Strike a light
I said before that Pards does like a striker
. He had about 12 at West Ham the year they got promoted and today he added two more to our squad. Izale McLeod wasn't a surprise as we knew he was having a medical yesterday. The 22-year old will cost an intial £1.1m, rising to £1.55m depending on us getting into the champions league in 3 years *smiley thing*
McLeod scored 60 goals in 135 appearances for Franchise FC, for who he signed at the very beginning of their controversial beginnings. His first club Derby will receive a large chunk of the £1.1m, a good sign the Rams saw potential in him when they let him go as an 18-year old.
And what about ZZ eh? I didn't see that one coming. In fact I only linked
to a story yesterday that told of his chances now returning to England being slim. Well, about as slim as big helping of egg fried rice, as the Chinese superstar strolled back into The Valley today for £2m.
ZZ was exceptionally popular with fans, for his workrate if nothing else and his versatility will add real value to the squad and adds another player that should be quality in our division.
Shame that those millions of football mad Chinese won't be able to listen in on the internet commentaries, but that's another story
sad thing was the final departure of Souleymane Diawara. He had a tough start but who didn't under Dowie. Under three managers and a number of coaches he did take a while to adjust to the pace of the Premiership but remember his English was poor and then the chairman, for which he should always be embarrased, slammed him in public.
But the 2nd half of the season under Pardew he improved immensely and showed his class. I think he was our best centre-half since Rufus and perhaps under different circumstances would of gone on and been a real cult hero.
Pards blast at his crummy agent and positive comments towards Diawara say it all for me.
So that is now 11 players in and 15 out plus two on loan (Basey to Brentford and Youga to Scunthorpe). Quite a turnaround. I think with Semedo being a natural centre-half and Faye's (perhaps better) ability to play there, I reckon Pards thinks he needs just one more player, and that is Hayden Mullins.
And what about the forwards - Varney, Bent, Todorov, Iwelumo, Dickson, Walker, McLeod, Zheng and Sam can all play there. Bring it on."I'm going to rebuild this team around the philosophy that I carry.... and that's a game played in the truest sense, to a high tempo, with movement and quality that will give us an advantage."