Cardiff are not going to find another Lee Tomlin. He’s a rare beast and if you had one, why would you let them go? There are plenty of good attacking options out there though, at big clubs with a surplus of everything. Here are a few that Cardiff could try and bring in, if they were that way inclined during the next week.
The Burnley pair – Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady
28-year-old left winger Robbie Brady and 29-year-old right winger Iceland international Johan Berg Gudmundsson have both endured a bad couple of years fitness-wise, but with full pre-seasons under their belt, they are back and raring to go, but will they get games?
Brady is in the shadow of Dwight McNeil, one of the best young players in the Premier League, who never misses a game and Brady recently stated that: “I don’t want another season like last season, being a bit-part player.” Gudmundsson wants to force his way back in to the Iceland squad and it would be nice to have another Icelander around the place. Sean Dyche often bemoans a lack of players, but both need to play at this stage of their career and both head out of contract next summer. Something has to give.
The young tyro – Jack Clarke
Tottenham prodigy Jack Clarke exploded on the scene at Leeds, where his breakthrough season at 18 earned him a £10m move south. The right winger, who can play on either flank, was promptly loaned back last season, but rarely featured, to the extent that Jose Mourinho recalled him and sent him to QPR for a stop-start remainder to the season.
It was not a great year for him, but the talent remains and another loan spell is likely. He looked set for Birmingham at one point because they want to sign everyone, but he remains up for grabs. Cardiff could certainly do with some of his youthful exuberance.
The old head – Robert Snodgrass
Robert Snodgrass is one of those players you fully expected to join Cardiff at some stage. The Premier League under Neil Warnock felt like the right time, but the Cardiff manager claimed that he didn’t need him. Well they need him now.
Scottish international Snodgrass, who turned 33 earlier this month, is a set-piece master and assist machine. He may have lost that yard of pace he never had, but he still gets up and down, playing well enough to earn a new deal at West Ham last year. A big earner, who isn’t at that club, he can fill in across midfield and could be a great temporary measure.
The nemesis – Stefan Johansen
Cardiff have developed quite the rivalry with Fulham in recent years and Stefan Johansen has often been a pain in their arse. The 29-year-old Norwegian international has at times found himself on the periphery of the Fulham side, as a result of their free-spending ways, but he always find a way back in.
That’s because the talented central midfielder is always eager, great in possession, with an eye for a pass and pops up with invaluable goals. All qualities that Cardiff could do with more of right now. A creative grafter, who can do a bit of everything. What’s not to like?
The golden ticket – Billy Gilmour
Billy Gilmour is a generational talent. Like several Chelsea midfielders though, his path to the first-team is blocked by an influx of world-class attacking imports. Another 19-year-old, the Rangers prospect was pinched by Chelsea, who gave him a few games last season and were blown away by his mature performances.
Prodigiously gifted, Gilmour has it all and is surely a superstar in waiting. Whether or not Chelsea will be willing to loan him remains to be seen, and if they did, it could well be to another Premier League side. Manchester City never sent Phil Foden out and clubs sometimes want to keep their very best youngsters close by.
With the heart of Chelsea’s midfield so stacked though, at a key stage in his development, he may need to leave to get match experience. Currently sidelined and due back next month from a knee injury, he will also need to play his way back to fitness. A very long shot and extremely unlikely, but the best players usually are and you never know. He would likely transform whoever he joined.