Here at the blog, we're getting a little jittery with no matches in sight (OK, it's really only until mid-week next week when Spurs and Everton FINALLY make up the match postponed in the first week of the season). Still, after the rush of matches between Christmas and the mid-week just past we got used to having something to react to just about every day. Now that the rush has past, we're left wondering what to talk about. The topics of Donovan and Henry's loan moves have been done to death. What's a blogger looking to kill 30 minutes before leaving for the weekend to do?
Fortunately, embattled Rovers manager Steve Kean gave us a natural topic by declaring that Blackburn would be forced to listen if someone came in for Junior Hoilett. The Canadian attacker is headed into the final few months of his contract and Rovers face the possibility of losing him for nothing in the Summer if they don't act now.
It brings up a very interesting topic. Is it worthwhile for Rovers to risk losing him for nothing because it is hard to see them staying up WITHOUT Hoilett? On the other hand, if they keep him and get relegated anyway then they've lost the money from being in the Premier League AND gotten nothing for losing one of their few salable assets.
I'll let you tell me (in the comments section) whether you think they should keep him or sell him (and why you think that) and after the jump I'll discuss the teams that SHOULD be beating a path to Ewood Park to make an offer as quickly as they're able.
Sunderland: They've had a lot of trouble at forward so an attacking player like Hoilett could be a nice addition to the mix. On the other hand, they do have Frazier Campbell coming back from long term injury and Hoilett isn't an out-and-out striker so he probably doesn't fit the exact need. Fit: OK, but not great.
Newcastle: With Demba Ba off to the African Cup of Nations the Magpies will find it tough to score and even with Ba back they are dangerously thin in attacking quality. Much like Sunderland, Hoilett would definitely be an improvement but he wouldn't be an exact fit since he isn't a center forward. If I were NUFC I'd be more likely to buy Chris Samba from Rovers and use him as a target forward until Ba comes back. Fit: OK, but not great.
Stoke: It seems like a constant struggle to put together anything other than a bludgeoning attacking move at Stoke and attacking midfield seems to be a position that they've struggled to adequately fill as they've ascended the standings. I don't know if they have the money to buy him after spending on Crouch and Pennant over the course of the past year but he'd definitely be a great change of pace if they could afford him. Fit: Very good but unlikely to happen.
Tottenham/Manchester United: Both teams could use a player of Hoilett's quality. Spurs could use him as cover should van der Vaart or Modric go down with an injury for an extended time. He isn't good enough to start at Spurs but he is better than anyone they have on their bench. United have to decide how they're going to line Rooney up before they decide whether Hoilett would be an upgrade. If Rooney is a forward then Hoilett would be an upgrade over the other attacking midfield options. If Rooney is going to play the "10" with some combination of Chicharito, Berbatov and Welbeck at forward then there's really no reason for Hoilett to arrive. Fit: Solid but the player would likely rot on the bench (see Pienaar, S.).
Swansea: To me, THIS feels like the jackpot. Swansea play a very attractive game and have many positions on the field figured out but a true attacking midfielder who can give them a third option with pace (along with Sinclair and Dyer) and put serious pressure on opponents. An addition like Hoilett would make guys who can pass the ball efficiently and effectively but aren't really goal threats like Allen and Gower much more effective. The only question is whether Hoilett would be willing to move even farther out into the hinterlands (and if Swansea can afford him). Fit: Excellent.
So, those are my candidates. Where do you think he should go in a perfect world?