As we draw towards the end of 2019, I am doing a review of each of the positions and giving my view on what I would like to see in the January transfer market.
Liam Roberts – Where to start with Liam. He is a solid keeper in this league, and has proved that he can be solid in League One too. However at times we have seen his inconsistencies. He has made a couple of errors when coming to collect the ball, and it does seem no Walsall keeper can distribute a ball well. Personally, the last run of games he has been on seems to have brought about a change in Liam’s performances. He looks calm and composed, and back to his old self. I do honestly believe that his confidence took a huge hit with all that went on last season. I am very glad that he is back in form, as fans love nothing better than seeing ‘one of their own’ play in the first team. Liam has racked up 100 games for the Saddlers and I for one, hope he stays around for a long time.
Jack Rose – Jack has only played a handful of games for us, so it is very difficult to evaluate him. From what I have seen, he looks a decent enough keeper, however I feel he is very similar to Roberts. He is a good keeper that will only develop by playing more at this level. For me, Jack will only get better by playing regular football. I don’t think that he will get that here. I would always rather play our own players rather than loanees, especially where we have a younger player who is as able. His lack of game time will no doubt give Southampton something to consider.
January Verdict – There are a couple of different options that I would be happy with. I do think that Rose would be best returning to Southampton and getting a loan move somewhere he can play more first team football. But in terms of what the team needs, I don’t know whether sending him back and getting a new keeper in will be on DC’s priority list. That being said, here are my 2 options of what I would like to see.
A – I would like to see a younger keeper come in. Someone who is younger than Roberts by at least a couple of years. I feel having a player that is ours that we can develop is better than having a loanee that isn’t playing. I don’t know who is out there, or who would want to move here, and it may be a case of waiting until the end of the season.
B – If A is not possible, then I think an experienced keeper who can mentor Roberts and provide actual competition would be a good thing. This didn’t exactly work out last season, but the keeper brought in should be a league experienced keeper, unlike last year. Despite Rose being a good keeper, I don’t feel he offers much competition.
So there we have it. My view on the Goalkeepers. I do feel Rose is talented, and I don’t really think it would be a bad thing if he stayed, but with him not playing much, Southampton could very well want him back.