Yesterday I watched Nacer Chadli build on what was a decent performance against Arsenal with two great goals and a generally threatening performance. This got me thinking about our seven signings and how much time they should be given. I’ve always been an advocate of allowing them time to adjust to the league and I have tried to refrain from judging the signings much at all unless they’ve had an adequate run of games to show what they can do. Chadli’s performance did nothing but reinforce that view and I think people have been too quick to want to get rid.
Our use of the Bale money has been the subject of heavy criticism from many people, fans and ex-pros alike (such as Hoddle recently), but I feel like people are being too critical of players who I believe can come good and prove their worth to the club. Someone like Chadli, who hasn’t really had many chances in the league to really show us the player who we know can be a significant goal threat, is being touted for the exit door already. If we act rashly, we will just end up doing the same as last summer and the revolving doors of Tottenham Hotspur will continue to impact our team.
I saw that we are being linked to Yevhen Konoplyanka and whilst he certainly seems like a good player, I can’t be alone in wanting to stick with Chadli and Lamela and giving them a chance to prove themselves. Looking at each of our signings individually, how many have actually had the chance to play consistently and been a failure?
Roberto Soldado has probably been the most disappointing of the signings, having spurned quite a few good chances and the argument of lack of service certainly holds very little credence now but we’ve seen what lack of confidence can do to a striker and I’d even back him to turn it around.
The other players we signed, I would say definitely have a good chance of turning around any disappointments of this season. Eriksen is arguably our best player and has certainly not been a failure. In fact, it wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest he is the future of our team and we should build it around him.
Paulinho has shown glimpses of what he can do and we saw at the Confederations Cup that he is a great player. The same can be said for Chiriches and Capoue, both of whom have impressed in their performances but have had their seasons impacted by injury (as has Paulinho thanks to Charlie Adam). Chadli (who I actually thought was the least necessary of our summer signings) is beginning to impress now he has settled.
The big enigma is that of Erik Lamela. Probably the most exciting of the seven, he’s also had the smallest impact. Having been injured for most of Sherwoods tenure and poorly managed by AVB (especially after the Sheriff game), it has been difficult for Lamela to showcase his talents but we all know how talented the boy is and although he has been a failure this season, he has not had the chances to prove he can be a success. Also, just because he hasn’t contributed this season, it doesn’t mean he cant be a success next season under, well, whoever is our manager then. The kid is only 22 and plenty of young players have difficulties adapting in their first season in a new league.
Although our signings haven’t been a great success this season, nothing really has been has it? Our existing experienced players have hardly produced and this season has generally been a fairly mundane one. However, with a bit of patience in our new boys I believe (and hope) that next season will be a bit more exciting and we will all have a different outlook on the summers business.
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