Rumour has it that Barcelona and Spain U21 international Jeffren Suarez could be making his way to meet with Coyle and the Reebok hierarchy upon their return from the States this weekend.
Jeffren is a product of the Barcelona youth academy and although featured predominantly in the reserves, he has struggled to forge a place in the first team. Of course this is largely unsurprising given the abundance of quality that Barca possess in attacking areas and failing to break into what many people regard as the greatest club side ever is hardly damaging to the reputation of any young footballer.
We’ve already had one transfer link with the Catalan giants rebuffed in this window – that being Thiago Alcantara another Spanish U21 International who turned down all offers in favour of signing a new contract. However, there does appear to be a decent amount of credibility to this story as Barcelona are already on record with SkySports saying that they are willing to sell him on. The current rumour has it that he has rejected moves to other prestigious clubs on the continent as he favours a move to the Premier League.
As a Bolton fan, I am already chomping at the bit to see him sign for the Wanderers and I’m half panic stricken that someone else is going to come sniffing with a fatter wedge of cash to take him away from us. £5million seems an extraordinarily agreeable price given the lad’s pedigree and the current transfer market. Initially it was expected that he would be flown out to the tour in America in order to thrash out a deal as soon as possible but this has since been denied.
As clubs go we appear to offer a young player a great package – genuine first team opportunities, excellent facilities and a great team spirit but we’re simply not in a position to compete on the wages front. If we want him it looks like we’re going to have to get a shift on or face being gazumped by one of our rivals.
Should we sign him, we already know Coyle has the ability to give players confidence and get the best out of them. Jeffren would surely be a major scalp and redress the quality deficit upfront now that we are without the services of Sturridge, Elmander and Rodrigo. Bolton fans crave fast and tricky players, as on the whole they have been largely kept to a minimum or considered to be something of a luxury during our last 10 years in the premier league. He’d be backed to the hilt to try and beat the man or take on a long-range shot – the kind of freedom that Sturridge was happily afforded by the fans.
The other transfer rumblings have come in the form of West Ham’s interest in Matty Taylor for approximately 1 to 1.5 million pounds. Although we need to really be in the business of bringing in players not selling them, this seems like a fairly decent bit of business particularly if we do sign Jeffren.
Taylor has cut a frustrating figure in the last season or so – always popping up in the right places but no longer enjoying much success in front of goal and his diminishing pace on the flank really stands out at this level. Taylor is unlikely to be guaranteed a starting place and recouping some money for a player who is likely to leave at the end of his contract would be prudent business (*Cough* Johan Elmander). In addition to this, there has to be some value in seeing the West Ham faithful become more and more disillusioned with Big Sam’s BWFC reunion taking place at Upton Park, and on that basis alone he would go with my blessing.
Both Taylor and Jeffren are markedly different types of players and if these transfers were to go ahead they could be seen a statement of intent from Coyle that we have been expecting. Owen has been careful not to strip the club to its bare bones in the pursuit of achieving his footballing philosophy but with each transfer window you can see it coming. This two rumours have the feel of an ‘out with old system and in with the new’ about them. Coyle is looking for fast and skilful forward players built on a foundation of robust and physically dominant defenders.
Whilst I don’t think the changes will have us serving sangria and killing a bull at half-time at the Reebok, there are definitely changes afoot and as long as we’re careful to avoid wholesale and potentially damaging alterations, then who knows what kind of joys it could bring.