The Case for the Defence

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funky chicken
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The Case for the Defence

Post by funky chicken » Wed Sep 08, 2021 1:31 pm

Looking at when the contracts expire for our squad I noticed a lot of our defence is out of contract in 2023. And in one case - next summer!

Angelo Ogbonna: 2022
Craig Dawson: 2023
Issa Diop: 2023
Vladimir Coufal: 2023
Aaron Cresswell: 2023

Even young Jamal Baptiste I believe is out of contract in 2023.

So that leaves only new signing Kurt Zouma (2025) and young Frederik Alves (2024) on long term deals.

When you consider 3 of those players are over 30 too we have got some big decisions to make in the next year.

Ogbonna will be 34 in May and is starting to pick up a few injuries since the turn of the year. Craig Dawson will be 32 in the same month as Oggy. Aaron Cresswell is 32 in December and finally Diop who at least has age on his side (25 in January) but seems to be dropped out of the starting 11 whenever Dawson and Ogbonna are available.

Going forward what would you do? Would you give any of the above players a new contract inside the next year? Would you let any of them go when their contracts expire, or if we receive an offer?

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by El brooko79 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 1:41 pm

Big decision with Diop next summer.
New contract or sell before he goes on a free.

Ogbonna. If he stays fit this season an additional year seems reasonable.

Cresswell- hopefully we have a new LB by then.
Dawson-Hopefully a new CB by then.

Always weary of players in there last 6 months who will be going on a free. They have no security and don't want injuries. Reckon Man U may see this with Pogba and Lingard.

Coufal- New deal soon would hope.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by DublinDave » Wed Sep 08, 2021 1:54 pm

Coufal has an additional 2 year option in his contract apparently so we have him till 2025 if we wish...
Agree he deserves a new contract though & hope it's sorted soon...

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by prophet:marginal » Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:26 pm

The useful addition is clearly Zouma, here, because he's surely destined to take over the mantle of leader of the defence, from Ogbonna over time.

We can therefore look this season at how the other 3 real options, Oggy, Diop and Dawson pair up with Zouma, as the season progresses.

There's a tendency to look at teams in the bottom half and to target their best CB as new opportunity. White of course moved to Arsenal and several clubs are apparently keen on Tarkowski.

I trust Moyes, though, especially after reading a feature or two on him, hosted in other threads on here, to locate the correct piece in the jigsaw, but possibly from a different league.

It will come down to how any new face could work with Zouma.

I reckon both Coufal and Cresswell are likely to be offered new deals or extensions, even if the next phase of Moyes' hitherto successful refit will be young FB options, or at least those with a smattering of Prem experience.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by norse » Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:33 pm

I think Ogbonna (33) and Cresswell (32 in dec) will get new 1-2 year deals regardless of players coming in or not.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by Danny's Dyer Acting » Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:39 pm

Ogbonna & Cresswell will get offered 2 year deals I reckon. Neither will get better offers, only issue is if Ogbonna wants to take his young family back to Italy.

Coufal has the extension the club can trigger but I imagine he'll get offered a new deal & pay rise to keep him happy.

Ideally one of Diop or Dawson will be replaced next summer and the other the one after (assuming Diop doesn't kick on and become a first choice). Would be great if Baptiste was ready to take the place in the squad of the 2nd of those to go.

Given where investment has gone in recent years and the ages of our forwards (bar Antonio), I imagine Moyes & the board will be looking at a potential windfall coming in the next 24 months to finance a quality partner for Zouma once Rice has been replaced.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by Surrey Supporter » Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:46 pm

I would like to see Diop go out on loan for the rest of the season, either another PL club or one of the better championship sides, and get some regular game time.

I'm convinced that somewhere in there is a pretty good CB trying to get out and prove himself.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by hammer1975 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:32 pm

I suspect another CB to partner Zouma will be pretty close behind striker as a summer 2022 transfer priority personally……Unless we sign Tarkowski on a free.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by yakandyeti » Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:58 pm

I think it's quite a good thing that so many of them are out of contract, having built a lot at the other end of the pitch Moyes can then complete the reshaping of the defence.

I expect a starting left-back and a starting centre back in the next year or so and a transition that will then phase Cresswell and Ogboba's out, but they will probably get new contracts to cover that period. If Moyes can't see youth players who can be brought through then I expect we'll need permanent replacements for them in the back up role a year or two later. A one-year extension for Cresswell would probably come with a deserved testimonial.

I presume Johnson and/or Fredricks will get a new contract this year and with Coufal's extension triggered at the minimum, and probably a new contract, right back is sorted for a few years, unless something major happens.

I'd trust Moyes on Diop, but if there is no new contract next summer he should be sold if we can. If he stays and we bring in the new Ogbona (or reckon we have him in the youth team) we can probably let Dawson go early if he can find a club that can give him regular game time.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by bubbles1966 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:45 pm

GK - easy to imagine a total overhaul in goal with us starting with something like Areola and Johnstone next season, with others not renewed or sold.

RB - no change, short renewals for Johnson and Fredericks probably.

LB - we are probably looking for Cresswell's replacement.

CB - another mid 20s CB in place of Reid + one of Dawson/Ogbonna.

The defensive team/squad will get younger.

