Whites sign tough-tackling midfield hard man TSS July 11, 2011 Transfer News 68 Comments Simon Grayson has finally completed his second signing of the summer bringing 34-year-old Michael Brown to Elland Road on a one-year deal. The experienced midfielder started his career at Manchester City, before spells at Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Wigan. Most recently, Brown was part of the Portsmouth side that came runners-up in the 2010 FA Cup. Michael Brown has a reputation as a tough-tackling, midfield hard-man and is the type of player many Leeds United fans have been calling for following last seasons dismal defensive performances. His age will no doubt raise eyebrows amongst some fans, but his experience will be invaluable to some of the younger players in the squad – most notably, his likely partner in central midfield, Jonny Howson. Here’s a video of Brown’s tackling skill against one Ryan Giggs; Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment. Kevio ‘Delighted’ might be too much, but definitely not indifferent or unimpressed. He’s what we need. Tyler 75 Absolutely what we need – experienced, good on the ball and strong in the tackle – certainly lives up to the promise of bringing in better than we had with Johnson and Kilkenny. Dje As you say, the only thing to take the delight out of the ‘delightful’ bit is his age. But 34 is no younger than Bowyer who some fans were getting excited over, so fingers crossed his knees don’t suddenly give out. Whilst this should nicely end all the talk of Smith’s return, I wonder if this kills off any move for Montgomery now too? Tim Well pleased not quite delighted, an improvement on Kilkenny so a step in the right direction. Chrome dome Good player. His experience could be invaluable, like the article says though, fans will raise their eyebrows at his age. I hope hes in good shape and still hungry for success! darrell burnett Same from me, not quite delighted, he is a decent signing where we need to strenghthen, please, please just one real quality singing to get us all excited steve underwood Yes good player dont think his age is a problem players are playing longer,hopefully he will sort our midfield out Craig Was this the only clip of Michael Brown TSS? I have a feeling there may be more to his game than this eh? TSS Yep, definitely the only one. Either that or I got tunnel vision soon as I saw it. Craig I’ll put it down to tunnel vision then! trueyorxman Stockdale on a season long loan, Lichaj back & another decent midfielder (pray we might even spend some money!!) and I’ll be alot happier going into the season CJ Yet another embarrassing signing for Leeds. Brown is a complete thug who uses aggression to compensate for his obvious lack of ability. That’s before you mention that at 34 he is way, way past his best. I feel complete anger towards Bates for what he is doing to our club. Leeds has become a joke club. Mark my words, this is going to be a season of real struggle. Paul CJ – go on YouTube and watch some clips of his goals. His shooting ability is second to none and he’s been there and got the t-shirt. Huge improvement on both Kilkenny and Johnson. Let’s get behind the lads rather than writing them off before the season has even started. MOT Paddy1992 CJ you took the words from me. While the mighty Ipswich sign bowyer and that other big club in our divisio errrr Blackpool are in talks with Barry ferguson were signing no mark thugs. Great stuff. But don’t just blame bates Grayson is equally responsible for this disastrous pre season. He is just bates puppet. Georgies Best You sad bunch. If this is what excites a leeds fan these days then Bates and Gaysons lack of ambition has rubbed off on you lot. I was hoping to see Leeds back at the theatre season after next, that looks unlikely sadly! For gods sake there are teams in league 1 outspending you. What wages does Bates pay? It makes a red like me sad to see once mighty adversaries leeds becoming a laughing stock. Do something bout it fans you should be signing prem quality players. As one of your greats Ed Gray said today “if hes not good enough for another championship team hes not good enough for Leeds”! Dje Giggs video worked then. Bizarre how you spend so much time reading-up on Leeds’ transfers, ex-players comments in local newspapers, and seek out Leeds fan’s websites. How cute. Marc Butterworth Georgies…… We have already been down the route of overspending and had our fingers well and truly burnt. We don’t want to go down that route again. The reds are successful at the moment and have been for some time now but this is supported by ever increasing eye watering debts and borrowing. You pay more in interest each year than we generate in income and this is only increasing year on year. Fortunately for you, Ferguson being a top class manager has enabled you to bring in good players at decent prices. You can’t contend with teams like chelski and Manu city when it comes to buying power and when old red nose retires or dies (whichever comes first), you may struggle to get a manage who can find the players like Fergy can. Back