But while the sagas of Cesc Fabregas, Carlos Tevez, Luka Modric and co. continue to grab the footballing headlines, one of the biggest surprises has been a transfer saga that hasn’t happened.
When West Ham United suffered the ignominy of relegation from the Premier League in May, there was one thing that football fans across the country would’ve guaranteed as a consequence of this – Scott Parker would leave.
Despite a campaign of struggle, the former Chelsea, Newcastle and Charlton midfielder won widespread acclaim for his performances in trying to inspire a side devoid of any from elsewhere within the squad.
Parker was nominated for PFA Player of the Year, and also won the Football Writer’s Player of the Year to demonstrate the tireless performances that he put in at the heart of the West Ham team.
It wasn’t just at club level where he was being rewarded; Fabio Capello gave him a starting place alongside Jack Wilshere in the England midfield in their Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales in March, and helped the three lions to a 2-0 win at the Millennium Stadium.
So bearing all this in mind, it was surely a formality that Parker would not feature for Sam Allardyce’s side during their fight to get out of the Championship. Wasn’t it?
As it turns out, not quite; the problem for Parker isn’t to do with his quality, but more to do with his age. He’s just turned 31, and is without doubt West Ham’s most prized possession, and is believed to be valued in the region of £8-10 million.
He’s been linked with moves to Tottenham, Arsenal, Stoke and Chelsea, but they’ve all made moves for younger players to fill their holding midfield role.
Spurs have made a concerted effort to acquire Lassana Diarra (26) from Real Madrid, Stoke have tried to sign Wilson Palacios (27) and Chelsea purchased Oriol Romeu (19) from Barcelona after reportedly considering a loan move for their former player.
But with Parker having proved it in the Premier League more than the aforementioned trio put together, why are clubs avoiding him when they’re in the market for a player of his type?
It’s probably best summed up by Spurs manager Harry Redknapp when he was asked in July about a potential move for Parker.
Redknapp said, “If you take into account the fee of around £8 million, signing-on fees and wages, you’re talking about a £30 million deal.
“There is no way the club would sanction a deal for a 30-year-old who would have no resale value at the end of his contract.”
So it looks like ageism coupled with economics is going to cost Parker the best opportunity of getting into contention to make England’s squad for Euro 2012 next summer (providing we qualify of course.)
Who knows, Capello might bear in mind what the central midfielder is capable of, knowing that when he needs his players to stand up in the heat of the battle he’s the one player whose character and commitment can be counted upon.
But it will be cruel if Scott Parker is denied potentially one last crack at performing at a major tournament through no fault of his own.
So what do you think? Can you understand why clubs haven’t financed a deal for Parker? Or are they missing a trick in passing by the 31 year-old? Leave a comment and let us know your views.
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