Despite a leg injury that will see him miss the start of the season, Leeds United, Hull City, Crystal Palace Leicester City, Middlesbrough FC and Crystal Palace are in for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who is now a free agent after his release from Wolves. Norwich City free agent Vaughan is also up for grabs and Crystal Palace have bid £4 million for Blackpool FC winger Tom Ince. Hull are strengthening their muscles with former Imp Jack Hobbs set to move to Birmingham in exchange for Curtis Davies as well as a move for SEB and Pennant.
hold on to your hats the agents are greasing the grapevine, grenades and all, oh lordy lordy its Joyous June oh month of rumour……………
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s representative, is said to be already in discussions with Middlesbrough and Leicester, although Leeds are yet to formalise an approach given Noel Hunt is fit well, raring to go and already known by McDermott through the Reading connection. As for Ince junior, Blackpool will want substantially more for one of the games most exciting and emerging talents, although seasoned but evergreen Jermaine Pennant will cost substantially less. Hull City chase him and monitor the Ebanks-Blake situation with baited breath. Jermaine is a free agent although Stoke may come back with a one year deal for the well travelled winger who would make a terrific Thomas Cook rep. Settled Steve Bruce is looking to offer a much longer deal, now he has been given ambitious assurances that have killed any overtures for his services from Wigan. That said free agents, such as Jermaine and West Ham’s Gary O’Neill are still very much on the wish list of an under-rated clever manager who could peel an orange in his pocket and not offer nor waste a drop.
Pearson of Leicester City has also needed to be frugal at a club that now looks set to challenge. Gone are the forks in the Foxes sugar bowls with them being linked left right and centre. Looking to strengthen all over, experience and firepower are on the menu and an avenue for winger Lloyd Dyer to ensure he is not tempted by the bright lights of London club QPR. A move for Ebanks-Blake and the experienced Matthew Upson (loan Keane is now back at Man Utd remember) could help show some ambition, as could a season long loan for Villa midfielder Barry Bannan. Another forward in the form of a permanent deal for Canary striker James Vaughan is doing the rounds. The Foxes will face competition from Leeds United for SEB and Upson, whilst Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday are both interested in Vaughan. He banged in 14 goals whilst on loan at the Terriers last term and after survival they will be looking to more than make up the Championship numbers.
DH has signed ex Doncaster Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Newport fullback Paul Robson ahead of the Carshalton Cup cruncher. Paul, 28 adept at left or right back, has played for Crystal Palace Baltimore, a feeder club for the real Crystal Palace FC, who he also spent time at Selhurst Park with and Long Island Rough riders; during a 6 year spell in the USA. He returned to the UK with Newport County this summer but a change of management saw him swept away with the new broom. This spells bad news for any chance of a first outing for Blackburn Rovers Matt Pearson and confirms that Tony Sinclair is likely to be out for a while.
Paul joins on a non contract basis, which is essentially a pay as you play plus expenses deal that does does contravene football’s meticulous registration papwerwork. He is has two feet and can play on both flanks as either a dedicated full or wing back. He has a great delivery on him and is potent on the overlap with an impressive assist every 6 games during his spell in the states. The question is will the financial situation allow us to keep him should he show the kind of form he is capable of.
Although born in Hull Paul was signed as a youth by Doncaster Rovers. Charlton Athletic came in for him although injury disrupted his progress and he failed to make an appearance before being released in 2003. Bridlington Town signed him briefly but a professional career the USA beckoned (Div 2 / championship equivalent) with the Long Island Rough Riders. He stayed two seasons before rivals Crystal Palace Baltimore signed him in 2008. Paul even trialed spell at Selhurst Park, home to Baltimore’s parent club, Crystal Palace, in January 2009, but did not do enough to earn a deal at the Championship side.
Former Spurs reserve team coach Tony Hudson signed Paul in July, but after a poor start to the season the manager got the push in October. In came Justin Edinburgh on 4 October with Paul, along with many others, being made the scapegoats.