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Friday, 28 March 2014

Questions raised over Spireites summer spending


Record transfer Pablo Hernandez will have a lot to prove given his price tag

Player transfers are always met with hope and scrutiny however the Spireites summer spending has raised a question thought by many but raised by a few; what direction are Chesterfield headed?

Chesterfield summer transfers centred around two major signings; English striker Rickie Lambert and Spanish winger Pablo Hernandez however what caught the public’s attention was the considerable transfer outlay of $14.5 million, especially compared to last season’s spending which was $6.5 million.

As past experiences have shown, Glory Days management assigns a certain ‘value’ to a player but value may not necessarily be dependent on the financial, you would have to include quality of the player and how they would improve the football team.   

The majority of the amount spent on transfers was the record breaking purchase of Pablo Hernandez for $8.5 million. The 28 year old arrived from newly promoted Norwich City and was a part of the Canaries clear out however Chesterfield jumped at the opportunity to sign him. Some suggest that the high profile purchase was manager Glory Days’ desperate attempt to take attention away from the Spireites poor form last season.

However if you dig deeper, Hernandez is a proven achiever in Division Three. His 9 assists in Norwich City’s relegation season and his past experience performing in Division one and two, the signing doesn’t seem to have weakened the overall strength of the midfield.  In fact, the signing may be an astute piece of business, replacing the petulant Miraleum Sulejmani with the proven quality of Pablo Hernandez and improving the quality of the midfield.  

Rickie Lambert was another purchase that came under intense scrutiny, a 32 year old striker being bought in for $6 million. Considered a real risk by manager Glory Days especially when he was carrying a six week injury from his previous club, Preston North End and with no real resale value for the big English front man, many questioned Chesterfield’s acquisition of the aging striker.  

The main concern was the longevity of Lambert, how many seasons can one get out of those aging legs? But manager Glory Days has added proven quality to an area that Chesterfield clearly lacked last season. Lambert had break out performances last season with 15 goals in Division Two and compared to other striker purchasers in the same Division such as Andy Carroll (10 million to Plymouth Argyle) and Marko Devic ($7.5 million to Gillingham), this may be an interesting acquisition when the season finishes.    

Only time will tell whether manager Glory Days signings will pay off but if the end of last season and the preseason performances gave any indication, both older players are playing with a point to prove and a chip of their shoulders, this may bode well for the Spireites.


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