Are we going to sign a left-winger? Young? Downing? Anyone? It's the quest that never ends, usually because we are never looking, and it's a question that gets repeated over and over again and with each passing transfer window we are left empty handed and confused.
The only reason I care to mention this is because of Luka Modric. And the little matter of our midfield. At the moment he dinks in, drifts around at his heart's content, conducting play and creating havoc. All from the left-wing. I discussed this at length - click here to read it - and the conundrum was simply whether our Croatian wizard was better suited in the middle.
With Palacios now commanding the centre park, the protection is in place for Luka to slot into a more natural position for a player with his abilities. But there is no indication of what Harry is planning other than a complaint about Man City 'moving the goal posts' and being able to outbid everyone around them citing Barry and Santa Cruz - indicating we were interested in both. Which means we are still looking to bring in two players of similar ilk. Ignore his comments relating to not bothering to strengthing the side if we can't find players that would improve us (Harry mind games):
"I have spoken to the chairman Daniel Levy and we've decided if we can't get players who will improve the team we're not going to bother. We've already got a decent squad, many of whom are going to get better. But we recognise we have to improve"
Not a chance he won't get involved in some dealings.
a) Because he's Harry Redknapp
b) Because we DO need to strengthen the squad
A CM and a number 9 type of forward player are the current targets based on Harrys comments (if you read between the lines, and I know I might be reading way too much into it). He also mentions Glen Johnson, so it's possible we are also looking at the right-back position too. You know, because, we need one of them due to the lack of depth in that area of the squad since Pascal Chimbonda was involved in a training ground accident involving a tear in the space time continuum that sucked him into a worm hole.
Now I know I'm basing all this around the obvious and there is no clear indication, but I hope (and pray) we don't simply sign players just because they are available (regardless of their hype) and that we sign players that we need because they WILL improve the side.
Barry would have completed our midfield. Santa Cruz, I'm not too sure about. So maybe I've got that one wrong. All irrelevant now anyway.
Signing Barry would have meant Modric remaining on the left-hand side. If we do sign another CM, it's possible that the player will be a back-up (with Zokora on his way out). Whatever happened to the Scott Brown rumours? We've also been linked to several La Liga based midfielders in recent weeks, but it's all speculation - our tabloids repeating what their tabloids are saying. If we sign a major player for the CM role, then Luka will no doubt remain drifting in from the left. There is no real clarity and definitive ideology of selection based on the transfer rumours. But then I wouldn't expect that to be the case.
Not a clue about the 'number 9' - and whether we end up with a tricky goal-scorer or a tall/big/strong Crouchesque player. If we do sign another forward, then the Keane/Defoe issue will no doubt resurface.
And back to the left-sided question. Downing is injured and I'm not sure when he'll be back to full fitness - so signing him would still mean we begin the season with no left-winger. Anyone would think there's a shortage of wingers. It's gone quiet everywhere. Ashley Young too.
I guess one thing to be completely positive about is that we are not rushing into making any signings. Whether this is because we are waiting to sell players (or swap them) or because we are biding our time to find the right (left) type of player to bring to the club - it gives me the impression we are a little more calculating this term, than in previous seasons.
Either that or the transfer window is in a state of reverse flux, with clubs nervous about spending too much on the wrong player.
Until we make a signing, we won't know where Moddle will be starting. But at least he'll be starting in Lilywhite.