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Transfer Window Make Or Break For Academy?

Transfer Window Make Or Break For Academy?

So the transfer window is open, and is greeted with the usual excitement and anticipation that it is every season. But I feel this transfer window is the most important yet for our youth development.

As we know our academy is one of the best in the country and is starting to produce some good products. In several games last season we had seven players on the pitch that were all home grown. The circumstances surrounding it could have been better, as some of it was down to injuries, but it gave us what hopefully is a sign of what maybe to come.

We now have a manager who has a track record of maximising player potential and for the first time I think will try to make a real effort to push these guys on. I feel that Houllier would have been good for them, but ultimately that was not to be, it seemed that O`Neil viewed it as a way of building transfer pots and how McLeish would have developed them is a debate in itself.

So let`s look at some of the current crop who have made appearances:

Albrighton - his difficult 2nd season, sadly very disappointing after his first season showed such promise, he had distractions off the field as well with the birth of his daughter, hopefully he will be more settled now, this is a very big season for him in my opinion. Confidence needs to be built to see the best from him.

Bannan - Last season he was the definition of inconsistency, at times he displays an almost Iniesta type of quality, playing nice short passes with a good eye for a penetrating through ball. Others he tries too hard, not looking where he`s passing, trying the near impossible with his shooting and his long balls. Some say he`s not good enough, I think he could be electric. The thing he needs to learn more than anything is his positional play, get in the right places with time on the ball and he really could light it up.

Gardner - Probably the player who has arrived with the most amount of promise recently, having seen him play for the reserves on more than a few occasions before he broke through I can say that he has the lot, just not the experience. I felt last season that he was played in a more defensive role than he is used to or comfortable with, give him free reign on the park and he could run a game in the near future, I really feel that when this guy gets a goal his confidence will explode and he will be cooking

Weimann - Broke through towards the end of last season and didn`t disappoint, salvaging a win against Fulham and a wonder strike against Stoke you get the sense that this lad is just getting started. A different type of striker to Bent I think that if he continues to develop he could be invaluable.

Delfouneso - This really is the last chance saloon for him to be honest. He`s been on the fringes for too long, and it`s a shame because he does have talent and when he`s been up for it he has looked pretty handy. I`ve heard a coach say 'If he actually listened he could be excellent. Well he could find himself listening to someone else if he doesn`t show what he is capable of this season.

Carruthers - Again someone I have mostly seen during reserve games. A attacking midfielder who gives many attacking options, he`s quick exciting and intelligent. He actually walked out on Arsenal to come to us and was their captain at the time, they were most upset. Made his debut last season at Anfield toward the end of the game, but in that short debut he turned the England Captain inside out, should have been awarded a penalty and got booked for informing the referee of his mistake, this guy excites me!

Herd - For me this guy was player of the season last year. Strong and determined his work rate is immense, he reminds me of Milner. He developed leaps and bounds last year and is versatile to boot. A potential Captain in my eyes.

Clark - He really didn`t get enough game time last season, which has undoubtedly held him back, if he and Nathan Baker can carry their partnership from the reserves through to the first team we could be reaping the rewards for years to come.

We have some very gifted prospects mentioned there and that`s not including the next crop already starting to turn heads in Daniel Johnson, Jack Grealsih and Graham Burke.

A few season ago the club won the Peace Cup using most of these players, sadly after that they were not allowed to progress. Let`s remember that most of these players have won the reserve league a couple of time, they have winning attitude and habit.

This transfer window is big for most of these players as for some it will define their own development. Will they get game time? Will they be moved on?

I think Lambert can and will develop the players we have coming through but their will undoubtedly be casualties. Some won`t fit in; some sadly won`t make the grade. But the youngsters are important to the club, the ambition being to only have to buy once or twice a season and those signings to be of some real quality.

It will take time and will not be an overnight instant success, but I look forward to quiet transfer windows..........

It means we are doing something right!

Thanks for reading!

Proud to be a Villan

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Proud To Be A Villan
Date:Sunday July 1 2012
Time: 4:55PM


Going to be a big season for the names you mention, and I live in hope they don't disappoint as we've seen flashes from all of them, now comes the consistency and learning from their mistakes to push on. Being played in their rightful positions would also help!
01/07/2012 17:19:00
Interesting that there was no mention of Lichaj? Are you assuming he has arrived? This lad looks like a future stable right or left back to me and seems to have a great attitude. Also you mention Baker but do not express an opinion. Whilst he made a few mistakes last year, who didn't, he also looks composed in possession and is another who could make the grade.
01/07/2012 18:12:00
carruthers really excites me and showed enough last season to command a regular starting place his term. Him linking up with Ireland could be awesome. Clark has the makings of a top class centre half and just needs to be played there alongside an experienced reliable pro. Delfouneso has all the talent needed (as shown when he first broke into the team) but his head is no good and he'll never make it. Likewise in my opinion Bannan will never make it. Albie and Herd have massive seasons ahead but I'm sure both could be good if not quite as special as carruthers and clark. Weiman could have a huge impact this year and reminds me a lot of Tommy Johnson, works his socks off, decent talent and whilst not prolific will score a few and chip in with important goals. As for gardener, well I'm not going to write him off yet but he didn't set the world on fire during his spell at Cov' and I was disappointed last year (in my opinion a future star would still have shone even in last year's team)
01/07/2012 19:19:00
We certainly have some young talent coming through, although I too feel Bannan won't make itand neither will the Fonz.
Pride of Lions
02/07/2012 01:05:00
Great article, good chap this proud to be a villan I must say! Still say Gardner is a few seasons away from being regular, but a great prospect. Liked the look of Herd and Weimann last season, just hope that fans remember they are 'kids' and are still learning, they'll have off games or even off seasons still. Patience is the key for sure.
The Fear
02/07/2012 15:47:00
I was well impressed by Baker when he had to step in last term, all the makings of a quality CB. Got thrown in at the deep end for a few game sand held his own in my opinion, maybe even unlucky to lose his spot when Dunne regained fitness. As mentioned though, I'd love to see Clark get more than a handful of games at CB, he's our future rock for me and we need to get him bedded in there.
02/07/2012 17:17:00
Hard to judge some of them on last season as they were all thrown in together rather than 1 or 2 at a time being brought in for a few games alongside seasoned pros. Carruthers Herd Gardner Albrighton Bannon. I think most of us would be happy to see 1 or 2 of these in the team alongside either the 2 new signings Ireland or a functioning Nzobia and its the last mentioned I feel will face the biggest season because unless we see his form returns he will need to be moved on cannot see PL carrying passengers judging by the work rate of his previous teams. Time for Clark to really step up to the plate in defence in attack would keep weimann but feel Fonz has had his chance and is not going to do it in the prem.As we found out last season bit thin up front without Benty another striker required methinks.
03/07/2012 11:21:00
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