on subject though, Brown is a decent signing at our level, on the budget we are working on, and it fills a hole we have had for a few seasons to be honest. I think he will turn out to be a good signing. Foxy619 I’m fairly happy, will defo do a job! Georgies Best I work in Leeds so have to listen to the whining and sour grapes, but despite that it saddens me to see where your once great club is and the clowns Bates takes you lot for! Brian T Looks like Bates will be playing left back this season. Seems age isn’t a problem. yeboahs right&left peg some cheap skate tatics going on,while the squad is still evolving at a donkeys pace,its still hard too forcast whether brown is a good signing or a bad 1,leeds utd are on telivison alot first 10 games,i believe were on tv maybe atleast 6 of them,if we get the mother of all hidings on national tv bates will play devils advocate and will sack simon grayson against his will.10/1 grayson too get the sack is looking a good bet,i am trying too remain positive but i can read through graysons tackiness unlike alot of leeds fans!!!!!! Paul South Wales I’m fed up of hearing what we have spent in comparison to others, I don’t think we need a load of players, we’ve kept our best, and yes need a few more, but just because we haven’t spent £5 million like leicester or others it doesn’t mean we’re done for. Another keeper, midfielder, Lichaj signed, Paddy back and we’re in with a chance, more optimism please ffs. CJ Brown ISN’T a hard-man. He is a cowardly thug. The You Tube video is typical Michael Brown. Why any Leeds fan would be happy with this signing is beyond me. Is anybody gullible enough to actully believe that we seriously tried to sign the likes of Smith, Bowyer or Woodgate? The last thing I would want is Leeds to over-spend but this lack of ambition is strangling the club. Mersey Whites Cant compare with BJ or Killer, very different players, Brown is the Kind of player, that will badly give us some defensive cover. I dont look at this signing as significant more as necessary. More creative and leadership qualities is required for the midfield area. Looking anxiously for the next midfield addition chareose yes i dont think Brown is a bad signing but…….i do agree that Leeds are not being remotely ambitious enough….. Think back to the last time we gained promotion and compare the signings we made to now…. We did indeed entice top flight players to elland road in a low division, even Vinnie Jones can be included in that….. I know Leeds fans dont agree but for me we should have been all over the likes of Woodgate and Hargreaves, quite frankly they are both the best players for their respective positions in England, woodgate for me is one of the best centrebacks in the world. Even bearing in mind the fitness issues for me that potential quality and experience you get is worth a punt,,,, but it all comes down to one thing ; financially we are trying to budget as a first division team not a promotion chasing championship with serious designs on holding a place in the top flight….. Dje What? Woodgate’s signed to Stoke on a pay as you play contract. How much would you pay Woodgate as “one of the best centrebacks in the world” if he was fit for a match? I reckon he’ll be on upwards of £40,000 per match on that contract, at the very least. Sure, they’ll want him fit for every match – which could cost them £1.5m a year – or £30,000 a week, still a bargain, but they’ll take that risk. How could we offer him those terms and run the risk of costing us for one player £30,000 a week! I seriously doubt our entire defense plus keeper collectively will be on £30,000 per week. Sorry. We can’t compete with Premiership wages and nor should we, it is that simple. The Reaper 08 I agree Dje but sadly there are quite a few people who live in fantasy land. Martin Lazialle Bad signing. 34 years old! c´mon, maybe Bates are going to put in shorts and play as Left Back! first choice: Bowyer (go to Ipswich) 2º Montgomory 3º Southern 32,154 Michael “grampa” Brown… Rachubka in place of Schmeichel, Brown in place of Bradders, nobody for Killa… Hard times coming… paulg 1st choice Lee Bowyer? He’s 3 weeks OLDER than Brown …….!!! Idiot. The Reaper 08 Well said paulg. A typically poorly reserached post from another numptie. And would you believe it we even have people calling Brown a thug and advocating Bowyers return. Bowyer was a good player that will cut it at this level but he is a nasty vindictive little sh*t. paulg I’ve just been reading some of the TSS articles from July 2010 – a couple of weeks later than today’s date – and pretty much all of the concerns posted here were being raised then – especially about still needing 2/3/4 more players ….. Even the most optimistic fan was suggesting that the best we could hope for was 11th or 12th ….. with Sky Sports (August 3rd 2010) predicting that we would finish 19th. We all know what actually happened – we finished a Preston result shy of the play-offs …… So I’m going to keep my powder dry until we’ve actually played a couple of games – and real games, rather than friendlies; when we’ll know who is