Cardiff City Neil Harris must be praised for early transfer business...but do Cardiff City need more?

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Neil Harris must be praised for early transfer business, but with an ageing squad and injury-hit stars do Cardiff City need more?

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If you are to take Neil Harris at his word, Cardiff’s transfer business for the summer is over and done with. A one in, one out policy is now in operation, should anyone leave between now and the close of the transfer window.

Their business has been solid. Kieffer Moore has become something of a darling of Welsh football in the last 12 months, with shoulders broad enough to carry Cardiff’s attacking burden. He represented a deal that was too good to refuse, as Wigan’s cruel administration saw most of their best players depart at cost price.

Jordi Osei-Tutu and Sheyi Ojo have also given Cardiff’s right flank a new lick of paint, joining on loan from Premier League royalty Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. In a tricky transfer window, Harris has done well to get his business done nice and early, with everything in place ahead of the season opener on Saturday.

The question that everyone is now asking is will it be enough to elevate Cardiff to the absolute upper echelon of the Championship.

Cardiff’s record under Harris is not to be sniffed at. During his time in charge, he accrued enough points to finish third, behind eventual champions Leeds and a rampant Brentford side. Now he is tasked with repeating that feat and attempting to go one better.

Using last season as a case study, the difference between Cardiff and the three sides that went up — Leeds, West Brom and Fulham —was firepower. All three brought in heavy weaponry at great expense and the gamble paid off. Had it not, their outlay may have crippled them, but no one is talking about that now, of course.

Leeds brought in Eddie Nketiah, Jean-Kevin Augustin and Helder Costa, to complement £7m signing Patrick Bamford and your manager’s favourite manager; Marcelo Bielsa. Between them and West Brom, they had by far the best-paid managers in the division.

The Baggies went all out for former Croatia manager Slaven Bilic, while Matheus Pereira, Callum Robinson and Grady Diangana arrived on loan to prop up their attack. The trio have since been signed permanently ready for their Premier League campaign.

Fulham, Cardiff’s conquerors in the play-offs, managed to hold on to Aleksandar Mitrovic, the league’s best player, while adding the high-profile loan signings of Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert, who now have deals to remain with the club. They also nicked Cardiff’s best attacking player in Bobby Reid, who was not replaced.

Moore is not a marquee signing per se, but he is sure to prove effective at this level and you wonder how Cardiff might have fared in the second half of last season had they managed to bring him in January.

Cardiff may have their gun, but do they have enough bullets?

Lee Tomlin rolled back the years last season and was a joy to behold, but he limped to the end of the season and Cardiff’s promotion hopes faded with his fitness. He has yet to recover from the injury he pulled up with in that final game and Cardiff will start the season without him. It sounds like he is not far from fitness, but he has missed pre-season and will need time to regain his footing.

When you have a player that good, you can’t help but build your side around him, but chances are that he will again miss stretches and leave Cardiff short at times throughout the campaign. It is a surprise that an alternative has not been sought because Harris was often clearly frustrated at being unable to rely on Tomlin’s availability in his press conferences.

As Tomlin will attest, age catches up with you and the sad truth is that this Cardiff squad is not getting any younger either. Last year, the average age of their side was the oldest in the league at around 28. The spritely Dion Sanderson provided a welcome injection of energy at right back, as will Osei-Tutu, but then they will return to their parent club and Cardiff will be another year older.

Signing young players has been a casualty of Cardiff’s short-term approach in recent years. While it has been successful on the whole, it has left the squad looking a bit tired and samey. Danny Ward was one of the last remaining high tempo players, so it was a shame to see him depart in the summer. He, coincidentally, is also 28.

Swansea showed last season what the introduction of quality youth talent can do for a flagging season, as Steve Cooper mined his Under-17 World Cup-winning England side for Rhian Brewster and Conor Gallagher. They inspired a late and successful push for the top six. Further proof that speed kills.

Cardiff have one of the strongest squads in the division, on paper at least. Scratch below the surface though and they’re still relying on Josh Murphy to come good and Tomlin to keep on trucking.

We were probably all hoping that Cardiff would be a bit more dynamic in the transfer market, but obviously the current climate makes that more difficult than ever before. Fortune tends to favour the brave though and certainly did last season.

Harris worked wonders last year and we’re relying on him to do it all again. His message is that he has no intention of standing still and his hunger is infectious. Moore is sure to be his on field lieutenant and will put in the hard yards. Whether he and Cardiff are successful will likely rely on the ammunition provided. Hopefully it will prove sufficient.

Source : Harris must be praised for transfers but Cardiff might need more | Scott Johnson - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/neil-harris-must-praised-early-18902490
 

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I've always said we need a quality midfielder, a real leader.
 

Travis Bickle

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Attacking midfielder who can pass the ball needed
 

Pen Y Bont Blue

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Attacking midfielder who can pass the ball needed
Totally agree, we need someone with a good engine who has the vision & capability to thread the ball through the middle. Yes, Tomlin has done great for us but he hasn’t featured in every game & as he is prone to injury. I believe that without Tomlin we are so predictable to the opposition by just feeding the two widemen and hope they produce a decent cross.
 

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