Summer Transfer Specials: Scott Parker

It is not too often that we find the Football Writers Player of the Year playing for a side bottom of the league. The list of winners over the last 10 years reads like a who’s who of Premier League football; Henry, Lampard, Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney are more used to winning trophies than scrapping for survival. This is a great testament to how well Parker has played this year.

It is surprising that the first player we can focus on in our Summer Transfer Specials series is the FWA player of the year. But following West Ham’s relegation there is no doubt that Scott Parker’s future lies away from the club. Parker can hold his head high, he has campaigned for West Ham since the 2007/08 season and during those years he has consistently been the clubs top performer and has scooped the clubs player of the season award the past two seasons and picked up the award this year. He missed out on winning the PFA Player of the Year Award this season, but was a lot of people’s choice.

Such great form for West Ham has seen Parker force his way back in to the England squad and deservedly so. Parker is a typical box to box midfielder who is effective going forward but great at breaking up play, a versatile player, who can also play the holding role. The one criticism some may have of him is his lack of goals, but in terms of making a team tick, Parker is instrumental.

It is not only his feet that do the talking, he is a real leader; this season colleague Carlton Cole came out with praise for a half time team talk that inspired West Ham to come back from a 3-0 deficit at half time to draw 3-3 with West Brom, this wasn’t a team talk from the manager, it was from captain Scott Parker.He could do little to stop West Ham’s relegation and with the club in turmoil, the vultures are circling Upton Park to snatch Parker. So with a lot of interest, where are the likely destinations for Parker? He has already had a shot at the top with Chelsea and didn’t quite cut the mustard, but has the time come for him to establish himself as a big player with a top 6 side? Let’s have a look at likely destinations:

Arsenal

Recent rumours have emerged that Parker could be on his way to the Emirates, especially if Fabregas departs. There is not much between the performance of these two players at this moment in time. Fabregas will undoubtedly become a much better player, but at the moment Parker is playing out of his skin.

Parker would easily slot in to the Arsenal system - he has played a 433/451 formation with England of late and also with West Ham this season. Whether he could operate with Fabregas is yet to be seen, but potentially they could form an exciting partnership along with Jack Wilshere. Parker and Wilshere have linked up for England and this could bode well if Arsenal do sign him. The centre of the park is already congested with Ramsey returning, plus Diaby and Song, but they could benefit from the drive and experience Parker brings.

Chances of move:

The chances of Parker moving to Arsenal in my opinion are slim, Wenger does not like to sign players over the age of 30 who cannot develop or give any return on the clubs investment.

Twitter Fan Opinion:

@mike_topgunner: ‘he would provide English heart and hard work but I don’t think he is top 4 quality! If it was cheap could be a good gamble’

@dondeonbeke: ‘He’s not good enough for Arsenal as a 1st team player. Squad player; nothing more’

Spurs

Redknapp is a keen admirer of Scott Parker and we have seen him move for him twice already, last summer and also in the January window. Harry won’t be put off by Parker’s age, although Levy may well be. But a move to Spurs could be a real option, Redknapp has the intent and Parker is a London boy and ideally wants to stay in the capital.

With Modric, Van der Vaart, Jenas, Huddlestone, Sandro, O’Hara and Palacios, do Spurs really need another centre mid? Parker is most comparable to Modric, and I can’t see Redknapp prioritising Parker over the Croatian, but he could be a replacement. With Huddlestone well established and the emergence of Sandro, you cannot see him getting a game there either.

Chances of move:

Considering the above, a move is highly likely. Redknapp knows Parker well and likes how he operates, he has already tried twice before and the squad hasn’t radically changed since then. But will Parker be up for a bit-part role as he approaches his twilight years?

Twitter Fan Opinion:

@Yids: ‘Don’t need any more central midfields. That won’t stop Redknapp though.’

@eggsoakley: ‘we have a lot of dead weight in midfield, we can offload a few and get Parker who has heart.’

Liverpool

Liverpool’s resurgence since King Kenny took over has been impressive, they are finishing the season on a high and looking to add to the squad in the summer. They will have cash to spend and the midfield is one area they will certainly be looking to strengthen.

Parker would fit in to the Liverpool side easily as is a similar player to Xavi Alonso who Liverpool have never quite replaced. He would also compliment the attacking style of Gerard and add real bite and guile to Liverpool’s young midfield. Experience will not put off Kenny; Liverpool need experienced leaders as they aim to regain their spot in the top 4 and only the best will do.

Chances of move:

Very possible, he is the kind of quality that Liverpool need and they are the only side that could give him guaranteed first team football. Parker may not want to go north again, but I am sure playing for such a big club would persuade him. If his stats stack up for the board and they can get past the age barrier, Dalglish may make his move if the price is right.  

Twitter Fan Opinion:

@willspeedevans: ‘Once maybe, not now. Great season but it’s his Indian summer. + doesn’t fit FSG strategy.

@danremedios: ‘He’s a combative midfielder but we already have Lucas and Spearing there. He’s not getting any younger and will cost £££’

Wherever the distination, Parker will be  good signing for the majority of Premier League sides. Realistically Parker only has another 2 seasons in him at top top level and shouldn’t go for more than £8m, so I wouldn’t be surprised if other clubs come in for the England international. Parker has proved his worth and that he should have another shot at a top club. Do you want him at your club? let us know your comments.

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  1. In January Harry Redknapp wanted to sign Charlie Adam. Hopefully with the emergence of Sandro will resist the urge to go Scott Parker (or any central midfielder).

  2. Sammy P says:

    Could he go United? Scholes is still playing will need replacing, big shout but could work!

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