Finally. The saga that seemed to last a lifetime is finally over as Cardiff City complete the signing of Emiliano Sala from Nantes. Here’s how the VFTN team react to the signing…
That fact that Cardiff City have somehow accrued 19 points without a genuine striker playing regularly is a miracle in itself, but Saturday’s blank against Huddersfield truly laid bare the inadequacies up front for the Bluebirds.
The price tag seems sizeable, but I guess £20m is the old £10m and all he needs to do to justify the outlay is hit the net and quickly. His critics will slink away and confidence will rise. A strong, target man may be just what Cardiff are crying out for and I’m hoping he can take some of the pressure off the defence, hauling the Bluebirds further up the pitch.
It’s lovely to have some positive news in the transfer market for once and it’s also a real sign of intent to our competitors, in what will be the tightest of relegation battles.
At. Bloody. Last. It felt like it took an age but Cardiff City have finally got a striker. An actual striker, can you remember the last time we had one of those?
Listen, I’m not going to lie and act like I know all about Sala. I don’t. But from speaking to Simon Scutt for the VFTN scout report of Sala, I think this will be a positive investment for the club.
He seems to tick the boxes. He’s big, passionate on the pitch and has good work ethic. He’s also got an eye for goal, with only Kylian Mbappe registering more goals in Ligue 1 this season.
Cardiff had to invest and I think it’s about the right sum for a player in his prime. Remember, he only needs to be good for four months to make it a positive investment. This signing could keep Cardiff City in the Premier League.
One day I’d be fascinated to read an oral history on the club’s pursuit of Sala in this transfer window but for now I’m going to hope all’s well that ends well. Yes, it a lot of money. Yes, it’s a risk. No, I don’t think we can stay up without investing heavily in goal scorers. His reputation in France has been that he can make goals out of nothing and he’s pretty much the only reason Nantes aren’t fighting a relegation battle. Maybe we’ll be saying the same come May? The fact that Nantes fans aren’t happy with him leaving despite the huge amount of money they’ve got in return should tell you a lot.
Now this one, I’m not so sure about. I know you’re not allowed to say it out loud, but I fear Emiliano Sala may prove a waste of money. So. Much. Money.
It’s rather simplistic to say that Cardiff play long so they need a target man. Gary Madine for one would disagree. To get the best out of him, they need a whole new shape and approach and I’m not sure that was necessary. They don’t cross enough for a big striker to thrive and if they make him work the channels like Kenneth Zohore, they’re setting him up to fail.
We’re all praying that he plunders 10 goals and keeps Cardiff up. If he manages that, then he pays for himself. If he struggles, the spectre of Andreas Cornelius will loom large.
The one thing Cardiff needed this transfer window was a striker and *checks notes* we’ve signed one! Yes the chase was long and with more twists and turns than an Eastenders episode, but credit to the club for sticking with it. Sala has scored a lot of goals in France this season and in this inflated market, we’ve paid the right amount for a proven striker. While previously the club have said they would be frugal, they deserve praise for recognising they needed to spend and spend wisely. A striker now could be the difference between staying up and going down. The club have toiled their way to where they are now and a signing like this could really propel us into the last 17 games.