Aston Villa midfielder would have been an expensive Molineux mistake.
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Wolves were all set to sign midfielder Steve Sidwell until Fulham came in with a last-ditch bid, which may have fallen through – and I believe that should be considered a lucky escape by the Molineux club’s supporters.
Sidwell impressed sufficiently in Reading’s debut season in the 2006/07 Premier League to be regarded as one of the countries up-and-coming players, which earned him his glamour move to Chelsea.
But first-team chances at Stamford Bridge rarely materialised and despite a move to Aston Villa a season later, his career has somewhat came to a standstill.
Injuries have played their part but like at Chelsea, he has struggled to make an impression at Villa Park, and given his £35,000 plus wages per week, any transfer to a struggling Premier League side should be considered ‘high-risk’.
That’s why I think Wolves are better off without Sidwell. He is a solid player, but after a couple of years in the wilderness, I don’t think he would have fitted into Mick McCarthy’s ‘hard-working, up-and-at-them’ style.
McCarthy needs any potential signings to have an impact at Molineux and can not afford players to have any ‘bedding-in’ time.
It also begs the question to why McCarthy believes he needs another centre midfielder because in Kevin Foley, Karl Henry, Michael Mancienne, David Jones, David Edwards, Nenad Milijas and Adlene Guedioura (ironically sidelined till March with a broken leg inflicted by Sidwell), they appear well-equipped in that department to deal with a Premier League run-in where they require six wins to survive.
To purchase an eighth midfielder, especially on Sidwell’s wages, is unnecessary for McCarthy, and would be better spent acquiring a central defender or a striker to replace the on-loan Marcus Bent.
They have been linked in the regional press with ambitious moves for two of Sidwell’s Villa team-mates – Richard Dunne and Carlos Cueller – but success in those bids should be considered remote with Gerard Houllier’s side languishing around Wolves in the Premier League table.
A more realistic move would be for Barnsley winger Adam Hammill to supplement Stephen Hunt and Matt Jarvis on the flanks. Hammill is earning rave reviews in the Championship, has a release clause of £500,000 and would fit into McCarthy’s mould of signing committed, up-and-coming players.
That would not exactly satisfy the Molineux faithful but it would be a step in the right direction rather than stretching their wage budget to the maximum to sign Sidwell.
Sidwell may very well go on to enjoy a successful spell at Craven Cottage with Fulham, and there’s no denying he has a chance of salvaging his top-flight career there given he is moving closer to his family home, but there are certain players that suit certain clubs, and Sidwell could have been a costly mistake in Wolves’ quest to survive in the Premier League.
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