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Cardiff To Stoke: Ledley’s Yours For £6 Million; But Do We Really Want Him?

  A year ago, Stoke manager Tony Pulis was extremely keen to sign Cardiff’s highly rated left sided midfielder Joe Ledley, with Stoke bidding as much as £6 million for the 22 year old, who is equally comfortable in a more central role, at the time. The Welsh club insisted he wasn’t for sale back then, saying that he was a key part of the squad that they hoped would get them promotion to the Premier League. We tried to lure him to the Britannia Stadium again in January. Again, Cardiff wouldn’t budge. Five months on however, the Bluebirds have missed out on promotion after finishing seventh in the Championship, while Stoke have confirmed our status as a top flight side for next season.

  This has heralded a change in Cardiff’s attitude, with Ledley making it clear that he wants to move to a Premier League club this summer, and Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale apparently accepting that they are set to lose him, and hinting heavily that he would accept a bid of £6 million now, saying “I don’t accept that Joe is less valuable today than a year ago”, with the tone of his interview suggesting that they see that as an adequate price for the Welsh international.

Tony Pulis is a big fan of his fellow Welshman Ledley

  Back in August, when we were originally linked with Ledley, I would have been delighted if we signed him. My thoughts at the time were that he would add a little craft and quality to our squad that would make survival a lot more likely. Now I feel differently. We have comfortably stayed up without Ledley, and have signed Matthew Etherington, who after impressing in the left-wing role will be hard to dislodge. With a host of central midfielders at the club, including the likes of Glenn Whelan, Rory Delap and Amdy Faye, it seems unlikely he’d walk straight into the team in that position either. Is this really worth £6 million that could be spent on the full-back positions it is generally agreed we need to strengthen, or on boosting our goalscoring options?

  You can never be too sure when signing a promising young player from a lower league. He hasn’t had the best of seasons, hence the suggestion that his value could have fallen, and we cannot be sure how he would take to the top flight. He’s a player who likes to have time with the ball at his feet. Perhaps he’d struggle to adjust to the faster pace of Premier League football. The last thing we need, following our signing of Dave Kitson from Reading last summer, is another club record signing who turns into a very expensive flop. He may also struggle to fit into our physical style, though I think an extra touch of class and guile in our midfield could only be a good thing.

Despite impressing for Wales, there’s no guarentee Ledley would be a hit for Stoke

  Then again, he is without doubt a very promising player. He’s already racked up 27 full Wales caps and has shown he isn’t afraid of a big occasion, scoring the winner in Cardiff’s FA Cup semi final success over Barnsley last year. It’s not surprising that he’s been linked with a Premier League move, and thinks he’s good enough for one, with clubs like Tottenham, Wolves and Stoke’s opponents tomorrow Wigan also reportedly interested.

  It’s a tricky call for Stoke, made even more difficult by the assertion that we could now have a bid accepted for him if we wanted to. Maybe he’d fit right into our side, helping us push on next season. Maybe he’d be the latest on the long list of promising youngsters who never quite make it. With a lot of other talented players in his position and others available for the same price or less, I’m really not sure about this one. I think I’ll let Tony decide.

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  1. Steven Goran Erikkson

    15 May, 2009 at 22:07

    Not sure about Ledley, I’ve not seen enough of him to for a strong opinion yet, but as you say, sometimes it is imperative to back the manager, so if Pulis decided he wants him, then you should support him.

  2. Matt Jones

    15 May, 2009 at 22:12

    I honestly think he would walk into the side, but I know you dont think so. He is a better player than Delap (whose throws get shorter every week).

    I would actually love City to try and sign him to be honest, good young talent who will be a big hit after a couple of seasons in the Premier League.

    More than capable in my opinion, and I think (as a City fan with the club having a booming account) that we should try and sign him. With 27 caps at only the age of 22 thats is an impressive achievement.

  3. Steven Goran Erikkson

    15 May, 2009 at 23:25

    Matt, take your pills!

    Who would you play him instead of? Ireland? Petrov?

  4. Lakeland Potter

    16 May, 2009 at 06:40

    He’d certainly improve Stoke in central midfield – his best position. But £6 million is a heluva lot for a Championship player with only 12 months left on his contract. TP was unwilling to go beyond £6 million last time so I can’t see him being willing to pay more than £4 million (£3 mil plus add ons) this time.

    At £6 million I’m sure there must be better available – possibly in Europe, although we know TP is notoriously reluctant to splash the cash once he steps on to foreign soil!

  5. I*T*P*L

    16 May, 2009 at 11:42

    That’s basically the way I feel Lakeland. At £4 million I’d say definitely, at £6 million that’s a bit too much for me.

    I forgot about him being out of contract next year, I should have mentioned it. It should certainly influence our thinking.

  6. Matt Jones

    16 May, 2009 at 18:31

    Steven, chill!

    We are all entitled to our own opinion! In answer to your question I would play him ahead of Petrov who was dire today, because you can afford to. We have Robbie to cover on the left, and he’s better than half that rubbish we have on the bench…Fernandes, Berti, Sturridge, Benjani…so there is surely some room for him? Even if it is 20 minutes a game?

  7. Steven Goran Erikkson

    16 May, 2009 at 18:55

    Matt, without desiring to sound confrontational, you are talking nosense 🙂

  8. Matt Jones

    16 May, 2009 at 19:16

    It’s so true Steven and you know it!

    Tell me who is better than him who was on the bench today, bar Bojinov?

    Plus he has played with Ched before 🙂

  9. Steven Goran Erikkson

    16 May, 2009 at 19:49

    As much as you hate to believe it, Ched is going at the end of the season.

    The bench today:

    Hart > Ledley
    Zabaleta > Ledley
    Berti might be > Ledley
    Fernandes Ledley
    Sturridge > Ledley
    Benjani > Ledley

  10. Robbieblue

    16 May, 2009 at 19:53

    i hope he dont join stoke i just hope signs for some one that plays tidy football not root one were he will never see the ball in midfield sign for some like everton or the more established clubs in the premiership

  11. Matt Jones

    16 May, 2009 at 20:39

    I dont get the comment above?

    Cant judge him against Hart?

    Zaba is miles better than him…he’s world-class
    Berti is not as good as Ledley, it’s evident..or he would be playing, no?
    Ledley is better then Fernandes, Sturridge and Benjani?

    Your point?

    p.s I bet you Ched doesn’t go during summer?

  12. Matt Jones

    16 May, 2009 at 20:52

    Steven how have you revised for Spanish, im so nervous?

    We’ll copy if we’re sat next to each other 😉 Ahahaa!

  13. Matt Jones

    16 May, 2009 at 20:54


  14. I*T*P*L

    16 May, 2009 at 20:58

    Robbieblue, you’re absolutely right, we are shit aren’t we.

  15. Steven Goran Erikkson

    16 May, 2009 at 21:49

    Matt – I have just learnt all the vocab for Spanish. Not really done much essay practice.

    Hart – obviously you can’t tell
    Zabaleta – miles better than Ledley
    Berti – We’ll never know – but I get your point
    Benjani, Bojinov, Sturridge – Different position
    Fernandes – Anyone is better than him

    P.S: Ched will go – mark my words.

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