Please Don’t Scrimp On Left Back
So, we are led to believe that we could be signing up to six more players and may still have £120m left to get them. It’s funny the difference a new signing and some apparent action makes, the mood has lifted for so many of us in the fickle brigade. This time last week was a different story.
It seems Moyes has got his main defensive target and is on to what we think is his main attacking target in Broja. I must say, I am a bit surprised that a centre back was so high up in the priorities, as opposed to left back, but I assume Moyes has this in mind.
I’ve seen a lot of tweets with people listing the 5-6 targets they would like to see added to the Aguerd signing, which is quite entertaining in truth. However, there seems to be a lot of these tweets that don’t even suggest recruiting a left back. For me, that’s crazy, as I believe it’s the first XI position that is most in need of significant improvement.
I am really hoping there is an allocation of transfer funds in the kitty for a decent quality LB addition. Although, we have never spent big on full backs in the modern era, or goalkeepers for that matter. In fact, if we signed Areola for the reported £11m buy-out fee, it would smash our highest transfer fee paid for a keeper or full back.
Currently, Julien Faubert is the highest fee we have paid at £8.4m in 2007, with Fabianski in 2018 at £7.2m in second place. Masuaku remains the highest priced LB investment we have ever made at £6.4m in 2016. Yes it really has been six years of Arthur.
Amongst the recent positivity, I do have one worry, which is we leave this important position to the last minute and try to sign a left back with what’s left of the supposed kitty. Over recent years, we have been notoriously bad at doing this and while in other positions, we’ve ended up with players like Carlos Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Ajeti as cheap options to fill gaps, all of which we wanted out the door by the next window.
So why is a left back so important? Unfortunately, most of us can see Cresswell is now at the declining age. Some reading this may disagree, admirable that they show loyalty to a player who has served us so well, but i feel this is perhaps viewing through rose-tinted glasses.
I wasn’t one that unfairly attacked him for the sending offs and I don’t think I am alone in feeling this position needs resolving as a priority. Members of this website have been voting on individual player ratings since February, and Cresswell averaged 5.90. That was 18th place, just ahead of Vlasic and Masuaku.
When we recently did our stick or twist poll, 74% of you suggested we needed a first team replacement, 21% suggested we needed someone to challenge him, and only 5% felt he should be first choice next season.
The point of this article is not to criticise, he has been a wonderful servant. But, for me, it is time for him to move to back up and i hope we do not scrimp on a left back this summer.