Neil Etheridge’s stock has fallen fast in the past year, but the Cardiff City goalkeeper remains a talented player that should be starting matches.
One of the club’s players of the season last term, the Philippines international made the second most saves of any keeper in the division, as well as three penalty saves, as he vainly attempted to keep the South Wales club in the Premier League.
However, this season has gone less according to plan and the 30-year-old has made just 16 appearances.
An early injury curtailed his involvement at the start of the season before he was dropped for Alex Smithies by Neil Harris after a 6-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers on New Year’s Day.
Smithies has been between the sticks ever since and Etheridge’s fall from grace appears complete.
There was reported interest from West Ham United in January but nothing materialised and with the summer transfer window approaching Etheridge should have his eyes on a move away.
According to TransferMarkt, his current deal is set to expire in 2021 and therefore it is also in the club’s best interest to sell him.
Were they to wait they would have to either offer him an extension in order to preserve his value or allow him to leave on a free and given that Smithies has an extra year to run on his deal, it makes no sense to offer Etheridge fresh terms.
If he is ready to look for a move away there should be no shortage of suitors, with his two seasons spent under Neil Warnock serving as evidence of his quality.
At 30 years of old he is still in his prime in goalkeeping terms and with only a year left on his contract a prospective suitor would not have to pay over the odds.
Not only does this deal suit Etheridge, but it also suits the club and in that sense it is a move that really ought to happen as soon as possible.