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 goalkeeper Neil Etheridge could be heading for a Bluebirds exit, amid speculation that West Ham have reportedly submitted a £7 million bid for the 29-year-old, according to Football Insider.
The goalkeeper’s future at the Cardiff City Stadium looks in doubt after manager Neil Harris dropped Etheridge for the South Wales derby owing to speculation surrounding his future.
This speculation comes amid growing doubts about West Ham’s move for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph, with medical issues causing problems.
So would Etheridge prove a good signing for the Hammers, as an alternative to Darren Randolph?
“Well, they certainly need a new keeper.
“Another injury to Fabianski has heightened the need for a new keeper at West Ham and Randolph’s injury means he may not be able to make an instant impact.
“So, even though you shouldn’t make all signings thinking about the short-term, Etheridge would be able to come in straight away and is clearly good enough.
“He has shown with Cardiff over the past few years that he is a top keeper and £7m is a pretty fair fee for someone with his ability. It could also give Neil Harris funds to bring in his own players, meaning it’s a deal that suits all parties.”
Can you get 100% in our Cardiff City quiz? Go on give it a go now!
“I think he’d be the ideal alternative if the move for Randolph fell through.
“Etheridge really impressed me whilst Cardiff were in the Premier League, and he’s been unlucky with injuries this season.
“With a bid of £7m being launched by West Ham, it’s not ideal, as Randolph was a cheaper option that Etheridge.
“But you have to pay more for added quality, and West Ham will feel as though they can get more years out of Etheridge compared to Randolph.
“With Fabianski set for a spell on the sidelines through injury, West Ham need to find an adequate replacement at the earliest of opportunities, as I’m not convinced that David Martin is good enough to be their goalkeeper on a regular basis until the end of the season.
“The sooner West Ham get a deal over the line for either Etheridge and Randolph, the better.”
“I think this would be a very smart signing for West Ham. There’s no doubt that West Ham could do with a new goalkeeper after the injury to Lukasz Fabianski and if they’re not going to sign Darren Randolph, Etheridge would be a very good alternative.
“He’s a very good goalkeeper and he’s already got a decent amount of experience in the Premier League, which is exactly what they need.
“Even though Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League last season, Etheridge was still able to keep ten clean sheets and pulled off some stunning saves.
“He should be able to provide good cover and competition for Fabianski pretty comfortably. The only potential downside for West Ham is that Cardiff are not going to want to lose him, so they might have to spend big if they’re going to get him.”