Paul Trollope *shudders* was only in charge for one window and only oversaw eight signings, so it seems a bit pointless to list a top five when Brian Murphy, Rickie Lambert, Emyr Huws and Frederic Gounongbe hardly played, while Lex Immers hardly ever bothered once he signed permanently.
That only leaves three, so without further ado;
3. Jazz Richards – Swap with Fulham for Scott Malone
I thought Cardiff had the better of this deal at the time, but Malone went on to sign for Huddersfield in a £3.5m deal, played in the Premier League and is now a key player at Derby, so history suggests that was not the case. I can’t blame Trollope for sanctioning it, having worked closely with him within the Welsh national set-up. I also would have in his position.
I still feel that Richards is the better player, but unfortunately his body has failed him since he has been with Cardiff and he has rarely featured. He is more versatile than Malone and can play on both flanks, his ceiling in terms of talent is probably higher too, but Cardiff have not seen the best of him.
Richards has played recently and it was great to see him back, but his form was a bit patchy and maybe his injuries have taken their toll. He missed the last couple of games and is out of contract in the summer. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he stayed and it wouldn’t be a surprise is he left, which says it all really.
2. Joe Bennett – Free Transfer from Aston Villa
A really great signing. A player that cost Aston Villa about £3m in 2012, who Cardiff managed to bring in on a free transfer. Proof that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Pretty much the prototype for the sort of signings Cardiff should be looking to make at present.
Bennett has been pretty much an ever present since joining and is a low maintenance player, who just quietly goes about his business. He effectively replaced Andrew Taylor and has proven an upgrade, both better going forward and less inclined to make a mistake.
There is very little to choose between Bennett and Kenneth Zohore, but Zohore was already at the club when Trollope took charge, so while I’m classing Zohore as the better signing overall, Bennett is the best Trollope signing.
1. Kenneth Zohore – Who knows from KV Kortrijk
I LOVE Ken Zohore. I know he dove people crazy, and I get it, but I just love him to bits. He’s like a thoroughbred horse that only performs if the going is good. We can probably all relate to that, as frustrating as it is from one of your team’s star performers. He made Jay Bothroyd look like a workaholic.
Another one of those players, like Craig Noone or Joe Mason, that initially set the bar very high for themselves, then struggled to reach those heights for the rest of their Cardiff career. Zohore was a prodigy with all the physical attributes you need to succeed as a centre forward; big, strong, powerful and quick. When you look back at some of his goals, they were remarkable.
Zohore appeared to be his own toughest opponent though and as disappointing as it was to see him depart for West Brom in the summer, Cardiff did very well to get £8m for a player in the final year of his contract, that has struggled for form for far too long. His legacy is that there remains a Zohore-shaped hole in this Cardiff side.