Ahh Russel Slade, never has a man so boring divided opinion among the Cardiff City fan base. The most average period of the previous decade occurred under Russell and fans still argue to this day if he did a decent job at Cardiff or if he was just a bit shit. Big Russ was never really taken to heart by the City faithful, instead he was seen by most as a yes man to Vincent Tan (who at the time was in a bitter battle with the fans over the rebrand). Slade was drafted in to sort out the mess that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had left behind and to ensure Cardiff didn’t fall into relegation trouble a season after being relegated from the Premier League.

Coming from then League One Leyton Orient, Russ came in with little to no experience in working in the second division, despite a fair lengthy career as a football league manager. The former P.E teacher didn’t have the biggest transfer budget but he still managed to make his mark on the side in his time in charge. Sadly most of them were so forgettable even they have forgotten they signed for Cardiff (remember when he signed Eoin Doyle?).

But who were Russell’s top 5 signings in the Cardiff City austerity period?

5. Matthew Kennedy – From Everton, 2015

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A surprise transfer that came along with the loan signing of Connor McAleny, the young Scotsman offered some really exciting performances during the second half of the 2014/15 season including a man of the match display on his debut. Now playing in the SPL for Aberdeen, Kennedy became a bit of a forgotten man after Slade’s departure from the club with several loans spells away from the club before being released at the end of his 3 and half year deal in 2018. To his credit, Kennedy brought some much needed excitement and flair to a side desperate for it during the second half of his first season with the club. His downfall was that he struggled to find an end product.

4. Lex Immers – Loan from Feyenoord, 2016

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Lex Immers signed on loan for Cardiff City after the club had been placed under a suprise transfer embargo in January 2016. The centre attacking midfielder breathed fresh life into a side that had become a bit stale, and inspired them into a late charge towards the play offs with a few important goals and several impressive performances. Those impressive performances led to a permanent deal being signed in the summer of 2016.

3. Scott Malone – £100,000 from Millwall, 2015

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Let me start this off by saying I hated Scott Malone at Cardiff City, I don’t know why but he is up there with Lee Naylor on the Fuckoff’ometer (no idea what my issue is with left backs). But he did have some very positive moments in a Cardiff City shirt. His worldy volley against QPR showed why (according to his agent) he attracted interest from German Giants Borussia Dortmund. A fairly attacking full back, his defensive work at times left a lot to be desired but two goals and a handful of assist put him on this list. Scotty boy eventually move to Fulham in a swap deal with Jazz Richards, he has somehow gone on to play in the Premier League and who know perhaps Dortmund will reignite their interest…..

2. Kenneth Zohore – Loan from KV Kortrijk, 2016

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Ken Zohore might just be the most frustrating player I have seen at Cardiff City since Jay Bothroryd. He had it all; he was quick, strong and went on a big scoring run under Warnock. Unfortunately he was inconsistent. On his day Zohore was a defenders worst nightmare, but when he wasn’t at the races he was a defenders dream; weak, lazy and not working for the ball. Sold to West Brom in the summer for £8 Million pounds, you won’t find many city fans that aren’t happy with the deal. Big Ken signed for Cardiff during our 2016 transfer embargo on loan from another of Vincent Tan’s clubs in Belgium, KV Kortijk, in what, on reflection, was clearly a way to get around the transfer embargo. Ken had a quiet start to life in South Wales and we didn’t see the best of him under Slade, but when Warnock got his hands on him we saw a player that could have become a City icon, sadly he didn’t want it enough.

1. Lee Peltier – Free transfer, 2015

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Mr Consistent. Lee Peltier signed from Huddersfield for a nominal fee to replace John Brayford in January 2015, and has gone on to be the most popular right back since Kev McNaughton. Pelts is everything Cardiff love in a player; he was committed, hard working and seems to have a genuine love for the club and its fans. The comments on social media after his surprise deadline day move to West From saw him leave the club under a bit of a shadow, but also showed how much he meant to the fans. The popular Scouser may not have been the most attacking of full backs and didn’t score for the club but it is his contribution at the other end of the pitch that made him Russell Slade’s greatest Cardiff City signing.