Wednesday 6 June 2012

Baldock linked with Town

With Sam Baldock falling further and further down the pecking order behind Carlton Cole, Nicky Maynard and Ricardo Vaz Te toward the end of the season and over half of Big Sam's targets being strikers, little Sam is being linked with a move away from Upton Park this summer.

He's been linked with a loan switch to Ipswich in recent weeks which could be a very good move to aid his development. When I first heard about this I was disappointed as you may have figured out by now, I'm a massive fan of Baldock. When he first started scoring with two braces against Blackpool then Leicester he was being compared to Michael Owen and even the legend that is Tony Cottee. And to be quite honest, considering his level of performance against Blackpool when he scored his first, and subsequently second goal for us I don't think them comparisons were too exaggerated. His first against Blackpool showed composure that can't be coached or learned, but comes naturally to those lucky enough to possess such a skill. His second had Michael Owen written all over it; he seemed to sneak in out of nowhere in the six yard box and poke it over the line. But when it occurred to me that he is still in his early 20's and he was high Big Sam's transfer wish list last summer, he must be one for the future and so I think, as long as he gets into the Blues' squad often enough, another season in the Championship will do him good.

Despite this, a winning brace against Leicester and a pivotal goal against Hull at the KC Stadium, Big Sam often opted for Carlton Cole as a lone striker and so he was resigned to the odd substitute appearance. Maybe if he could have grabbed one or two goals from the bench he would have staked a claim but it wasn't to be. Then came the January transfer window and as a result of the arrivals of Vaz Te and Nicky Maynard he was almost a forgotten man.

It's obvious he's not going to play often - if at all - in the Premiership next year with the likes of Anelka, Yakubu and even Michael Owen being linked with moves to East London and with no disrespect to them, he's just as good as Ipswich's best forwards in my opinion.

As long as this is purely a loan deal to further his development and not another promising player that's fallen by the wayside I would be happy for this to happen. As much as I'd like to see him get his chance in the big boys' league, I'd much prefer him to be shipped out on loan and gain some first team experience than have him wasted in the reserves league!

Let me know what you think by following me on Twitter: @WHUThruAndThru or leaving a comment!


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