Keep, loan or sell – every Cardiff City star rated ahead of big summer window
Cardiff City face a huge summer ahead of next season.
Steve Morison and his players provided the perfect tonic for the South Wales derby humiliation at home to Swansea City with an impressive comeback win over Reading on Saturday. Indeed, for all the misfortune of the heavy defeat to Swans, Cardiff have lost just one of their last six games.
Morison himself, clearly delighted with the reaction from his players at Berkshire, said the club are now “very well placed” and, with their league status officially assured, attention will clearly start to turn to the game. ‘summer. Indeed, recruitment plans and decisions about who to keep in the building will accelerate over the coming weeks.
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So who should keep Cardiff? Who should they sell? Who to lend to?
Was a fantastic presence between the sticks for the Bluebirds, establishing himself as the number one. Clearly highly rated by Morison but believed to be one of the highest paid at the club.
Verdict: In an ideal world, you would keep it. But financial constraints mean he is increasingly likely to leave, with a goalkeeper already on Cardiff’s wishlist.
Has been more than capable of deputizing for the Smithies when called upon. Called up to the squad for the win over Reading and duly delivered an assured performance.
Verdict: It probably depends on who Cardiff manages to bring in. If he’s playing second fiddle again, it might be time to consider a sale.
Has been a regular at the back this season, and still has good years ahead of him. Seems an important player in this team.
Has looked a bit shaky in recent games but the quality of previous performances this season suggests he still has plenty of future in the capital.
Has been a tremendous servant to the club. Still a great leader, and he has the kind of experience that could prove invaluable in what is otherwise a very young team.
Verdict: In an ideal world, keep
Has probably been one of Cardiff’s most consistent players this season, but is another whose contract is at the end of the season. Has his admirers within the club, and is surely more than capable of playing a role next season, but an exit seems a real possibility.
Verdict: Maybe it’s time to move on.
Was a regular in this XI until a recent injury, in which Perry Ng and McGuinness cemented their place in Morison’s backline. Started winning over Reading and even took the captain’s armband at one point. Likely to be part of next season’s plans.
Is one of the first names on the squad roster under Joey Barton at Bristol Rovers. Cardiff would be delighted with their progress on the Severn. With a few players in his position likely to leave, he could well see next season as an opportunity.
The 22-year-old has been in and out of the squad on loan at St Johnstone. Has many admirers in South Wales, but has yet to have a chance to impress. Capable of playing at right-back or in the center of midfield, there just might be a player out there somewhere.
Verdict: The contract is up next summer, but he’s too good a player not to at least take another look.
Has fallen out of favor with Cardiff and does not appear to be part of their future plans. Did well on loan at Oxford, but probably not enough to extend his current deal beyond the end of this season.
Verdict: will surely leave this summer.
Has been one of Cardiff’s finest players since arriving from Leeds United on loan in January. Understood to be open to another stay in the capital, but will be assessed by Leeds United this summer before any decision on his next move is made.
Verdict: if possible, keep it at 1000%.
Has thrived since stepping into a new role as centre-back, although he admittedly looked a bit awkward in the middle of a back four on Saturday. He will likely be part of Cardiff’s defensive plans for years to come.
After a bad run earlier in the season, he has apparently regained his mojo a bit in recent weeks. A constant presence in this team, but it’s another one whose contract situation has placed his future in uncertainty.
Verdict: A very useful player, but probably not one who would be considered irreplaceable.
Hasn’t kicked a ball in a Cardiff shirt since his disastrous red card against Bournemouth earlier in the season. Contract until this summer and a departure seems nailed.
Verdict: need a fresh start.
Another who is out of contract at the end of the season. His consistency in the middle of the park, along with his years of service and dedication to the cause, has kept him a popular player with fans.
Verdict: Of all the players out of contract this summer, he is the one many would most like to stay. Dungeon.
Has impressed since returning from his short spell on loan in January. Already look at an important player in this team.
