What was it I said about waiting until January? Well Latics are well on the way to signing two players and yet neither of them is a left back. Neither of them is exactly going to get the fan’s juices flowing either.
What does it say about the state of the game when your first question on the signing of a new player is “will he be going to the African Nations then?” rather than “is he any good?” or something more usual. As the news broke that Latics were signing Rachid Bouaouzan (who we are so hoping goes by the name Rachid) he was ear-marked as a Moroccan striker.
You don’t have to have been around since Bill Kenyon’s reign to know that a Striker coming in would mean one out and, if this lad was Moroccan, then the potential departure of Folan would leave us with three of the front line buggering off to Ghana come the new year.
By the time the official announcement came we knew more, the lad was a left winger, dead quick but not that effective and had been sent down (well six months suspended) for a tackle that broke an opponent’s leg. Better news was might be that the club referred to him as a Dutchman of Moroccan descent, presumably that means he’s not played for Morocco, yet. Hopefully not because he’s not good enough.
So what did that mean for our existing strikers? With the growing possibility that one (or both) of Folan and Camara would be popping off before the Newcastle surely a replacement would be on the way in. Vassell and Bent (no, not Darren, this is Latics you know) were pretty much the only names in the frame and a last minute revival of the Return of the Duke was unlikely following his move to Watford.
Whilst the ever growing Hutch is god crew were finding positives in these rumours, the rest of us were filled with “whatever!”s. Neither represented a great leap forward but would bring a fair deal of Premier League experience to the squad. As it happens, we ended up signing (for me) the more average of the two, Marcus Bent.
Bent joins on a year long loan deal and will hopefully make more of an impact than the the striker Latics signed in a similar last minute deal at the start of last season. Does anyone remember Svetoslav Todorov? Well he’s the one making Bent surplus to requirements at Charlton. Fills you full of confidence doesn’t it?
So we’ve one striker in so who will be first out of the door. To lose Camara for Bent would surely be weakening the squad (although it looks as if we’ve as much chance of seeing Brenda Spencer up front as Henri at the moment). So all eyes are on Folan, he came in last season when we desperately needed a body, and, well, he’s been that.
I suppose there is a little more to Caleb, but really it looks like he might to struggle to establish himself at this level.
Well there you go, imagine the yellow stripe springing across the bottom of your screen, because as I type (literally) the BBC are announcing that Folan’s move to Hull has gone through. Tigers fans won’t exactly be happy though, they’ve paid £1 million for a lad who cost half that 8 months back and was binned by their club a few years back because he wasn’t good enough.
That’s unlikely to be it on the transfer front, I might have mentioned that we’re short of a left back and Placente is supposedly line up to sign today. Henri Camara continues to be linked with a move away with the latest direction being towards Eastlands with (surprise, surprise) Vassell forming part of the transfer fee.
We shall see, and whilst you’re waiting have a look at the video below and ponder just how long Roy Keane should have got if this tackle is worth six months.