August 17, 2017 by Kane Styles.
It seems as if Ryan Shotton will be departing Blues, Middlesbrough have seen an offer accepted for the defender. Shotton initially joined Blues in January 2016 on a short-term loan deal, but Gary Rowett opted to make the move a permanent one the following summer for a fee of around £300,000. The club are set to land over £3 million for Shotton, that’s quite an impressive piece of business considering he signed for next to nothing.
So, who replaces him? Firstly, the defence so far this season has been pleasing. We look organised and well drilled and the partnership of newly recruited Marc Roberts and skipper Michael Morrison has looked promising. Shotton needs to be replaced with cover, someone who will not break the bank. However, the 3-5-2 system has been talked of by Redknapp, giving the suggestion that Blues will in fact be looking to add a regular starter to the ranks.
There was rumours today that Sebastian Bassong is training with the club. The former Norwich City defender was recently released and is looking for a new club. He has experience and Redknapp knows of his capabilities during his time at Tottenham. But, if Redknapp is going to go for three at the back then I think Blues fans would hope for a better alternative rather than Bassong.
Aden Flint. A player who we’ve had two bids rejected for. Flint is 6’6, dominant in the air and has an eye for a goal. The stumbling block here is that Bristol City are demanding £10 million for the 29-year-old, a crazy figure given that Flint has only played at a decent level for two seasons. Not to mention that Bristol have struggled during that time. Flint was left out of Bristol’s opening game, their cup game and the defeat against Blues last Saturday. The fee they are wanting isn’t practical for Blues, we don’t need to spend £10 million on a defender, a striker is a bigger priority. We could get two very handy additions for that price.
Tommy Elphick. The former Bournemouth captain had a poor season for Villa last time out. He fell out of favour quickly after Roberto Di Matteo’s departure, and has struggled to assemble himself in B6. He’s another player Redknapp is familiar with, he admired him during his time at Bournemouth and the Blues manager may well move for him depending on the price Villa are looking for.
Grant Hanley, a solid and consistent defender. It had been reported that Newcastle offered the Scotland international to Blues, but as of yet nothing has come out of that offer. Hanley burst on to the scene at Blackburn, featuring on over 170 occasions and becoming captain before moving to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle last summer. His game time at St. James’ Park was extremely poor, he only played seven times for the magpies during their promotion winning campaign. However, at a cut price of around £4 million, Blues would be getting a player who is well capable of breaking into most sides in the championship. Until Villa landed John Terry, Hanley was identified as one of their main defensive targets, it would be a waste if Blues let this one slide. He’s cheaper and younger (25) than Flint, and would be a good addition for any side in the division.