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Now for the departures?

Sven Goran-Eriksson was talking further today at the press conference introducing the new quartet, and was enthusing amongst other things about how the players have settled into the squad, and also regarding Petrov's debut at Shrewsbury.

Perhaps not fully finished with bringing players in as it seems he wants genuine competition with two players fighting for each spot, although I have a feeling that this could be it until January with only perhaps one more arrival between now and the end of the window but he did hint that there could now be players heading towards the exit door:

"If it goes on like this we will need two training pitches!
Today we had 27 outfield players and three goalkeepers – that’s too much and we
have to think about want to do about that."


I think Eriksson clearly had players in mind when he took the job but most certainly identified others once he got to grips with the squad and began to see who he did and didn't think could do a job or have a future.

All of the squad (apart from those who are injured) have tasted action during pre-season and it does not appear there is a log-jam at certain positions, with whilst short on overall quality depth is certainly not an issue in attack and central midfield also looks to be congested.

Rumours of departures for Samaras, Vassell and Mills & Mills have been mooted in the press recently. For me, I think Samaras warrants further investment in him and cutting him loose at this stage would be a mistake but Vassell and Mills & Mills don't offer anything in the 'new era'.

I also think that both Hamman and Dabo could be on their way if a bid came in for them - but does that really appear likely and they may get to hang around as squad depth, whilst the same fate probably awaits Dickov and possibly Sun-Jihai.

Young Kaspar Schmeichel has again been linked with a permanent move away, and Joe Hart looks to be the back-up to Isaksson at the moment with suggestions Eriksson could look to bring in another keeper. It would be disappointing to lose Schmeichel but from what I have read he is keen on playing regular football.

Whilst Eriksson has generally added young players to the squad, apart from Gelson Fernandes none appear to be long-term 'projects' so should all be competing for starting positions from the word go, which (although at an early stage) could spell the end for a number of the holdovers from the Stuart Pearce era.