Another season is over and managers far and wide are working themselves up into a transfer frenzy.
Not Garry Monk, though.
In the last three transfer windows carnage has unfolded at Birmingham City.
Gianfranco Zola gave the green light for seven incomings in his sole transfer window, Harry Redknapp OK’d 13 and Steve Cotterill wasn’t afforded any when Blues most needed fresh blood.
In hindsight, the decision not to splash any cash in January was the right one. Cotterill was only able to deal in loans and, judging by how infrequently Monk used the four loanees available to him, any more would have likely proved a further waste of funds.
That won’t be the case under Monk. His record in his 11-game tenure and his history in his three previous managerial jobs will ensure he gets what he wants.
How much will Blues spend?
After Zola and Redknapp’s scattergun recruitment, spending may have to be reined in to comply with increasingly tight Financial Fair Play regulations.
Blues posted losses of £17million for the final six months of 2017 as a direct result of their summer spending.
It’s estimated Blues spent around £30million in Redknapp’s only transfer window as Jota, Marc Roberts and Co checked in at St Andrew’s.
In addition to the increased spending power, the club’s rigid wage cap was finally broken. Several of Blues’ squad now earn in excess of £25,000 per week, which was unheard of during the Gary Rowett era.
A lot of Monk’s transfer kitty will be made up of money raked in from sales. There are several players returning from loan spells abroad who Blues will be looking to offload permanently, but the club may need to cash in on one of its assets.
Who heads up the hunt?
The lack of one decision maker was undoubtedly a defining factor in the chaos which ensued last summer.
Redknapp was given more money than any previous Blues manager, but he wasn’t the only one able to spend it.
Former director of football Jeff Vetere identified Cheikh Ndoye and secured a deal to bring the Senegalese to the Second City.
Agent Darren Dein was acting as an adviser to Trillion Trophy Asia and effectively headed up the club’s hunt for new players.
However, both Vetere and Dein are no longer involved at St Andrew’s.
Other intermediaries have approached Blues about replacing Dein and handling transfer Business but the club appears keen for Monk to work his magic.
For the first time under TTA, the manager is expected to have sole control over who stays and goes.
Monk’s record in the market
Monk is a methodical man – a man with a plan.
While his predecessors often jumped at the first ‘Yes’, Monk will bide his time and make sure he gets the right players. His record in the transfer market at his three previous clubs is excellent.
At Swansea, Monk signed Gylfi Sigurdsson in 2014 for little over £9million allowing the Swans to make more than £35million profit from his sale to Everton last summer.
At Leeds, Monk snapped up Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez, Luke Ayling and Pontus Jansson – all of whom have been huge hits at Elland Road.
And his record in the transfer market at Boro also reads favourably. Britt Assombalonga was signed for a club record £15million and repaid Monk with 11 goals during his short tenure as boss.
There have been a few misses amongst many hits, but Monk’s transfer Business offers Blues fans reason to be optimistic.
What do Blues need?
The spine of Blues’ team still needs to be strengthened, as has been the case for some time.
Harlee Dean was one of Redknapp’s few astute signings while captain Michael Morrison looks to be rediscovering the nastiness which made him a favourite of Rowett.
But those two need extra competition and a central defender is likely to be high on Monk’s agenda.
Blues have been lacking creativity from deep all season. Monk has several central midfield players who are all much of a muchness. David Davis, Maikel Kieftenbeld and Ndoye can all put in the hard yards, but they struggle to unlock opposition defences.
Jota would also benefit from having a passer in midfield able to pick out his darts in between the lines.
A winger is also needed to provide competition for Jota and Jacques Maghoma. Viv Solomon-Otabor will return to Blues and attempt to impress Monk in pre-season but another player who can frighten full-backs is still a priority.
Jota and Maghoma have improved drastically under Monk but they’re both players who perform better when their place in the starting XI is genuinely under threat.
In what area do Blues most need to strengthen?
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Blues have the rejuvenated Lukas Jutkiewicz, highly-rated Che Adams and the returning Isaac Vassell but Monk doesn’t have the penalty box striker he’s had at his previous clubs.
Monk has always worked with an out and out No.9 who thrives in the goal-mouth.
The type of player Monk will want won’t come cheaply, though.
Source : BirminghamMail