That’s how many senior players we have according to the BCFC website. It was fifteen until Stephen Carr signed up a couple of days ago. If we don’t get a few more bodies in we’ll be relying on kids to fill the bench. The good thing is that now the transfer ban has been lifted we can start doing that albeit with limited funds. You’d hope that the sales of Ben Foster and Jordon Mutch will allow us to spend a few quid but where should we spend it?
We currently have just two, perennial number two Colin Doyle and Team GB’s number one Jack Butland. We may struggle to hold on to Butland if he performs well at the Olympics so that would just leave Doyle who impressed against Chelsea but struggled against Blackpool. The other possible scenario is that Butland is made number one and Doyle leaves in a huff. Either way a third keeper is required.
Stephen Carr signing up for another season gives us six defenders if you count Jonathan Spector as a right back. It’s unlikely that Carr will be able to play too many games so Spector will fill in quite often. There’s no cover for David Murphy at left back and with Curtis Davies being linked with a move away we are weak in the centre as well. I’m not sure what academy defenders are capable of making the step up. I’d say we need at least a couple more in defence with one of those being able to cover more than one position.
Jordon Mutch’s move to Cardiff and the end of the loans for N’Daw and Townsend leaves us with five in midfield. That’s if we manage to hang on to Chris Burke. Nathan Redmond will play more often although some of that may be as a second striker depending on how our new manager wishes to play him. Getting N’Daw back would be good along with a proper left sided midfield player. Even without the extra European games this year you’d want at least eight midfielders especially when injury and suspensions start to bite.
Last season Marlon King, Nikola Zigic and Adam Rooney scored a good number of goals between them so probably only need to be joined by one other. I would be surprised though if more attempts weren’t made to offload Zigic during the summer due to his high wages. I’ve heard rumours of Sone Aluko being tempted back after he refused to sign for the Rangers Newco and I’d also expect a youngster from a Premiership club to come on loan.
So I make that another six or seven players we need even if we don’t sell anyone else. With our limited funds Lee Clark will need to prioritise but what should his priorities be? I would say a full back and a central midfielder . I’ve added a poll to see what everybody else thinks.