The over 30's cohort in the squad will be trimmed to something like Cresswell, Ogbonna, Antonio.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by WestHamLyallStyle » Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:47 pm

I just hope we keep Diop. He’ll come good. I’m sure of it. Just my opinion.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by upton o'good » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:00 pm

worth noting that Distin was 32 when Moyes signed him for Everton and staed 6 years - was first choice for about 4 years -playing 170 +games. So Moyws comfortable with an older CB. If Ogbonna can keep his pace, and quality, i think he'll get anouther couple of years. Id see lefft back (and striker obvs) as the higher priorities.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by Ironing Board » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:07 pm

Can't see Diop ever regaining a starting berth, but lets hope he can prove me wrong. I would be looking for another tough, speedy defender to sit next to Zouma long-term.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by steveyrockstar » Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:19 pm

I was repeatedly pointing out the age of our defence in the summer transfer thread when people bemoaned us not signing Ryan Bertrand. Last thing we needed was another 30+ defender.

I suspect Tarkowski on a free must be on our radar for next summer, although I find it odd after our interest last year that we weren't in for him this time on a cut-price deal. Maybe Moyes changed his mind on him.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by funky chicken » Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:42 am

Yes, Moyes has got history of prolonging a career of centre halves over the age of 30. To be fair most clubs do have 1-2 centre halves that are into their 30s. Including the teams in the top 6.

Dawson is okay as a 4th choice centre half. The problem is here’s not there yet as the performances of the other centre halves, other than Ogbonna have been so bad it’s propelled Dawson to the starting 11. And even now when Zouma comes in Dawson will probably still be 3rd choice ahead of Diop.

As long as Ogbonna continues playing to a good level and avoids picking up too many injuries I would definitely offer him a new 1 year contract at some point early 2022.

Diop is the key to what happens next really. IF he finally plays to his potential then we arguably have our long term starting centre halves in Diop and Zouma. If he doesn’t then we really need to think about shifting him in the next 2 windows before his valuation gets lower.

There’s 2 other factors to bare in mind too:

1) Are Ogbonna, Dawson and Diop on wages worth persevering with, considering their positions in the squad. E.g. if Moyes sees Diop no more than 4th choice, is keeping him on wages around 60k which he is allegedly on worth it?
2) Will either of those players equally want to stay? I could imagine Dawson maybe being content with being a 4th choice. But would Diop at such a young age in the long run if he doesn’t grab a spot in the starting 11? And does Ogbonna want to finish the last few seasons of his career here, or would he possibly like to return to Italy?

Cresswell I have no doubt will stay and get another contract. When we lose Noble and possibly Rice too then we’ll need him for his leadership just as much as what he has to offer on the pitch. He probably will become the club captain.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by bubbles1966 » Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:36 am

It seems to me that the age of players will determine the need for succession planning to kick in.

If you look at our squad now, most of the veterans are in defensive positions so the majority of the work in the next twelve months will be directed to those areas.

PLAYERS (Age & contract status at start of 2022 season)
  • GK: Fabianski (37) - out of contract, likely to be replaced by Areola (29) ?
  • GK: Randolph (35) - one year left, may be replaced within 12 months ?
  • GK: Martin (36) - out of contract, not replaced/coaching role
  • CB: Reid (34) - two years left, pay off being negotiated?
  • CB: Dawson (32) - one year left, either he or Ogbonna gets replaced by summer 2022
  • CB: Ogbonna (34) - out of contract, either he or Dawson gets replaced by summer 2022
  • LB: Cresswell (32) - one year left on contract, no immediate change expected
  • CM: Noble (35) - retiring, likely to be replaced by Kral (24) and/or Coventry (22)
  • AM: Yarmolenko (32) - out of contract, likely to be replaced by summer 2022
  • CF: Antonio (32) - one year left on contract, no immediate change expected
The 34+ cohort are the ones to replace most immediately with Oggy being the most likely survivor. There seem to be plans in place to replace Fabianski and Noble. If we are succession planning, then next on the rank are likely to be a CB & an attacker.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by Aceface » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:22 am

bubbles1966 wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:36 am
It seems to me that the age of players will determine the need for succession planning to kick in.

If you look at our squad now, most of the veterans are in defensive positions so the majority of the work in the next twelve months will be directed to those areas.
Problem is, one of these summers we're going to have to bite the bullet and get in a premium centre-forward, which with our budgets doesn't leave a lot left over – short of sales elsewhere of course (given the spartan nature of the squad, sales at this point are only going to be prime slices of the team rather than any rotting off-cuts like we've done before).

Unless we're going from something that's already a bit nutty into proper frothing-at-the-mouth straitjacket territory, that time to sign a new centre-forward is going to be this summer.

It's a long way out but at this juncture a starting centre-forward and a left back seem to be where I'd be directing the scouting eye of Sauron during the rest of the season. Some of the geriatrics in the backline may need to strap in for another year to facilitate that.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by bubbles1966 » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:38 am

There are three homegrown, ready made replacements who are out of contract within 12 months I think at AM, GK, CB - all of whom we have had previously or have supposedly bid for in the last 12 months. All of them are under 30 years of age, and two of the three would see us as a bigger club than the one they'd be leaving.

If the club were super-efficient and nabbed them, then whatever is left by way of funding power next summer could go to the successors/challengers for Cresswell and Antonio, always remembering that we might be pre-committed to Areola and Kral.

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by steveyrockstar » Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:02 pm

bubbles1966 wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:38 am
There are three homegrown, ready made replacements who are out of contract within 12 months I think at AM, GK, CB - all of whom we have had previously or have supposedly bid for in the last 12 months. All of them are under 30 years of age, and two of the three would see us as a bigger club than the one they'd be leaving.

If the club were super-efficient and nabbed them, then whatever is left by way of funding power next summer could go to the successors/challengers for Cresswell and Antonio, always remembering that we might be pre-committed to Areola and Kral.
Tarkowski, Johnstone and Lingard?

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Re: The Case for the Defence

Post by bubbles1966 » Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:20 pm

Yep.

All feasible.

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