Holding Back the Years
The season of goodwill may be in full flow, especially in the Swindon Town defence, but in the second of a series of five posts this week, Adam Tanner examines why the spirit around The County Ground is more befitting of the January blues…
With the January transfer window a few week ahead, I fully agree with the assumption that the squad would benefit from one or two members. These new additions need to be a touch more experienced than the current senior pro, Raphael Rossi Branco, who is at a ripe old 26 years and 4 months.
However, the club apparently refuses to consider anyone older than this due to the absence of any resale value.
The club’s logic would be understandable if the side was crammed full of young talent, on the basis that numerous players within it can develop and be sold at a profit. But our team isn’t even all that young.
The only Swindon-owned player aged under-23 who could feasibly be called a first team regular is Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill. I think it’s fair to say that many fans would give a pretty definite estimate as to what he is currently worth.
Most players for whom we have received a substantial fee in recent years, from Simon Cox to Charlie Austin to Massimo Luongo, have remained 22 or under when they were sold. When outfield players hit 23-24, their value tends to plummet.
The sale of Nicky Ajose should have reinforced this point. If a 24-year-old striker, with 25 goals in 40 games, and two years left on his contract, went (by all accounts) for well under £1million, surely the penny should have dropped, but apparently not.
The vast majority of our players are now aged between 23 and 26, meaning that we are in limbo; our team is too old for long-term potential, but too young to hold precious experience. Is a refusal to consider signing anyone the “wrong” side of 26 down to anything more than stubbornness?
Follow Adam Tanner on Twitter @AdamTanner87