Given the clear out that is happening at the centre-forward position at the City Ground this summer, with Daryl Murphy, Jason Cummings, and to a lesser extent Zach Clough all seemingly on their way out, it begs the question about what the depth chart at the position is going to look like this upcoming season.
My colleague Crippy Cooke believes that Tyler Walker’s future this season will lie at the City Ground unless Sabri Lamouchi can bring someone in who’ll do a better job.
Given Lewis Grabban’s goal return last year, 17 goals in all competitions, it would be a bit harsh to drop him to the bench and bring in someone else to lead the line. That only leaves two players who can play the role, both of whom will be fighting it out to be his backup. Newly acquired Sammy Ameobi and the aforementioned Tyler Walker.
Now hopefully you’re in a situation where you don’t need to go to your backup forwards, that’s kind of why they’re called backups, only there in an emergency.
However, I’m not sure if Tyler Walker is ready or indeed if it’s in his best interests to be reduced to a bench role this year. He had an amazing season last term at Mansfield Town, scoring 26 goals in all competitions for them. Don’t you think he should be given another year to impress us? Even if it’s with another League Two team or maybe taking the step up to League One?
If I were Sabri Lamouchi, that’s exactly what I would do. I would send Tyler Walker out on loan this season and bring in a more established player to compete with Sammy Ameobi for that backup spot.
If you look at the free agents out there, there’s obviously some you can cross off the list straight away like Mario Balotelli & Daniel Sturridge, but further down the list you find the likes of Shinji Okazaki & Gary Hooper, both of whom can be relied on in an emergency to get you a goal should Lewis Grabban be injured or suspended for a few games.
Sign one of these men on a free transfer and short term contract and let Tyler Walker continue his development elsewhere.