Neil Etheridge has endured a mixed season with Cardiff City.
The Filipino was one of Cardiff’s saving graces in the Premier League last year. It was his first taste of top-flight football and he achieved it having been playing in League Two just six years prior.
He’s a huge favourite amongst Cardiff fans and was expected to have a strong season this time round. But his campaign didn’t start accordingly – he was forced off with a hamstring injury in the opening day clash against Wigan, and was ruled out for several weeks after.
The 30-year-old has struggled with injury in the past, but shared this fitness update on his Instagram yesterday:
Whilst sidelined, Alex Smithies took his place. He proved a worthy back-up though Etheridge was always going to come back in when fit, but after missing several weeks, Etheridge wasn’t hitting the same form as he was last season.
It threw the goalkeeping position into contention, and Neil Harris eventually decided to drop Etheridge for Smithies.
He’s stuck with the Englishman since and it’s proved to be a good call. Etheridge however could be facing a contested couple of months for Cardiff, as a summer exit looks on the cards.
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Expect Etheridge to be the talk of a transfer when the window reopens. West Ham were keen on him in January with a £7 million bid supposedly on the table, and with Smithies performing, it could well spell the end of Etheridge’s time in South Wales.