Current squad - what work is needed?
#1
This is more of a discussion thread than the speculation-based transfer thread, so bear with me.

It's been an intriguing season - starting miserably but ending, the odd blip aside, very strongly indeed.

The question is what direction does the squad need to go in? Who has served their time and is replaceable now and who do we want to build the team round?

Let's start with the goalie. Abbiati has had, honestly, an excellent season. Quite possibly Europe's most under rated goalkeeper, Abbiati has had such a quiet career - only ever gained a handful of caps and never really made a huge impression anywhere. 3 years out on loan before returning to basically become our first choice. And he's been very, very good this year. However QPR confirm Cesar is moving and there's been strong speculation linking the Brazilian with a return to Italy. If I had to choose between both, I'd choose the former Nerazzurri. World class goalkeeper. But it's not a problem position at all.

Defence kind of is. Our full backs are not by any manner of means the strongest area - DS still has growing and improving to do before he can truly be called a first choice and worthy. Constant has been ok at the back but rather hit and miss going forward and definitely lost form in the latter part of the campaign. Abate is a speed machine down the right but not the most intelligent and very poor in defensive work. We could use one really, really good full back - but they cost.

In central defence Zapata is fine - very good player and had an excellent season - he's one to stick with and word is we're buying him. Mexes less so - wrong side of 30 he's done well enough at the club but is one of these players who never truly made the grade anywhere - very good on his day but something off being truly great. His personal medals list is underwhelming. IMO he is dispensable and could be replaced with a top quality defender to partner Zapata long-term.

Midfield is actually quite good. Chock-full of decent players, it is one good-quality CM or AM away from the finished article. We've got the classy but no-holds-barred enforcer in De Jong and the cultivated playmaker with grit in Montolivo. Add the apparent signing of Poli (an AM) and it's one area looking pretty decent. And if we do buy Bojan as reports suggest, that could sow up the AM/trequartista position fully if the young Spaniard could just finally realise his potential. And bulk a bit up!

Attack - well it's good, and bad. El-Sha was sensation till January but has been dire since then. Zero confidence - and there's been stories linking him with a move to England. Balo is Balo, a monster - been remarkable since joining. No problems there. Pazzini is an impact sub, and very good at what he does, while Niang has a LOT of work to do to realise his potential. Boateng is a great player on his day - more creative than many give him credit for, and has goals in him. He's worth holding onto because when he's good, he's very, very good.

I've also heard of long-term links to Kevin Strootman. Another one, if we secured him, for midfield.

For me though, defence needs a lot of attention. And the only name linked so far (that I've seen) is Kolo Toure. Older than Mexes it's not an inspired choice if he joins.
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Current squad - what work is needed? - Danny - 05-17-2013, 03:56 PM