Wanderers' recruitment is in full swing now despite the ever present embargo. We have successfully signed up all but two of the key players that played a part in our promotion last year. This at the very least makes sure we go in to the next season no worse of than this but we also need to improve. One position many would agree needs is goalkeeper. Alas it is unfortunately an area in which we are fully stocked with ben Amos, Mark Howard and Ben Alnwick the senior options. All have impressed at points in their Wanderers career but none have maintained the levels of performance to generate trust in their capability to play in the Championship. So what are our options? Enter Jake Turner.
Most Wanderers fans will be aware of Turner but here's a brief overview: Turner started out his footballing career for Wanderers as a striker and only donned the goalkeeping gloves 3 years ago. In that time he has gone to impress at every age level, culminating in an England Under 18 call up and spot on the bench for The Whites this year.
This whole premise relies on the practicalities of shifting 1 or more (preferably 2) of our current crop of seniors. It is highly likely we will want Amos gone given his lavish contract but that could be easier said than done given how he fared at Cardiff City last year.
If this can happen than Turner has a real chance of getting a decent amount of games during pre-season. This will be his chance to show he is just as capable as any of the current crop. A keen eye will have to see if his distribution up to scratch as that is a huge must for our style but also if he can command a defence at his age. Five or so games would be enough for me to judge him against the rest and if in those games he shows himself to be as good or better than the alternatives, there shouldn't be any question of him starting the season as our first choice goalkeeper. If he doesn't seem ready? No harm done, one of Howard or Alnwick can get the nod.
It makes tactical sense as well as financial. First of all if he is as good as the others at the age of 18 then his ability will only improve with match time. Turner could finish the season a far better keeper then when he started but the same could not be said of the others who are all around their peak years.
The financial argument also stacks up (I reiterate, if he is good enough to start). Young English keepers have become hot property and the hype around him would follow when the news of an 18 year old, England Under 18 keeper was performing well in the Championship. The money being mooted for Jordan Pickford after a season in the Premiership is staggering and clubs will certainly be paying attention to the youngsters graduating from a team who have produced England's hottest defensive talent in Rob Holding. His value could skyrocket and we did survive, we'd be in a far better position not to get mugged off like we did with the aforementioned Holding. Whilst I don't like to think of players in such a way, it must enter the thoughts with a club in a financial position such as ours.
So would you be happy with an 18 year old keeper getting a shot at the number 1 jersey in pre-season? Comment below.