If you believe what you read in the papers, Kevin Doyle will make a straight choice next week between Wolves, Sunderland, Bolton and Fulham. Assuming this is true, who would your money be on?
Sunderland certainly have the financial clout and can probably offer him better wages than the other clubs involved. I just wonder whether he’d be a regular starter for the Black Cats, given their new found wealth and that might be something which could make him think twice about the move.
Bolton might present an interesting option for Doyle. If he finds his form he could become a first-team regular there, but the Trotters already have Kevin Davies and that Swedish bloke (great journalism there), plus I don’t think Doyle fits into their style of play, as they get a lot of joy from going direct, rather than getting it down and playing.
Fulham is geographically closest to Reading, so the transition might not be as difficult, which is something I’m sure players take into account. Something else that is going for the London side is European football and none of the other sides in the mix can offer that. On balance, this would probably represent the best move for Doyle, so I’m going to stick my neck out and wager this is where he’ll end up.
Then of course, there’s Wolves. We can probably offer the best chance of regular first team football, but that’s by no means a certainty with SEB at our disposal. We also have a nucleus of young, Irish players which is something he might find attractive. And if, as reported, he’s been to look around our Compton training ground, that must have counted in our favour, as it’s a fantastic facility. I can’t get this niggling feeling out of my mind though, that the last thing he’ll want is to move to a side he thinks might go down next season, leaving him in the same boat again. Out of the four, he’ll probably feel we’re the most likely for the drop, which could be fatal to any possible deal.
So I’m going for Fulham, but hoping he might surprise me and turn out in Old Gold next season.