The fact that Will Vaulks has more chance of playing for Wales these days than Cardiff is a bit weird. After all, it’s not like Cardiff have players the calibre of Joe Allen, Ethan Ampadu and Aaron Ramsey, but that’s where we are. It just hasn’t happened for Vaulks yet.
It’s starting to look like another one of those weird Neil Warnock signings, where he has brought someone in and doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do with them. See also Bobby Reid and Lee Tomlin.
On the surface, it looked a great fit. Vaulks is very much a Warnock type, but so was Greg Cunningham and we all know how that one also panned out. Vaulks is a combative midfielder with a long throw and hell of a shot on him. What’s not to like? He’s very much a Cardiff player too and I think he will be a firm favourite when he gets his chance. If he gets his chance.
It’s not looking great for Vaulks right now. He hasn’t been able to get in a Cardiff midfield that hasn’t exactly been bossing games thus far. Joe Ralls is always good, but Leandro Bacuna was box office poison for a while, even though he is currently generating rather better box office.
Marlon Pack was out for a while and Vaulks still didn’t get a sniff and Callum Paterson is really struggling, but is still favoured. The fact that Tomlin has come in from the cold and is also ahead of him must really take the biscuit.
It’s at the point now where you wonder what it would take for Vaulks to get a game. A sickness bug maybe? It’s all rather unfair and probably not what he signed up for, but that’s football I guess. You wonder if he will go the same route as Cunningham and push for a loan move in January if this continues much longer.
Warnock addressed the Vaulks situation recently, saying; “He does get down when he’s not playing. He came to see me the other day. I am glad he has been picked with Ryan Giggs’ Welsh squad because he is definitely playing well. At the moment I think I’ve got Ralls, Bacuna and Pack, and then I had Tomlin to look for some creativity. It’s not easy, but Will has to keep going.”
Vaulks has also been the victim of fickle fan appraisals, seemingly written off after a dodgy half at Reading in his solitary start as a waste of £2m. He was poor, but far from alone in that regard, yet after 60 minutes of league football, he is struggling to get on the bench when he was probably expecting to start, with Aron Gunnarsson, Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa all departing.
We’ve seen what he’s capable of at international level and can be a real asset, if given the chance. That looks a big ‘if’ at the moment though.