players like Courtois or Lukaku on loan as being usefully developed rather than redundant.

Surely no one thinks Hector or Piazon were ever part of the first team plans.

I agree that the clubs "trading in minor players" has been a constant drain on finance, and I have been moaning about it for a decade.  But buying for £10m+, especially young players with experience, has been a huge success.

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7 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

 

I agree that the clubs "trading in minor players" has been a constant drain on finance, and I have been moaning about it for a decade.  But buying for £10m+, especially young players with experience, has been a huge success.

Wasn't there a report that we are the club who make the most money from selling players the other day ?

We may not like it but it helps pay the bills , particularly when we don't have a 60,000 seat enormodome .

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Just now, Mark Kelly said:

Wasn't there a report that we are the club who make the most money from selling players the other day ?

We may not like it but it helps pay the bills , particularly when we don't have a 60,000 seat enormodome .

Well the enormodome won't help much to pay the bills, indeed it might take 50 years to recover the investment.
 

The trouble is that we produce a massive number of young players for sale by spending far far too much money on wages (and there is no shortage of reports on our massive wage bills).

Take Piazon - never mind that we will never cover his purchase fees, what have his wages been for 7 years?  And how much of that is covered by the clubs he has been at (where remember the club captain is unlikely to be on £25k, so the occasionally starting kid from Chelsea is hardly going to collect more than £10k).  Making Piazon, or Bamford, or Traore or Kenedy sellable has cost us at least £5m each in wages and wages subsidies.

The minor player trading generates bills, it does not make money.

(but I do wish people would think through the various player pipelines we have more carefully.  We have done some things very well and some very badly.  Just as we have done somethings at just the right moments, and others are just the wrong moments).

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Flinkers   
13 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

West Ham are being linked with Belotti in the Italian media with Torino reportedly quoting at least €45m (£39) would be needed to get a deal done.

He has 7 in 20 so far this season in Serie A - and 55 from 114 (8) games since joining Torino in 2015/16. Who keep in mind are a mid-table side that's not blessed with much attacking firepower.

At 25 years old he's in that good age bracket. He can play upfront alone or with a partner, works hard off the ball, is good in the air for his size and has a thunderous left foot. On top of that he's solidly built and uses his body well - capable of playing both with back to goal or on the ground. 

Can't help but feel we should be in on him for this sort of price.

I’d be looking at him pretty seriously too. We’re going to need at least 1 forward in the summer, it would be nice to get some shopping done early!

Paredes has signed for PSG - ca. €40m plus add-ons. Now that Barcelona has bought de Jong, we should put a bid in for Rabiot. 6 months left on his contract with no buyers in sight.

Edited by Flinkers

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40 minutes ago, Flinkers said:

I’d be looking at him pretty seriously too. We’re going to need at least 1 forward in the summer, it would be nice to get some shopping done early!

Paredes has signed for PSG - ca. €40m plus add-ons. Now that Barcelona has bought de Jong, we should put a bid in for Rabiot. 6 months left on his contract with no buyers in sight.

He's certainly capable of the one-touch football Sarri wants us to play. Decent reader of the game and has good anticipation. Good passer. Decent turn of speed/acceleration and ball control to wriggle out of congested areas. Arrives late in the box a bit like Lampard used to. Decent finish (better than our current trio, whoever makes up that trio). Maybe he thinks even with de Jong signed, Barca will still show interest.

I gather he's now been made to train with the reserves and told he won't play in the first team again.

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When it comes to summer, I think the following is needing looking at: 

CF - Even if Higs does really well, he is not someone we should be basing our medium to long term future on. For me, we should look at Werner as he only has one year left. 

No.8 - we deseperatly need goals from midfield. For me this is close to being above the CF role. 

RB - Not convinced of Zappa and Dave is not good enough going forward. If Sarri does have a bit of influence I can see Hysaj coming in. For me Alonso and Emerson are good enough at LB. 

AM - I really think we should be cashing in on Willian as his lack of end product is an issue. I know some people on here love him but his lack of cutting edge is for me a large reason why we do not score enough goals. 

CM - Need to get another squad player in that can spray passes about and act as cover for both Kante and Jorginho. 

 

 

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CF - Tammy Abraham

No.8 - Ruben Loftus-Cheek 

RB - Reece James and Ola Aina (or Dujon Sterling)

AM - Callum Hudson-Odoi 

CM - Ethan Ampadu 

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Ham   
5 minutes ago, chiswickblue said:

CF - Tammy Abraham

No.8 - Ruben Loftus-Cheek 

RB - Reece James and Ola Aina (or Dujon Sterling)

AM - Callum Hudson-Odoi 

CM - Ethan Ampadu 

The future's bright.

 

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