Where’s your keeper off to? The transfer merry-go-round
Disenchantment with goalkeepers is a widespread problem, as is securing the services of a reliable one. And, as with most players in football, the grass always seems greener on the other side. Subsequently, coveting other teams’ goalkeepers is common practice in the Premier League. Unless you have one of the world’s finest sitting behind your back four, the chances are that watching your team week after week will inevitably lead to some hairy moments involving suspect keeping. And what does mistrust breed? Transfers.
So, with the transfer window opening in eleven days time, who’s got their eye on who?
It’s fair to say that the Republic of Ireland keeper was one of the worst individual performers at Euro 2012. He was totally erratic, slow to react to shots and even scored a beautifully timed diving-header in to his own goal. Nonetheless, there is no shortage of interest in the Aston Villa man. His season in the midlands was somewhat underwhelming and given that his former manager Mark Hughes has expressed an interest, and that QPR have money to spend, a move seems likely.
Possible destination: QPR
Green is currently out of contract after spending six years with the east London club. The Hammers’ joint chairman David Gold said that he hoped Green would agree to a new deal but it was not to be. Arsenal have shown interest in Green in the past and are expecting to lose both Almunia (already gone) and Fabianski this summer so are in need of a back up keeper. Whether Green would want to play second fiddle to Szczesny at this stage in his career is a different matter.
Possible destinations: Arsenal, QPR, Aston Villa, Sunderland, West Brom
Friedel started last season brilliantly. Lauded by many as the signing of the summer, he was attributed with the steadying of Spurs’ often-flappable defence and their subsequent surge up the table. However, as the season wore one Ledley King showed sings of weariness and Friedel showed signs of being forty. The pair’s form dipped and it was rumoured that Redknapp had once again run out of patience with a first team keeper at the club. Redknapp may have been sacked since then but it still may be too late for the American. With Craig Gordon being released by Sunderland, O’Neill could be tempted to move for his former keeper as backup to Mignolet.
Possible destinations: Sunderland, West Brom,
On loan at West Brom this season from his parent club in the Championship – Birmingham. Any hopes of the Baggies signing Foster on a permanent basis may have slipped away with Hodgson but Steve Clarke could yet pull off a coup. Spurs could be another option for the 29 year old who has had an impressive season in which only an unfortunate injury kept him out of Euro 2012.
Possible destinations: Spurs, Aston Villa
Kenny must have watched as new owner Tony Fernandes spent vast sums of money improving all areas of the QPR squad and wondered when his time would come. It appears that time is now. Manager Mark Hughes has already expressed an interest in bringing in a new keeper and if Kenny wants first team football he may have to move on. Kenny has had a reasonable season yet, realistically, you’d have to say that he’s one of the poorest ‘first choice’ keepers in the league.
Possible destination: The Championship
Follow Hamish on Twitter @H_Mackay