Sport

Cardiff City column: Erratic seasons comes to a close

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade and fans alike will have a collective sigh of relief as an erratic season came to a close away at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground. Whilst Slade already has a transfer window at the club under his belt, this summer will provide valuable time to shape his squad to the way he likes.

I predict an exodus of sorts this summer, as Slade will be looking to trim a lot of the fat off the sides of a large squad where a lot of players have not made an impact. Many of these players that City fans will not be sad to see leave include those brought in by previous regimes that has been almost non-existent for the club this season, such as Kevin Theophile-Catherine, who is out on loan at Saint-Etienne, South African centre midfielder Kagisho Dikagcoi or Tom Adeyemi.

The striking core will be an interesting one to keep an eye on. Slade has aired his favourable opinions on both Eoin Doyle and Joe Mason, but he will also have Nicky Maynard coming back from an injury, an underwhelming Alex Revell and two loaned out strikers in Kenwyne Jones and Adam Le Fondre waiting in the wings.

It’s likely that these four strikers will leave in the summer, however there is the sense that Revell may end up sticking around, while Le Fondre certainly deserves a second chance after impressing out on loan. Slade will probably not look abroad as former Cardiff managers have in previous seasons, and players who could invigorate the Bluebirds up front include Preston’s free-scoring Joe Garner or a younger option by loaning Patrick Bamford from Chelsea, who has dominated at Middlesbrough this season.

One rumour that always seems to get dug up involves the transfer of probably the best goalkeeper in the Championship, David Marshall, with Derby County recently being linked to the Scottish international. Slade will have his hands full trying to keep Marshall, but a solid replacement could be Bolton’s Adam Bogdan, who has been linked to the Bluebirds before.

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