With the Premier League season but a distant memory, the silly season has started in earnest. The main focus of the rumours swirling around Cardiff City is currently Neil Etheridge, and why shouldn’t this be the case? He was a bright spark throughout last season, keeping 10 clean sheets, saving three penalties, and making some brilliant saves at crucial times.
With Liverpool and Aston Villa looking to make a bid for the Cardiff number 1, two VFTN writers are talking the case for keeping or selling.
Keep Etheridge – Scott Salter
I think that Cardiff should 100% keep Neil Etheridge and I’d expect that 99% of the fan base would agree with me.
First of all, Etheridge is a superb goalkeeper. Not only did he perform admirably in the Championship, but he made the step up to the Premier League and was one of Cardiff’s best players. His Player of the Year award shows that.
Second of all, if Cardiff are going to mount a serious promotion push, they need to keep hold of their best players. While Alex Smithies is a very capable Championship goalkeeper, we don’t know quite how he’ll perform in a Cardiff shirt.
Etheridge will be in the top three goalkeepers in the Championship and Cardiff should do all they can to keep him in South Wales.
Sell Etheridge – Ben James
There was always going to be a price to pay for relegation and it looks as if Neil Etheridge could be the cost to Cardiff.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t sell at all. Etheridge is a classy keeper, brilliant at shot stopping as well as being increasingly commanding from corners. But £10m for a player we signed on a free is something most Championship clubs would have to consider.
When you look back over the years, as a club, we’ve done well for goalies. Tom Heaton, David Marshall, Allan McGregor, Etheridge. Plus we already have Alex Smithies!
I’d love to keep Etheridge, but if the interest continues, his head may well be turned, and I do believe that of all the positions we need to replace, we’d be able to do it easiest in goal. Smithies is well versed in the Championship and there’s a certain former Bluebird who may be looking for a new club…