and isn’t in the squad, rather than speculating …… As for Michael Brown, seems to me that he’s got the experience we were so short of last season, and he’s played a lot of his football in the Prem. As for being a “thug”, the way the game’s refereed these days it’s pretty tough to get away with much of that kind of thing (unless you wear red, and play over the border). A bit of steel in our midfield certainly wouldn’t go amiss ……. Martin Lazialle yeah ok! I´m an idiot, but Bowyer has a great year in Birmingham, and still can play some good football. (and also was shaped as a player in a White shirt), and Brown is a lousy old player, kick out of Fratton Park… The Reaper 08 Again you are properly embarrasing yourself, Pompey wanted to play Brown but if he played one more gamne it would of triggered another year at his very high PL salary. Not sure if you noticed but even the tea lady was for sale down at Fratton last season. chareose Dje i think i already said, money was the issue but to be honest if Leeds showed themselves as more ambitious and atleast competitive with the strongest clubs in the championship (which shouldnt they be ?? we are the best supported club in this division and pay the highest ticket prices!) then I think woodgate would have been interested and well worth a punt. And your argument doesnt work for hargreaves who is signing for our rivals Leicester…. Lack of ambition, lack of momentum, a poor regime, unhappy fans and 1st division wages will not attract the best players….. Dje I agree about us not being competitive with our Championship rivals to an extent. I presume we should be offering the more, and as we pay more than anyone else to see our club play then it is hard to see why we can’t – especially as lots of expensive construction work is currently going on at Elland Road. But if you look at the teams paying the wages it is less clear that we can or necessarily should pay those wages. West Ham have just come down – with their parachute payments to help finance Nolan’s £55,000 a week. They are massively in debt, they are taking a huge gamble, they may go bust. We need to be more proactive, but nothing to jeopardise the club. Then there’s Ipswich – with a £9m in their pockets from the sale of Wickham. We could raise £9m from selling Becchio, Gradel and Snodgrass – all three, together – but do you trust Grayson with £9m to construct a better rounded squad without those three players? I don’t. Then there’s Leicester, with their new money. Well, we’d all like a bit of that, but Bates aint being offered it, and Bates isn’t courting it, not yet. It is hard to get what the richer guy wants. Especially if players like Woodgate or Bowyer have absolutely no interest in taking a wage cut to come to us out of some misty-eyed nostalgia. You or I would, cos we are fans. They’re just players. money talks. Fair point about Hargreaves, and I’ve said elsewhere that I’d love us take a gamble on him – but he will be on similar money as Woodgate is on and we just can’t take that risk. What is the point of signing a player that you are desperate that he isn’t fit half the time as you can’t afford to play him. That’s what Portsmouth did with Brown, and he missed the last half of last season because of it. Thank God we can at least play him for 46+3 games. EYLEEDS Brown could do the same job for us that Derry did for QPR last season. He hasn’t played much football since Christmas so should be fresh and I reckon is an improvement on Johnson and Kilkenny. I would love to see the back of Bates but still have confidence in Grayson and feel sure we will start the season with a better team than last year. That said, the next 10 days will make or break our season and we still need to add some more quality or it will be mid table mediocrity. number1inyorkshire this is starting to get embarrassing now and it has nothing to do with his age but its another free!its only a 1 year deal /2 .the clubs who were best in our division last season and for a couple of seasons have been building for 2-3-4 years ,signing players on 1-2 year deals doesn’t give anyone time to gel and if they are then fantastic they can pretty much leave for nothing in the Jan of their second season .brown is not classy nor quality alright he can put a tackle in . if this is the bench mark then fasten your seat belts for a rough old ride .we should be signing younger ,hungrier players on longer contracts who can gel in time to get us back into prem not 30+odds who are not that hungry and no i wouldn’t of had bowyer . i bet we will spend no money in transfer window. who was the last player we actually bought was it Collins???? number1inyorkshire just thought i would say based on that video which on any player that was a shocking tackle he will spend most of his time suspended and cost us a transfer fee in fines Dubai White EYLEEDS hits the nail on the head! By most experts Shaun Derry was one of the best players in a QPR shirt last season and I’m pretty sure I heard more than rumblings of “why did we ever let Shaun Derry go?” he is 34 in December! Let’s reserve judgement into the season ey