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Big centre forward anyone?

No doubt there’s going to be all sorts of players released this summer. But one that catches the eye immediately is Portsmouth’s decision to let Oli Hawkins go.

They paid £250k for him a couple of years ago and he’s always been a right handful whenever we’ve played them. He’s 6ft 5 and like Bayo knows how to use every inch of his size unlike some big players.

Good, big centre forwards aren’t easy to find.

Sounds like some Pompey fans got on his back for being a bit agricultural and not scoring enough goals (about 1 in 5) but plenty others appreciated the work he did to win headers and hold the ball up for others. I can’t imagine Wycombe fans being as picky. He’s not bad with his feet either and took one of the pens in the shoot-out with Oxford.

Given Bayo will start next season at 38 it’s probably time to start thinking about a bit of succession planning (although he’s far from finished in my book - two more years at least). Hawkins, who is 28, has a lot of very good attributes and looks like the sort of player who might fit very comfortably into the Wycombe style.

Interestingly he’s also played quite a few matches for Pompey as a makeshift centre-half - 16 in total. Quite a useful second string to have to your bow.

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Comments

  • We’re neck and neck on views @TheatreOfChairs but nobody wants to comment!

  • Nice post, sounds like he’d fit right in.

  • All depends on wages and character doesn't it.

    You'd think if we bring a striker in, it has to be a game changer in terms of pure out and out proven goalscorer.

    I think Gareth might have said something along those lines not long ago.

    Hard to find of course.

    Someone who combines Bayo, Kasket and Samuel's attributes would be nice :smile:

  • Ealing boy. Eight years non-league including Hemel Hempstead. Saw a value figure of £90 k on one website.

  • Out of contract so £90 k sounds a lot.

  • If we're going after a striker then we need someone with real potential for 10-15 goals in the Championship. I expect there'll still be a shared workload between Samuel, Bayo and whoever else, but you want a real 'something out of nothing' goal-getter. I'm a big fan of Armand Gnanduillet at Blackpool, but he's probably bound for bigger things. Brentford may look to loan out Marcus Forss if they go up? Banged them in for a very direct AFC Wimbledon side in L1 this season.

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  • Forss I meant.

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  • I like him, and we've got a good relationship with Brentford. Only thing is he showed so much promise - albeit in a short spell at AFCW - they might think he's ready for a side higher up the Champ. I usually hate transfer speculation, but I think the excitement of everything has sucked me in.

  • One of the reasons for that, I think, is the prospect a few “marquee” signings including perhaps a couple of “name” loan signings from Prameer clubs.

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  • For me, getting the goals is a slightly different gig. This team will always need a big powerful centre forward to lead the line, win headers and hold the ball up. If that player also delivers lots of goals as well (like Bayo) then happy days but those kinds of players are few and far between.

    As we saw on Monday, we may not need the big man on the pitch from the start but we nearly always will at some point in most matches.

    But in terms of goals I’d look at the players that we can surround that frontman with, Fred, Kashket etc.

    Forss is definitely a good shout.

  • edited July 15

    I feel like the days of getting an old pro on the retirement circuit, so to speak, are long gone - I was thinking of Teddy Sheringham at Col U when they were in the Champ.

  • We never got to see the best of Paul Smyth for long either. Not sure if it would be a bit ambitious to try and lure him on a permanent deal. I feel like Gaz would have him back in a heartbeat if possible.

  • @chairboyscentral said:
    I feel like the days of getting an old pro on the retirement circuit, so to speak, are long gone - I was thinking of Teddy Sheringham at Col U when they were in the Champ.

    Probably too thankless a task now, getting abuse at tinpot little grounds on your way down. Especially when even average premier league players can trouser 30k a week.

    I believe Wilson at Bournemouth was speculated to be in the 100k a week territory at one point, imagine if he doesn't get a move in the summer!

  • Just how weird does it seem talking about Samuel as a Championship forward. Fully deserved but I remember a game or two soon after he came where he did look a bit like a headless chicken (Scunthorpe away for one). Really really happy for the guy though. Shows what you can achieve with hard work and commitment

  • I wouldn’t be too worried if we didn’t pursue Smyth. Had some good games but his attitude can be poor. Ultimately, I think Scott Kashket is a better player and I’d rather we have him the opportunities instead.

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  • @chairboyscentral said:
    We never got to see the best of Paul Smyth for long either. Not sure if it would be a bit ambitious to try and lure him on a permanent deal. I feel like Gaz would have him back in a heartbeat if possible.

    Out of contract isn't he?

  • Not until 2021 according to the usually reliable transfermkt.co.uk.

  • @bookertease said:
    Just how weird does it seem talking about Samuel as a Championship forward. Fully deserved but I remember a game or two soon after he came where he did look a bit like a headless chicken (Scunthorpe away for one). Really really happy for the guy though. Shows what you can achieve with hard work and commitment

    It should be remembered Swansea, a premier league team took him in early on.
    He has pedigree, he's not just some chancer.

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  • @TheatreOfChairs said:
    I wouldn’t be too worried if we didn’t pursue Smyth. Had some good games but his attitude can be poor. Ultimately, I think Scott Kashket is a better player and I’d rather we have him the opportunities instead.

    A real toss up for me between him and Aarons who flattered to deceive more.
    Smyth of course did have the long injury which certainly didn't help, but I never saw the magic others did.

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  • I'd love us to sign Wes Burns from Fleetwood.

    In terms of a centre forward I'd take Gnanduillet

  • Danny Hylton anyone?`

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  • @Forest_Blue said:
    Danny Hylton anyone?`

    Ha ha ha, excellent.

  • edited July 16

    I'd love to see a proper lock-picking creative number 10. Our centre-mids don't lack for heart, grit and courage, but to try and succeed in the championship, you feel we need a much more technically minded midfielder.

    Also, in terms of Smyth, having watched the BT Sport doc about us, GA clearly sees him as a project. Ian Holloway has also spoken glowingly about his work ethic. I'd like us to try and pick him up and make something consistent out of him

  • @Forest_Blue said:
    Danny Hylton anyone?`

    A great Gasroom tradition now.

    Like others I'd love to see us sign Gnanduillet, who would suit our set piece based style but he can surely earn more than we could afford.

  • I've decided I am not going to join in any speculation/disappointment/anger on these Dave Tarpey threads. Just express disappointment/anger/deep joy when I know who we've signed/retained.

  • Wait, what? We're signing Dave Tarpey? Won't he be found out at that level?

  • Jefferson Louis ? To coincide with our 133 year old existence, it's also the same number of clubs he's had.

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  • A £1.74million bid for Ivan Toney must surely be on cards, just for the chuckles.

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  • I’m a bit surprised about some of these Smyth comments, I thought he looked dangerous when fit. The only hesitation I would have signing him would be his susceptibility to injury.

    Gnanduillet is surely on the hit list. Anymore @chairboyscentral or anyone else?

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