Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy has admitted he was surprised no teams other than Premier League outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers made a move for star forward Kieffer Moore this summer, speaking to Wales Online.
The 29-year-old scored 20 Championship goals in his maiden season with the Bluebirds last term following his move from Wigan Athletic, becoming a key player at the Cardiff City Stadium and with former loanee Harry Wilson, taking them close to a play-off spot.
Not only has he proved to be key at domestic level, but also internationally with Wales as their focal point up top during the European Championships earlier this summer, even getting a crucial equaliser in their opening group game against Switzerland in Baku.
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With this, he was expected to be the subject of a huge amount of interest this summer despite still having two years left on his contract in the Welsh capital. But even at the start of August, Mick McCarthy spoke to the media regarding his surprise at the lack of interest in his services.
Wolves were the team that finally made a move for the 29-year-old on deadline day, although they were reportedly unwilling to bid above £7m to lure him away from Cardiff, £5m away from the Championship side’s valuation of their key men (9:35pm).
Speaking about his star striker to Wales Online, Bluebirds boss McCarthy said: “It’s vitally important that we kept him, as a team, a club, for everyone, the fans. Since he’s come here he has been terrific.
“I was a bit surprised no one else came in for him.
“If someone really values you and you really want them you go and get them if they’ve got the money.
“But I’m glad no one did, it’s great we are keeping him.”
Moore was ruled out of Wales’ three World Cup qualifiers this month because he had been in close contact with fellow Welsh international Adam Davies who tested positive for Covid-19, but is clear to return for this weekend’s upcoming tie against Nottingham Forest.
Like McCarthy, many other people would have been surprised that other Premier League teams weren’t interested in luring him to the top flight after such a good 2020/21 season for club and country.
Not only does the Welshman offer goals, but his physicality helps to hold the ball up top to take pressure off the defence and bring others into play, making him an excellent package for a top-flight club looking to improve their depth up top.
With his physicality, it’s a real surprise someone like Burnley, who have been notorious for signing Championship players and making them established Premier League players in the past, didn’t make a move for him.
It would be hard to see Moore not take the step up eventually, but for now, he will need to retain his consistency and focus on his football now the transfer window is shut and will be reasonably fresh after not playing during the international break.
This season, he has only scored once in five league appearances but it would be harsh to judge him at this early stage.
The prospect of Premier League football with or without Cardiff leaves the forward with no shortage of motivation though, now is the time for him to continue showing the consistency he’s showed for multiple teams including Cardiff, Wigan, Barnsley and Rotherham in recent seasons.