This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Cardiff City are set for an interesting summer ahead, with a number of players heading towards the final few months of their current contracts with the club.
The Bluebirds are currently sat eighth in the Championship table, and will know that they face a tough task if they’re to finish in the top-six this term under the management of Mick McCarthy.
That job of finishing in the top-six became that little bit tougher in their most recent match, as they were thrashed 5-0 by relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
One player whose future at the club remains somewhat ‘up in the air’ is Junior Hoilett’s, with the winger heading into the final few months of his current deal with the Bluebirds.
Hoilett has made 23 appearances in all competitions for Cardiff City this season, and will be eager to finish this year’s campaign strongly.
But should Cardiff be looking at offering Hoilett a new deal ahead of the 2021/22 season?
Personally, I’d be extending his deal for another year.
But, he’s rarely featured since Mick McCarthy has taken the helm at the Cardiff City Stadium and in truth I can see him being moved on.
Hoillett is an experienced player who on his day can produce a moment of magic to win a game, it’s perhaps that lack of consistency in performances that has deterred McCarthy from using him too much.
He has been at Cardiff for a fair few seasons now and McCarthy may well be looking to revamp the squad in the summer, so they can launch an assault on promotion next season, assuming they don’t get it this season.
I still think Hoillett’s experience and guile on the flank could prove useful, and just having him involved in the squad can only be a positive in my mind.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure that I would given his impact this season in the Championship.
The three years previous, Hoilett had really impressed me at Cardiff, but I’ve been disappointed with what I’ve seen so far this season.
However, there’s also the pandemic to consider and the fact that the coming summer is going to be a really difficult one to deal in with regard to transfers.
With that in mind, are Cardiff better off extending the contract of Hoilett rather than sourcing a replacement? It’s a tough one to weigh up.
In a footballing sense, I wouldn’t, but the wider financial picture might sway the club the opposite way.
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I’m not sure whether it is worth Cardiff doing this to be honest.
Hoilett has undoubtedly been a very useful player for Cardiff over the past few seasons, and his contribution to the club should certainly be appreciated by those of a Cardiff persuasion.
This season however, the Canadian’s influence on the Bluebirds feels like it has waned somewhat, and considering that given he will be 31 by the start of next season, and starting to approach the latter stages of his career, you wonder whether that is something he will be able to change.
As a result, given Cardiff do have a number of other attacking midfield options available, it does seem as though this may be one worth letting go, especially since they well need space in their squad and wage budget to bring in new recruits during the summer transfer window.