As transfer deadline day looms ever closer – Jordan Grant takes a look at where Scott Parker could be plying his trade in the 2011/12 season…
There has been much talk regarding Scott Parker’s footballing future. Parker seems to be producing his best form at Upton Park for West Ham, and following their heart-wrenching relegation to the second tier of English football, several Premier League clubs will be pursuing this dynamic midfielder’s signature in this transfer window. There is still plenty of time for deals to be completed, even with the first games of the Football League played only recently; it may only be a matter of time before a top-tier side adds England international Parker to their midfield ranks.
It is entirely possible that if Parker should move, he may only have to pack his bags across town. Harry Redknapp has long been an admirer of Parker, and he would certainly provide some bite in the Tottenham Hotspur engine room. Redknapp loves to add depth across his squad, and acquiring Parker would place him in a midfield already stacked with the likes of Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Tom Huddlestone, Sandro, Niko Kranjcar and more.
Nevertheless, Parker would add a different element at Spurs; he presents to Redknapp the perfect fusion of attack and defence – one second Parker would be attempting an audacious strike from thirty yards, the next he would be putting in a last ditch tackle to prevent a certain goal. Redknapp would undoubtedly appreciate Parker’s defensive qualities, as he aims to provide help for his injury-prone back four and Tom Huddlestone in the holding midfield role.
Parker could easily jump ship to Tottenham’s East London rivals, Arsenal. The centre midfield position has long been questioned by the Emirates faithful and none more so than this summer, as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri look destined to be leaving the club (to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively).
Although Arsenal have a lot of young talent flowing through the club, they may not be able to make the team achieve the success that Arsenal fans crave; Wilshere, Ramsey, Frimpong, Walcott and recently-signed playmaker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may form the core of the Arsenal team in 5 years, but Arsenal need to win now, and that’s where Parker would make his entrance. Parker would give to Arsenal a goal threat to help Gervinho relieve the burden from the shoulders of star striker Robin Van Persie. Likewise, he could also protect the Gunners’ defence admirably, an area of the Arsenal XI which has come under much scrutiny from supporters and critics alike.
Top six Premier League sides are not the only ones looking to make Parker one of their summer signings. Aston Villa are looking to recover after losing flying wingers Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. Along with new arrival Charles N’Zogbia, Parker would throw stability into the Villa Park mix, and help to give the team an inspirational talisman in which to play through. Should Parker move to Villa, his passing ability will be coveted by Alex McLeish and also their big money forward Darren Bent; after the loss of Downing and Young, Bent will need some service for him to bring goals to the club, and Parker has the playmaking flair essential for Bent to reach goalscoring heights.
Stoke City are also deemed as being in the race for Parker. Tony Pulis is always willing to spend the money to upgrade his squad, as seen this window by his pursuit of Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios. Stoke’s squad is lacking some vital creativity to pair with Matthew Etherington’s dribbling skills, and Parker would definitely suffice in this area.
Currently it looks like one of the East London rivals will be set to obtain Parker’s signature this summer. However, absolutely nothing is clear cut and Parker could always just remain at Upton Park, and aid them in accomplish promotion back to the Promised Land. Despite this, whoever ends up with Parker in their squad come August 31st will have gained one hell of a midfielder.