Its silly season on the South Coast, and this year promises to be the silliest yet. So, how much is that Seagull in the window?
Around this time of year, without fail, the #bhafc tag on Twitter erupts in a civil war of sorts and splits itself into three groups: those panicking about a lack of signings, those berating those panicking about a lack of signings and those wondering why the other lot aren’t out in the sun with a nice cold beer.
The Albion have historically been very tight-lipped about their transfer business and this quite correct insistence on secrecy is often taken by some fans as a sign that the scouting department never came back from their holidays.
This is of course not the case, we’ve already made two new signings, but with the aforementioned lack of rumours about arrivals I’m going to turn my eye to potential departures instead.
Christian Walton is certainly one on his way. He spent the majority of last season between the sticks for Luton Town and it’s looking as though he’ll be heading to Wigan or Porstmouth this time around. He’s widely regarded as our #1 of the future and, whilst I’d personally rather see him go to a Championship club, a stint in League 1 will definitely aid his development.
Connor Goldson could also be another one on his way out on loan. When he replaced the injured Gordon Greer in December 2015 he turned out to be so immense alongside Lewis Dunk that he kept our stalwart club captain out of the side for the rest of the season. The arrival of Shane Duffy last season however saw him spending most games on the bench before the news of a heart defect ruled him out completely. With Dunk, Duffy, Uwe Hünemeier and possibly a new signing in front of him a loan move would be perfect to bring him back to full fitness.
Since joining the Seagulls in 2015 Richie Towell has made a grand total of five first team appearances across all competitions. His record at Dundalk is impressive but it’s hard to see how a player who couldn’t force his way into the side regularly in the promotion season could now feature in what will be, in all likelihood, a relegation scrap. At 24, a loan back down into the Championship would give him much needed minutes and could be excellent preparation for the following season should we end up with an ‘R’ next to our name at the end of the season.
Rohan Ince seems almost certain to be departing on loan. Previously something of a regular starter in our midfield he was eventually bumped down the pecking order by the arrivals of Beram Kayal and Dale Stephens and he spent most of the last season and a half on loan, first at Fulham and then at Swindon. Much the same as Towell it would seem unlikely for him to feature in the Premier League and a loan, or possibly even a sale, would make the most sense for the player and the club.
Finally we could also see one of our longest serving players, Kazenga LuaLua, depart the club, whether on loan or transferred. It’s a real shame that he hasn’t featured as much the last few years; it was one of the simplest pleasures watching him feint right before utterly roasting his marker down the left. Or trying it and getting bundled to the floor.
Unfortunately persistent injury problems have kept him sidelined and he made just 3 appearances last season before heading to QPR on loan in January. With at least three players ahead of him in the pecking order a chance to shine in the Premier League seems unlikely for our Congolese wideman.