With Harry having publicly stated that we’re still in the market for Huntelaar, you must wonder what this means for the future of Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko.
We currently have a quartet of strikers at the club and in a season when we’ve got no European football to add meaningless games to our fixture list every other week, a quintet of strikers is just not going to work. So if Redknapp is serious about still moving for Huntelaar (and we will see, if this Darren Bent transfer is ever completed) then it surely means either Keano or Pav are on borrowed time.
If the Bent saga has taught us anything, it’s that our tightfisted chairman Daniel Levy (some would say, hamfisted) will not want to sell either player for much less than we paid for them. This could prove something of a stumbling block. It’s no one else’s fault that we waited until transfer deadline day to flog Berbatov and in our ever escalating panic, brought in Pavlyuchenko at top dollar.
And though the fee we paid for Robbie in January seemed a bargain, given what the Scousers had paid for him just a few months before, there weren’t any other sides looking to hijack the deal at that price.
Some have said that Harry must wish he hadn’t brought Keane back to the club, but looking back, I’m not sure he had that much choice. Defoe was injured, we were still in the relegation dogfight and Redknapp can be forgiven for not trusting Bent, Campbell and Pavlyuchenko to score the goals to keep us up.
Keane’s form was criticised when he returned to us, but his second coming also coincided with an upturn in form, that saw us move towards the safety of mid-table. Whilst it’s true that Keane didn’t look the same player that left, it’s understandable, given that his confidence must have taken a battering.
Imagine you left your place of work, telling everyone that you were moving to your dream job and how brilliant it was all going to be. Cut forward to six months later and you’re back with your tail between your legs, sheepishly clocking back in, whilst your old colleagues try not to smirk. You’d feel a bit of a tit, wouldn’t you? I’d be sympathetic to Keane, if it wasn’t all completely self-inflicted.
Even if Huntelaar doesn’t sign, I can see one of our current quartet of strikers, getting the hump and leaving come January. Whenever there’s four strikers to choose from, there’s normally a hierarchy and one player that barely ever gets a game.
I agree that we need four strikers, but when they’re all in their mid to late twenties and need to play regularly, it’s never going to work. Eventually one or more of our current forwards will be on their bike and replaced with a younger model, that doesn’t mind kicking their heels on the bench.