Saw his start to life in South Wales a bit cut short by injury, but still managed to establish himself as a reasonably stable option on the scale. Took his goal at Reading with flying colors.
Verdict: probably won’t be brought back.
Gradually fell the pecking order in this team. Hasn’t started a league game since January and, with his contract at the end of the season, looks unlikely to stay.
Verdict: Could probably use a fresh start.
He has been on loan at Hereford since January. It seems unlikely that he will really be part of Cardiff’s plans, especially with his contract at the end of the season.
Verdict: It’s probably time to go.
Coming off the boil somewhat recently, but still a stylish presence in midfield. He appears destined for the Premier League, but Cardiff will be hoping they can get him back for another season.
Verdict: If possible, keep it.
A player with a great future for club and country. Many think he should get more playing time, such is the excitement over his abilities. A stunner at QPR and a cool finish on international duty with Wales has recently shown his ability in front of goal to full effect.
Verdict: We can very well be interested in his signature. But unless it’s an offer too good to turn down, Cardiff simply have to keep it.
Has been in and out of the Linfield FC loan club squad. Enjoyed first-team minutes at City under Mick McCarthy and Morison, but is likely to be in the pecking order of options currently.
Verdict: another loan seems to be the best option.
An injury delayed a promising start to the season. The future now seems uncertain.
Verdict: A loan spell could be beneficial for everyone involved. Impossible to exclude a sale if the right offer arrives.
Has been in and around the matchday squad for the past few weeks, but game time hasn’t quite come yet. Enjoyed a start at Anfield in January and was predicted by Morison to have a bright future, but could perhaps do a few minutes elsewhere.
Verdict: a loan at the next session could do him good.
Has, overall, been an impressive one for the Bluebirds since joining in late January. Scored four goals since joining and added a physical injection up front. Many would like to see him back next season, but Norwich’s plans for him remain unclear.
Verdict: If there’s any chance of that happening, he’d be a decent player to keep.
Its role was largely that of an impact submarine. Scored three goals from the bench and has already established himself as a fan favourite. Boro is likely to want to sell him this summer in a bid to recoup the £750,000 paid for him, which could well put him out of Cardiff’s reach.
Verdict: There will probably be sections of fans who want to keep it, but the numbers probably don’t add up
Made four appearances in three years due to a succession of injuries. Out of contract this summer and unlikely to stay.
Verdict: A fresh start is needed.
Sometimes struggled in the capital. No one can blame his efforts, but a tally of three goals in 29 outings has shaken confidence in his abilities. If Cardiff were to bring a striker or two on board this summer, it’s hard to see where he stands.
Verdict: If the right offer presents itself, sell.
Could probably add a few more goals to his game, but the Wales international is widely regarded as an important player for the team. Made useful contributions at times, especially on the bench.
Simply failed to get into the capital. A player who arrived with a lot of promise, but who didn’t quite keep his promises. Was substituted after just 37 minutes against Coventry City and will need to produce something special if he is to convince Morison he is worthy of a future here.
Verdict: Could well be one they could look to cash in on.
The young Welshman has made great progress in recent months. Like Colwill, some believe he deserves more playing time than he gets. An exciting prospect.
Has already been named as the next big talent to emerge from Cardiff’s academy. Didn’t quite make the step up to the first-team photo after prolific form for the Under-23s at the start of the season. Has seen his progress on loan at Northampton also hampered by injury.
Verdict: another loan seems to be the best option.
Was in superb form for Oxford United, where he had 10 assists and scored one goal. Hasn’t quite made a breakthrough in the capital yet, but will certainly have impressed his parent club.
Verdict: Possibly an offer to keep next season, although if an acceptable offer comes in it might be worth considering.
Had a disastrous loan at Preston. A lack of playing time and a bad injury mid-season prevented him from making a significant impact.
Verdict: just didn’t work. Should be allowed to leave.