On a day that will do nothing to dissuade the persistent one in, one out theorists Steve Bruce has allowed Denny Landzaat to leave the club and signed Marlon King. The moves will probably stop us being linked with any more strikers, but open us up to a deluge of ‘bolstering midfield’ rumours over the next six days.
Landzaat’s departure is unlikely to have many Latics fans bemoaning their lot, he was hardly Paul Jewell’s most successful signing, but the reported £500k fee will raise some eyebrows with Latics valuing the player at six time that amount not two years ago.
Whilst many fans will have had replacing the Dutchman as a priority, it would be nice for once if we had got ourselves sorted before the sale was made, but them again maybe Bruce thinks he has.
It’s obvious that Wilson Palacios will take Landzaat’s starting place, but it will be interesting to see who Bruce considers as cover. With Kilbane now free to join Koumas and Taylor in the battle for the left wing slot, the manager may see one (or all three) as an option in the centre, otherwise we’re stuck with only Skoko to put pressure on the central pair.
King’s signing from Watford is a little clearer cut in its benefits to the squad. A different style of player to those we already have on the books he will offer support to either Heskey or Bent and effectively pushes Aghahowa out of the first team picture.
It wouldn’t be a Latics signing though, if the player didn’t bring any issues with him and King is no different, there’s stolen cars, international bans (allegedly) for having girls in the team hotel and nightclub arrests in the mix but the one we need to worry about centres on exactly why Marlon isn’t already a Fulham player.
The story goes that King failed his thorough two day medical at Craven Cottage, something that the player denies. Having missed the majority of Watford’s season in the top flight with a knee problem, he’s played, and trained, consistently since then and it seems unlikely that there are any imminent risks to his fitness.
If that medical did turn something up, it wasn’t enough to put Fulham off him as a player; their reaction to the situation was to in back to Watford with a much lower offer.
Was it the medical that prompted this, or was it the chairman looking at a £5m fee and his contract? Whatever it was, Latics have obviously deemed it insignificant enough to take a risk on him. Let’s hope it pays off.
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