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OPINION: Can Notts County survive if Bialkowski goes?



As the transfer of goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski from Notts County to Ipswich Town seemingly grows ever more imminent, fans of the Magpies will surely be feeling a severe sense of worry over the loss of a player who, along with a flurry of others, played a major role in keeping Notts in League 1 last season.

Bialkowski is set to leave Notts County

Bialkowski is set to leave Notts County

Bialkowski, who has made 93 appearances since joining on a free from Premier League side Southampton in the summer of 2012, has won rave reviews from both home and away fans during his two year stay at Meadow Lane, producing fine performance after fine performance to often keep County in games where they otherwise looked dead and buried.

Whilst, along with cash-strapped Coventry, they did concede the joint fourth most goals in the division with 77, it was goalkeeper Bialkowski that often made crucial saves to secure points in the vital run towards safety at the end of the season, yet even he was helpless to prevent a 6-0 demolition at the New York Stadium by a classy Rotherham United outfit, or the 5-1 drubbing at home to clinical Walsall.

The question, therefore, remains. Can County afford to lose a crucial cog in the machine that guided them to League 1 security? Some would argue that the answer lies within the club already. Young academy graduate Fabian Speiss, who turns 21 in February, has proved a more than able replacement when called upon, particularly towards the end of the 2012-13 where a string of astute showings belied his youthful age and prompted a serge of rumours linking him with higher opposition.

However, others may feel that Notts need more experience in goal, in order to complement and work with a new look centre half partnership of the towering Haydn Hollis and newly chosen captain Hayden Mullins. The Magpies do have goalkeeping coach Kevin Pilkington as a potentially decent back up, even at the age of 40, shown in his cameo appearance away to Preston North End last season that marked the 150th of his Notts career, and produced a display that evoked memories of some outstanding performances in the black and white during the previous 149.

It is clear that Polish stopper Bialkowski has the ability to play at a higher level, his consistently strong performances have proved that. And if the apparently stalled negotiation of a 100k transfer to Ipswich goes through, County manager Shaun Derry will have to make a decision: whether to rely on young prospect Speiss, or look elsewhere for a keeper that can produce the same standard Bialkowski has set during his time at the Lane.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: OPINION: Can Notts County survive if Bialkowski goes?

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