Date:Saturday December 31 2011
The transfer window throws up all kinds of worries for fans of clubs in the Football League. Huddersfield fan, Charlie Johnson, is just hoping that, now they`re fighting for promotion, they can keep hold of their stars for just a few months more. You can find more of Charlie`s work by following him on twitter @FootballCharlie.
The transfer window is upon us, and I am introduced to a new and rather unpleasant concept: being afraid of what might happen when January comes around, and just wanting to get through the month without losing players, we aren`t ready to say goodbye to.
For years Huddersfield, although full of competitive players, didn`t have a team full of stars that the big clubs would hope to entice, in fact we hardly had a team that lower division teams wanted any part of.
Usually we might see a few average players arrive on loan, and keep the players we said we would happily let go. If they weren`t good enough for Huddersfield Town, they were hardly going to be good enough for anyone else either seemed to be the logical explanation.
However, things have changed under Lee Clark, we always had young players, but under his stewardship, we have brought in young players of great ability and nurtured them, given them essential game time, and ended up with players with enormous resale value.
Both Lee Peltier and Antony Pilkington left the club in the summer bringing in big money to the club, and highlighting to everyone that we have good players who are worth a lot of money.
Before the summer I didn`t fear that people would leave the club, they always seemed committed and make the right noises about staying and not wanting away, and with a wealthy owner we never seemed likely to sell.
So on one front we do not have to sell, the money although nice is not required to keep the club afloat, so the sale goes through when the player asks for it. In the case of both Peltier and Pilkington the club sold because the players wanted to leave to further their career, and in letting them go the club has set a precedent. It is certainly admirable but does suggest that if the right offers come in and a players head is turned, it becomes almost inevitable that they will leave.
The one thing against us is the fact that we are in league one, we cannot offer the same level of football being offered to these players, and this is why it is becoming increasingly important to gain promotion to the Championship.
If we fail to gain promotion our transfer aspirations change, we are forced to sell because players will not want to stay and play in league one anymore, gain promotion and we are suddenly more attractive than ever, we can offer a better standard of football at a club they know they are happy at and have achieved success with. Considering all this, it becomes clear that promotion becomes near essential if we want the right players to stay.
The fact that we have a squad with good players, who other teams are interested in makes January a vital moth for Huddersfield Town, we must batten down the hatches and spurn all offers for our star players, we must be utterly ruthless and ignore speculation linking player X with team Y.
This is wishful thinking however and already stories are being written linking Jordan Rhodes with every club in England with fees of 3 million to a rather hopeful 9 million being bandied about.
It is Rhodes who must keep ultimately, but if the club has any sense they will be looking to bring another striker in on loan or permanently to assist and also take the burden from Rhodes.
It looks likely that Jordan will leave in the summer if he doesn`t go in January, and the club should be identifying replacements now so to be a step ahead and not derail the team.
Selling in January would not be the end of the world but is always frustrating as clubs throw silly money around for players they do not need, and without much consideration of where a player will fit in.
My fear for Jordan would be that a desperate Premier league club would buy him for big money whilst also bringing in another striker, meaning that he has no guaranteed game time.
So often, clubs in need of goals will hedge their bets on a new singing and will buy other players as a form of insurance and if this was to happen, we face the prospect of our star player sitting on another team`s bench.
So the clubs message should be to any prospective suitors "Go away, and come back in the summer and we might talk then". In football nothing is simple but this January the simple message from the Terriers must be "Hands off our players"
Date:Saturday December 31 2011
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