boys!? Gryff To be fair he deserves £100k p/w pension for the rest of his life for doing that to Giggs! Seriously though, he’s definitely got a place in the squad. As for the thuggishness, Naylor showed in every match how useful a kick here or there (but only coldly calculated) could be. BJ tried it, but misread which were the danger scenarios – something I can’t see Brown doing. RickyW Thank god, we’ve finally got a tough tackling midfielder. Can’t remember the last one we had. I think i will be a huge success and boss around the midfield. MOT! RickyW He* kev I remenber when a certain gordon stratchan arrived at 33 years and everyone raised there eyebrows at that,best signing Leeds ever made end of !!good luck michael welcome to Leeds united !! Tyler75 1 year deal with an option for another seems about right to me – not taking any undue risks there. He maybe 34 but he’s not injury prone and is relatively fresh after last season and doesn’t have to prove fitness like Smith, Woodgate or Hargreaves and doesn’t have Bowyer’s baggage. He certainly likes a tackle but the fella can play and he’s got experience to burn and won’t roll over like our midfield did, too often last season – a good, sensible, purchase. chareose DJE good reply but we are missing something… a fully fit Woodgate or Hargreaves are easily worth 40k a week, in fact they are among only a few players in this country who are worth it….. but reality is we cant get players like that with the bearded tosspot at the helm chareose And Kev…….Micheal Brown isnt Gordan strachen………lol Paul South Wales lol, I thought we’d bought you then RickyW Colin Dje – Kevin Nolan is on £50,000 a week at West Ham. We can talk about money and whether it’s morally right or good for the game to throw that sort of money around, but that’s another story. Fact is, money talks. Spend it and you get quality players and promoted. Don’t spend it and you get the leftovers like Michael Brown. Here’s another fact – West Ham will get promoted. Will Leeds? I don’t remember anyone this time last year saying “We’ve got to get this Michael Brown guy – he’s shit hot!” Now he’s a year older and lots of people are raving about him. Is it because he’s now become a good player or because everyone’s expectations of new signings are in the gutter, therefore, any signing is a good signing? I think it’s the latter. Dje We both that it is nonsense as a fact that West Ham will get promoted. They are playing a high risk strategy – to which our conservatively-minded club doffs its cap (but waits to laugh in its face). If wages pays for promotion then why did Cardiff not get promoted last season? And why did Swansea get promoted and Blackpool the year before. Not through wages. It promotion was that simple then twenty odd teams in this league might as well give up the ghost. If Nolan breaks a leg latter this week then they have one major headache. Three players on £13,000 per week at this level would have been far more sensible. That’s Allardyce’s call, he has been proved wrong before. I think once in January I mentioned that Brown would be a good acquisition to bolstering our squad – for the exact same reasons that he is now – Kilkenny was powder puff (and now gone) and Johnson didn’t have the footballing intelligence for the key defensive midfield role (again, now gone). Considering Portsmouth new they could not afford to play him again you have to ask how much they would have taken to get him shipped out on loan. Not too much considering how poor they were/are. So to hear today Grayson say he has been interested in him for over a year irritates the shit out of me. I have absolutely no doubt that had we brought in Brown we would have picked up (rather, not dropped!) enough points to make the playoffs last season. As I said, a conservative-minded club. On a more positive dreamy note. I really do wonder if we have set some wages aside and a bit of the £1.5m Schmeichal money aside for that ‘big name’ signing. We have to have saved at least £20,000 per week with the exit of Schmeichal, Naylor, Kilkenny, Johnson and all the loanees regardless of what we are paying Brown. OK, Bates will probably grab the swag bag and buy bricks with the £1.5m but there is no way that Grayson won’t fight to re-invest the wages he has saved from letting players go on the new players he wants to bring in. Could be interesting. Dje Jesus, apologies for the typos! krustytheclown brown will do a job experiance is what we need and he has bundles of it, negative fans should stay away from ER this season your not welcome CJ Kev- No offence, but to compare Brown to Gordon Strachan is a complete joke! Gordon strachan is a legend who had more skill in his bell-end than Brown has in his whole body. Brown isn’t worthy of lacing up Strachan’s boots. kev point taken mate and wasnt comparing brown with anyone,was trying to focus on the fact that everyone seems to have a problem with the age,i actually did say srachan was the best signing for me ever Mark Underwhelmed but hardly surprised at the signing of Michael Brown, just relieved it wasn’t Jason Brown. The big criticism I have