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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who Are These People?

Head Coach Les has already said that any transfers in during the January window will have to involve "wheeling and dealing". So there's no doubt feverish activity going on right now to try to off-load the appropriate players to provide the funds. I'm not going to get involved in who they should be so instead I had a look at some of the players toted in our direction by the papers.

Apparently Gillingham midfielder Matt Jarvis has rejected a new contract, that the club describe as their biggest ever contract for a player of his age. Seems to think he's going places. Manager Ronnie Jepson had insisted that he doesn't want the 20-year-old to leave despite recent interest from Premiership and Championship clubs and offer of £250,000 from Plymouth has already been rejected.

If he remains at Gillingham at the end of the season he would not be able to leave on a free transfer because of his age, but a tribunal would set the fee. But as he is under the age of 24, the club will be entitled to a fee if he leaves in the summer, but his agent Mark Curtis has insisted Jarvis is in no rush to leave the club where be began his career, unless you fail to make a better offer.
23 Year old American Clint Dempsey, aka "Deuce", is another player being spoken about - He now has 23 international caps and 6 goals for his country and he impressed in his one and half games at the World Cup, scoring the USA’s goal in their 2-1 defeat against Ghana with a confident finish. He can play right or centre midfield and is termed a busy, all-action player and is used in the USA team as an attacking midfielder. Has some nice "unpredictable" skills and genuine aggression.

But maybe a little too much. He was suspended last March after beating his New England Revolution captain Joey Franchino so badly he was hospitalised. Andy Todd Part 2 then. Apparently the MLS (the league owns the players) rejected a $1.5 million offer from Charlton in the summer, but word is that Fulham will be making MLS an offer they can’t refuse in January.

And he's used to life at the bottom. In 2004 his team the "Revs" were in last place in the East Division and had the fewest points of all MLS Clubs. And he was asked "What is the attitude within the team? Is anyone starting to get concerned?"
To which he replied: "I don't think so. We have been playing well these last few games and we have been getting results. I think we will continue to do so and I think good things are going to happen from here on out."

And he can score goals too. As a junior Clint Dempsey led his team, Nacogdoches of Texas, to several championship titles, scoring a prolific 55 goals. Blimey, sign him up quick, can't let Coleman have 'im.

As for the Far East connection, the China captain Zheng Zhi has also been seen at the training ground but a transfer is not on the cards yet, according to Shandong Luneng executive manager Han Gongzheng. The 26-year-old Shandong midfielder spent Thursday at the London club before heading off to the Asian Games in Qatar, where he will be one of two over-age players in China's under-23 squad. Zheng helped Shandong to the Chinese Super League (CSL) and Chinese FA Cup double last season before winning his second CSL Player of the Year title. He was named China captain in October.

And just to confirm that toughness is becoming a necessary Addicks attribute, Zheng was banned after attacking an official during an AFC Champions League match last November and it was his tackle that broke French striker Djibril Cisse's leg in a friendly before the World Cup. Andy Todd Part 3.

Itseems that several clubs have been looking at Olympiakos striker Yannis Okkas. The Cyprus international is set to travel to Ewood Park for a four day trial in December as Mark Hughes makes for the January transfer window. Whilst Rovers remain the only club to have made a formal approach for the Olympiakos star, it is understood that a number of rival suitors have been alerted by his imminent trial at the Premiership side including the Addicks.

And the fifth option was another forward watched by both Reed and Monica recently. This was the Leeds forward David Healy that was previously talked about.

But will we ever see any of these players? During the summer we were linked with many that were never heard of again. But this time it will depend on how much we want them and how much money Murray wants to gamble. Can he afford to sit on the fence and hope for the best? I don't think so...

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