I just don't think we can criticise the man management here without being privvy to the conversations behind the scenes. You don't know if those players have made the decision to not train with the side. It does now seem like an error not to have him involved earlier, but that's with hindsight and without the benefit of the full story. so... Just one of those things for me, no one should be getting particular criticism for it.
I don't know whether I'd be shocked or not to hear Akpom is on that much. Shocked because I'd be surprised we spent that much at that time on a single player's wages but also not that surprised because this club has wasted all kinds of money on wages.
I don't get the feeling Wilder would have taken one less player on his pre-season because he had higher wages, though, if he thought he was a good player, particularly given the striker shortage. I can't see the club being very bothered about one year of a £20k deal either (so much as to block Wilder from using him), it's entirely dependent on whether we could actually sign better for less than the £1m in wages we would have committed to that player and that £1m was unlikely to be recouped entirely because who else would pay £20k a week for him? We'd be paying some of that and it would likely have been another loan deal.
I very much believe Wilder didn't want him here and it's only as the window has continued to move at a snail's pace that he saw fit to bring him back into the fold. I don't think many Boro fans would have wanted Akpom to stay either so it's hardly a surprising situation that the manager wouldn't, it's just I'd expect the manager who is paid to get the best out of our squad not to dismiss a player he's ultimately never seen anything of in training, especially when he's under contract. Now it seems like he sees some value in him. Perhaps it's not his perfect striker but he's contracted at the club and at a time when we've struggled for forwards, a full pre-season could perhaps have helped us start the season better.
In a perfect world, Wilder would have had his other targets in and Akpom would be gone but you know, baby and bathwater and all that. Feel like that's one of my favourite phrases at this point.
Prediction for the Week: Hoppe and a midfielder on loan.
Feel we need 6-7 signings to compete and have enough depth for January.
LCB, CDM, RCM, ST, ST, ST at a minimum.
Ideally another LCM and a creative wide player to rotate with Giles & Jones.
Personally, I'd move Bola & Watmore on if we get offers of 500k-£1m.
I disagree. Part of the pre-season is to build the team bond. If you have people who aren't wanted, they most likely won't really be the happiest campers around the rest of the team. That makes them slightly toxic, I'd guess.
I would think that Akpom was very much hoping for a move, as were the club (big wages for a player who isn't in your plans). From Chuba's point of view, his only time playing here was for a manager who didn't play a game which suits him. If moves fell through, then maybe it started to make more sense to bring him in for a short while to build up numbers. After all, he's more likely to play than Uche.
Does seem like our recruitment was maybe more forward thinking in selecting him than we've been giving them credit for.