had of bates and grayson has been the lack of any sort of long term strategy when it comes to Leeds transfer activity (building a squad for the medium to long term) and this feels like another example. Will he be the midfield steel Leeds have been crying out for for several years, maybe although at 34 and on a 12 month contract its hardly planning for the future is it (and he will spend 30% of the season suspended). The question I have asked myself is does this signing make me feel any more positive that Leeds will be genuine promotion challengers this season, the honest answer to that is no it doesn’t. If Grayson manages to bring in the 4 top quality players Bates has been banging on about then maybe this will look like a good addition to the squad, a rare shrewd Grayson signing. On the other hand if Brown is one of the 4 top quality signings, sorry people but not a good days business at all. If Brown is (of course he is, who am I kidding) one of the 4 top quality signings Leeds are looking to make then by a process of elimination there is only 3 more to come in. I am assuming that means another keeper, a left back and central midfield player. The keeper could be anybody (believe Stockdale when it happens), Left back is Lichaj, that leaves 1 more signing to come in. Looking at the current squad plus Michael Brown, Eric Lichaj, another keeper and another midfielder, it doesn’t exactly get my pulse racing with excitement, more fills me with dread and anxiety. If you view those signings against the fee for Kasper and the wages saved for the players out of contract or loaness from last season returning to their parent clubs this is hardly a statement of intent from Leeds this season is it. I wouldnt be surprised if on the assumptions above Leeds have invested less in the squad for the coming season then we invested last season. I appreciate there are many on this board that think Grayson is doing a great job and will get Leeds back to the premier league. I hope your all right, unfortunately I think the opposite, in fact I cant remember feeling quite this disillusioned and pessimistic for many a season. I have renewed my season ticket yet again, spending my hard earned cash supporting my team and I will carry on doing so regardless of what league we are in or who owns and manages the club. Its possible for me to support my team without pretending that I believe Grayson is the messiah. Unfortunately when i take my seat once again next month it will be in hope and not expectation. For a club of Leeds United’s stature I think that is a crying shame. Irving08 I would prefer that we had signed Paul Lambert from Norwich. Joey I cant believe how many SHIT fans we have, yea bates is a tight fisted get but we’ve spent big before and ended up in league 1! This Devil Grayson is slowly building a team that keeps getting better im sorry a 7th placed finish isnt good enough is it in our first season back??!!! how fickle are some of you! He’s got rid of one player who may have wanted to stay (Kasper) and you all shit yourself n jump on his back, your the same lot that would have got rid of a Mr Gradel after the brisol game. Maybe this is the season where players like White, Lees and Clayton can play a big successful part! and with that Brown would be a good experienced head! Relax Leeds are on the up! it might take another season or even two to get there but when we do we’l be ready and debt free! Mark Just because some supporters dont eulogize Graysons every move doesn’t make them shit fans. Really gets on my nerves that you cant be a real Leeds fan unless you lap up every thing that happens at the club as for the best blah blah blah blah blah blah. You may be right about Lees, Clayton and White, I really really hope you are. Just because I have grave doubts your wrong doesnt make me less of a fan. As long as I am stumping up £700 per season for my ticket I will continue to have my say (warts and all). If Leeds get off to a poor start lets see how long it takes for graysons halo and your rose tinted specs to slip. Dje Well said, Mark. Sometimes I can’t figure out which one I’d least like to be – the fan whose concern is taken for pessimism and therefore described as ‘not proper fans’, or their antithesis: the optimistic fan whose ‘it’ll be alright on the night’ attitude, completely devoid of reasoning, is accused of being uncritical, unthinking sheep. Being a Leeds fan’s a tricky bugger. stu dunn giles barnes a potential signing too, gradel,howson,brown and barnes will be a quality midfield if sg pulls it off! Paul Well said Joey,it gets depressing reading some of our fans post.Get behind the team stop moaning.All this talk of Woodgate and Bowyer,just remember those 2 are responsible IMO for when it all started to go wrong at LU,it split the dressing room,after there “night out”.This the same Bowyer LU stood by and then walked away on a free,another mercenary.As for Bates,well you have to live with him,unless i win that euro-millios tomorrow! Mike Brown is a great signing – what did Batts do – Stop the other team attacking, win the ball and pass to an attacking