Huddersfield Town have lost three senior central defenders in the last couple of months, with Tommy Elphick, Christopher Schindler and Richard Stearman all being released by the Terriers.
Although Schindler’s departure was a sad one after scoring the penalty that took Huddersfield to the Premier League, Elphick’s departure was also very disappointing after spending the first half of last season out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, an injury which also ruined his first season there.
The 33-year-old joined the West Yorkshire side in 2019 after their relegation back to the Championship – and was signed to provide experience in the backline. However, with his long-term injury, Elphick didn’t have the desired impact many fans were hoping for at the John Smith’s Stadium and leaves the club with just 14 appearances to his name.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Huddersfield Town played each of these 25 teams?
For a man who appeared for Brighton & Hove Albion and AFC Bournemouth over 300 times in his 11 years at the south coast sides, this is a bitterly disappointing record and he will now be on the search for a new club.
For Huddersfield, they now need to find a defender of experience after the three departures and despite signing former Luton Town centre-back Matty Pearson already this summer, they could look for an older player to come in and mentor Rarmani Edmonds-Green.
Even though Edmonds-Green is 22 now, the Terriers have eased him into the Championship with the likes of Stearman and Elphick there to guide him through – but both players are now on their way out.
Someone who could replace Elphick to give a helping hand to the 22-year-old is free agent Adrian Mariappa, who will leave Bristol City on the expiry of his contract.
After signing for the Robins in November last year, the 34-year-old made 27 senior appearances in the Championship and FA Cup, an impressive number of games considering his age.
Despite his release, Mariappa, who has appeared for Reading, Crystal Palace and Watford in the Premier League, still has at least one more year left in the tank at Championship level and could be a useful asset to have as Huddersfield look to improve on their league finish from last year.
The West Yorkshire side finished in 20th in the 2020/21 campaign and after being in the Premier League not so long ago, relegation back to the third tier would be a disaster. Experienced heads like Mariappa could prevent that from happening, especially with the former Watford man being able to play anywhere across the backline.
And if his wage demands are reasonable, they should secure his signature before another team snaps him up.