Friday, June 20, 2008

Jason Puncheon

The future under Luggy began to take shape this week with the announcement of our first new signing: 22 year old Jason Puncheon from Barnet on a 3 year contract for a fee of £250k.

I’d say that this looks like an excellent piece of business from the club. Puncheon can play all across the line up front and is happy on either flank, so we are told. Last season he scored 11 in 48 games which is not bad at all for a predominantly wide player.

He has been recommended as one of the top 50 players outside the Premier League and was voted into the PFA divisional team for Div 2 last year.

It’s this last fact that really inspires hope here. His fellow pros are not easily conned and if he has gained their respect at such a young age then there must be something there for us.

The concern with him is if he will make the step up but reports from Barnet suggest that they are sad to see him go but are confident that he will thrive at a higher level. The cynic in me wants to add "as a selling club they would say that, wouldn't they?" but the signs are good.

This looks like a deal that we can only do well out of. As a young player with a little pedigree behind him the fee we paid looks eminently recuperable more or less whatever happens but if he excels then his value will rocket just as Ebanks-Blake’s did. The only obvious way we can lose is if he gets injured and that applies to every player everywhere so we can't use that as an excuse.

The sad thing is that inevitably we have to fear almost as much what happens if he succeeds as we do if he fails. Just say he spends 12 months successfully building rapport with the crowd and the faith of his teammates. We should just be getting into enjoying-a-song-about-him mode when he’ll be up and off somewhere.

The prospect of losing yet another crowd favourite is not very appealing but then if it does happen we have to be pleased I suppose that we have players that others want. It shows how far we have come. It wasn’t long ago that nobody wanted any of ours at any price!!

It still rankles more than a bit though.

The Baggo

Wiki on Puncheon


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