Cardiff have a quality left-back in Joe Bennett, who should have no problems making the step up to the Premier League. Should Bennett get injured, or struggle, however, the City are short – reinforcements are vital.
As the January loan signing of Armand Traore showed, it is an area that Neil Warnock is keen to address. Here’s five left-backs he could target this off-season.
The free transfer
Massadio Haidara was once a promising left-back in France, impressing after coming through the academy system at AS Nancy. He got his big move to England in 2013, with Newcastle paying £2.25 million to bring him to the North East.
It just hasn’t worked out for Haidara since joining the Magpies, making just three appearances in all competitions last season. Injuries have been his main problem, which does provide a slight worry.
He’s already confirmed his departure from Newcastle and could be worth a punt to provide competition for Joe Bennett.
The Welsh option
Another player who has had horrible injury problems is Rhoys Wiggins, the Welsh youth international. He underwent two operations in five months in 2017, and has failed to regain his spot in the Bournemouth side ever since.
Wiggins, a popular player at Charlton, has failed to make a senior international appearance for Wales, but a move to Cardiff could put him in the spotlight for Ryan Giggs.
Question marks remain over his injury record, though
The loan option
Fulham loanee Matt Targett could prove a shrewd loan signing for Neil Warnock in the top flight.
Targett, on loan at Fulham from Southampton, played 20 times for Fulham since joining. His contribution has been key, often releasing teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon further forward.
With Southampton hardly setting the league alight this year, they may be looking to reintroduce Targett to their senior set-up, but Neil Warnock could do a lot worse than signing him on loan to challenge Joe Bennett.
The under the radar signing
Much was made last year of Neil Warnock’s pursuit of Greg Cunningham and it would be unsurprising to see Cardiff go back in for the Preston man.
Cunningham, who captains Preston, was on Warnock’s radar as Bennett almost departed last summer, so there’s certainly something Warnock admires.
An Ireland international, Cunningham could be looking to take the leap into the top flight and Cardiff could provide him with that opportunity.
The star signing
With Stoke City set to play in the Championship next season, you’d expect a number of their players to leave this summer. One of those could be Erik Pieters, who will no doubt want to stay in top flight football.
The Dutchman has two years left on his contract, but could possibly be to high an earner for the Championship. If Stoke want to reduce their wage bill, he could be a viable option for Cardiff.
Whether he would be willing to fight Bennett for a starting spot remains to be seen, but Pieters has the quality to succeed at this level, as shown by his marshalling of Footballer of the Year Mo Salah.
Scott is a lifelong Cardiff City fan and freelance football writer. Scott hosts the VFTN podcast.