BLAKEY: MY NEW YEAR CITY TRANS­FER WISH­LIST

South Wales Echo - - Front Page - Nathan Blake [email protected]­line.co.uk

LAST sea­son, I rec­om­mended Cardiff City sign New­cas­tle United mid­fielder Mo Di­ame - who at the time was out of the side and un­happy at St James’ Park - but they went down a dif­fer­ent route.

Di­ame has come back into the equa­tion at New­cas­tle since then, while Cardiff’s need for new sign­ings has be­come lit­tle more ur­gent.

So, again, I’m go­ing to sug­gest a few play­ers Cardiff could tar­get who would be ready-made for the Premier League.

LEIGHTON BAINES (EV­ER­TON)

Go and get him. He’s still a qual­ity left­back, was Eng­land’s first choice in that po­si­tion not too long ago, a leader and some­one who would bring in even higher stan­dards of pro­fes­sion­al­ism to the club.

He’s not first choice at Ev­er­ton these days, so some­one must surely swoop for him in the New Year and sell him the dream – as I said when I floated the idea of Cardiff re-sign­ing Aaron Ram­sey from Arse­nal.

FER­NANDO LLORENTE (SWANSEA)

In terms of a striker, a po­si­tion we all know Cardiff need to get in Jan­uary, I like the idea sug­gested on these pages a while ago in Llorente.

He’s an­other ex­pe­ri­enced pro who would add much-needed qual­ity in an area Cardiff are lack­ing it.

But I also know there are two or three other in­ter­na­tion­als around the global game who would be avail­able for half of Llorente’s wages.

So Cardiff have to as­sem­ble a trans­fer plan to go and find them.

The prob­lem Neil Warnock has had dur­ing his time at Cardiff is each of his sign­ings have been to plug a gap, putting some­thing in place tem­po­rar­ily and even­tu­ally that catches up with you. It doesn’t work long term.

Re­cruit­ment is vi­tal at the top level and I just feel the Blue­birds have been shop­ping in a mar­ket which is com­fort­able for them. I don’t see them delv­ing into Euro­pean mar­kets like their ri­vals do.

The rea­son they found Vic­tor Ca­ma­rasa was be­cause they played against him in that Real Betis pre-sea­son friendly.

Trust me when I say there are lots of Ca­ma­rasas out there. You just need to do your due dili­gence and un­earth them.

It’s no good Cardiff hop­ing to sign some­one like Troy Deeney from Wat­ford, which was men­tioned in the sum­mer.

There’s no way they’re go­ing to sell him in Jan­uary. New­cas­tle aren’t go­ing to sell Di­ame any­more ei­ther.

You have to pounce when the time is right, you have to know your onions and do your home­work on these play­ers.

DANNY DRINKWATER (CHELSEA)

An­other player I’d love Cardiff to tar­get is Drinkwater.

He’s a class act, has ac­tu­ally played for the Blue­birds in the past, and could be avail­able on loan hav­ing barely played since he moved to Chelsea.

But there will be some big wages to get around – as there will be with sev­eral of their tar­gets.

So Cardiff can’t have it both ways. It’s dif­fi­cult to ap­ply pres­sure on Warnock and in­sist he must keep this team in the Premier League if the team hasn’t had in­vest­ment.

They only spent pocket money to get pro­mo­tion in the first place, so Warnock would be for­given for want­ing more money in the hope of achiev­ing sur­vival.

It’s a ne­ces­sity, I’m afraid: Bournemouth have done it, Wat­ford have done it, Southamp­ton, Burn­ley – are these clubs big­ger than Cardiff?

No, but they had a plan and they backed it up with sound in­vest­ment. The three play­ers I’ve men­tioned would all merit wages in ex­cess of £65,000 per week.

So for me, Warnock needs help in the re­cruit­ment depart­ment and a strate­gic ap­proach to the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow. Maybe an ex­tra mem­ber of staff be­hind the scenes would be an in­tel­li­gent move. Con­sider this col­umn my two pence worth of ad­vice, but we all know the Jan­uary win­dow won’t be that straight­for­ward. It never is.

Ev­er­ton’s Leighton Baines

Tot­ten­ham’s Fer­nando Llorente

Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater

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