midfielder – Brown -Stop the other team attacking, win the ball and pass to Howson or Nunez. Lichaj and a goalkeeper and im happy. Ignor the money involved with Leicester’s signings…. I dont think thee any better than the squad we almost have paulg Trouble with being a Leeds fan at the moment is that it’s all so polarised ….. you’re either a “shit fan” or you’re a “Bates lover” ……. Speaking for myself, I’m neither. I think that Grayson has generally done a decent job since he came to Leeds – but a lot of what he does worries me, and I do wonder if he’s the man to take us to the next stage. I don’t beleive that he’s had a great deal of money to spend – but he was allowed to build a big squad last year (which in itself must have been costly), yet a number of the players he brought in were failures, and those who weren’t he didn’t use that wisely ….. Same with Bates. I do think that he has done some good things since he arrived – and I do wonder if there would still BE a Leeds United if he hadn’t arrived when he did. But I’d love to get shot of him, and I hate the fact that much of what he does seems to bring the club’s reputation into question …… Whatever happens, though, Leeds is my team – and I’ll start the season with the same feelings of hope that I’ve had for the best part of 50 years …… Until 7pm on the 6th of August, at least! Dje I have to say for the all the doom and gloom that has been cast in the last few weeks I’m genuinely excited about our game against Falkirk on Wednesday and wish I was still up there to catch it. Seems like an eternity since we have had any actual action to discuss, any actual evidence that Bessone is terrible or Paynter immobile, or now Brown is a thug or Rachubka is a journeyman. Besides, MacCormack looked born-again in the last three games or so for us last season, so I’ve high hopes of what pre-season could bring out of him. Snodgrass and Becchio too – been a while since we’ve seen either of them put in a full shift (for differing reasons). After them come the kids – unknowns: the Turner boys, Gimpel (if he went with them?!) and Thompson, and knowns but improvers: Clayton, Lees, Nunez – Nunez!! – and finally the knowns but not-sure-if-they’ve-lost-it: White and Parker. A lot to play for, a lot to mull over. Will23 At last, a decent Grayson signing. Experienced, tough as nails, been there & done it and can play football and looks like could play for a few more years. Glad to see Bowyer (& our other ex-expensive follies) not returning; never go back they say. chareose yeah they do say that but what about Batty ? He was god for leeds whenever he put on the white shirt steve underwood Wat is wrong with everybody,all the talk is we need a Experienced midfield player who was strong in the tackle as soon as we get one its we dont want him he is too old gets booked alot,yes he does but all thease type of players do,wat about smith batty bowyer thease players were greats at leeds also got booket alot,now onto his age players are playing longer now so 34 no big deal rember a certain gorden stracken who at 34 was named footballer of the year so lets give him a chance.Some of the posts on here would not be happy who we got they just want to slag of bates and grayson Matt BB if we can get a full season out of Brown then this will be a good signing, i just hope it doesnt end here. We need to bring in a ball playing midfielder too to replace Kilkenny, plus a strong centre back. Bear in mind that we start oa tFlakirk tomorrow without Becchio, Somma, and O’Brien and will play kids as cover it shows how weak our squad was already prior to Kilkenny and Johnson going. I have started looking at some of the rumour sites and all sorts of names being thrown about, Giles Barnes, Michael Kightly, but to be honest if a fee is involved it becomes unlikely straight away. I would have loved to see us sign Jonathan Greening, and Lewis McGugan, but we never seem to compete for the good players, just go for who is available on a free. Marc Butterworth I think it boils down to this: We had a good competative team last season that only just missed out on the playoffs. From that team we have only lost three players, who were average at best. The main problem we had with our team last season in the lack of a spine and a poor defense. Brown has been brought in to be the spine of the midfield (good purchase). Probably our best defender appears to have got over his long term injury (as good as a new purchase). We have a few promising youngsters breaking through (White, Parker, the Turner twins, Lees etc etc). I think maybe the addition of another Goalkeeper (Stockdale), a defender (Lichaj) and maybe one more midfielder is all we need to be honest. There is absolutely no point wasting money on players we just dont need. The fact is that if Bates can get the players we need in on frees, then why shouldnt he? The fact that a player is tied to another club who want paying for him, doesnt always mean he is a better player. I’m quite optomistic about next season to be honest. I expect us to be pushing for the playoffs again and would be more than happy with that.