Cardiff have done great business already this summer. They’ve brought in a quality goalkeeper as back up to Neil Etheridge. I was slightly concerned that Neil Warnock may have brought in a waning veteran as cover, but in Alex Smithies, they have made a very shrewd signing and he may yet eclipse Etheridge.
The same applies to Greg Cunningham. One of, if not the best left back in the Championship, Joe Bennett has a real challenge on his hands holding on to his left back berth. Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid are exciting attacking players that will bring flair and unpredictability to the Cardiff attack.
There will be more signings, but the most pressing concern now is quality back up for Kenneth Zohore. The great Dane may be a revelation in the top flight, or he might find himself out of his depth. It is unchartered territory for him, so we’ll have to see and keep our fingers crossed.
What we can say with absolute confidence is that Zohore can’t lead the Cardiff attack on his own. Step forward Abel Hernandez.
The former Hull forward saw his contract with the club expire last week and he is now a free agent. Every so often he gets linked with Leeds, but surely he is aiming higher than that? No disrespect to Leeds. Newcastle maybe, or why not Cardiff?
He has already been linked with Cardiff and if they’re not considering him, then Warnock will have taken his eye off the ball. Tall, athletic, quick and powerful, Hernandez is very much in the Zohore mould.
Cardiff’s approach is very rigid, which is why Gary Madine has struggled when called upon. Madine needs the ball to chest, not twenty yards ahead of him in to open space.Hernandez would fit like hand in glove.
The six-foot, 27-year-old Uruguayan international cost Hull £10m in 2014, back when they had a bit more spending money. Were he still attached to a club, his asking price would likely still be around the £10m mark.
Having ruptured his Achilles in August, Hernandez missed almost seven months of the season last year and he was sorely missed. It was no coincidence that Hull’s form spiked when he returned and he netted five goals in five starts.
Hernandez’s wage demands may prove a stumbling block, but he might be worth pushing the boat out for. The reward far outweighs the risk, as a transfer fee and wages for a comparable players would surely exceed whatever Hernandez is asking for.
I’ve been bleating on about this one all summer and will continue to do so as long as he remains a free agent, which will surely not be for very much longer. I don’t see Cardiff taking a punt on a big foreign striker post-Andreas Cornelius, surely even Warnock couldn’t get that request past Vincent Tan.
When you survey the options closer to home, I don’t see anyone else of Hernandez’s ilk in the club’s likely price range. He’s the best free transfer this summer has to offer, an open goal and hopefully Cardiff’s as opposed to someone else’s.