What the future holds for Cardiff City loan duo’s return as talks hold ahead of new season
As Cardiff City fans eagerly await the publication of the club’s shortlist for the 2022/23 season, there are other contracted players whose future remains uncertain.
The Bluebirds have 10 players out of contract at the end of next month, with Marlon Pack, Aden Flint and Alex Smithies all having already announced their departures. There is nothing to suggest, at the minute, that the other seven, including Joe Ralls, put pen to paper on new terms.
But while much of the attention has been focused on the result of this highly anticipated shortlist, others have slipped under the radar so far off-season, largely due to the surge in signings the last week which was a welcome boost after a hugely disappointing campaign on the pitch.
READ MORE : Every Championship player released this summer that Cardiff could sign
So who will be the men tasked with making sure next season isn’t so dark? New signings Jak Alnwick, Ebou Adams, Jamilu Collins and Ollie Tanner, of course. The others under contract are Dillon Phillips, Perry Ng, Mark McGuinness, Oliver Denham, Curtis Nelson, Joel Bagan, Ryan Wintle, Rubin Colwill, Max Watters, Isaak Davies, Mark Harris and James Collins.
Although there are two players omitted from the above list namely Gavin Whyte and Tom Sang. And there are conversations to be had about both.
WalesOnline understands such conversations have yet to take place, with Sang having played in the play-offs with St Johnstone and Whyte currently away with Northern Ireland on international duty. Will they appear next season?
You can discuss the draw with the two, each player has their merits, but it remains to be seen whether they have proven themselves worthy of playing a meaningful role in the proceedings.
Take Blood, for example. It is understood he enjoys being at the club and would be happy to be at Cardiff long term. He bought a property on the outskirts of town and was eager to put down roots there after a positive breakthrough campaign last year under Mick McCarthy.
However, a toe operation towards the end of the previous season really hampered his progress last season. He struggled to return to full fitness and Perry Ng nailed that right-back spot until January. Morison then revealed there was a disagreement between him and Sang, who saw his best position at right-back, but the manager believed his strengths were best suited for a central midfield role.
“I had the conversation with Tom, personally I don’t see him as a wing-back,” Morison said in January. “I see him as a midfield option. That’s where he has to fight for his place with the other midfielders. That’s my opinion.
“At the minute, my opinion is that I didn’t see him as direct competition to Perry, Joel (Bagan) or Ryan Giles when he was here. So he’s in the mix with the other five or six central midfielders. It’s a tough place to live because there are a lot of good players there.”
In light of this, Sang sought playing time elsewhere as he sought to prove his quality at right-back and convince Morison this was the best place for him. His nine appearances for the Scottish club have come as a full-back, including once on the left side. Morison will have forensically examined Sang’s numbers after every game and will have a much clearer idea of whether he thinks he will be a winger or has to fight for that spot in midfield.
The 22-year-old, who has signed a contract extension until the end of 2023, seems flexible though, so if he and Morison disagree over his favored position, there is hope that there could be some wiggle room as he plays a role next season.
“I played all my professional games at Cardiff as a right-winger,” Sang said in February. “As a player, in terms of attributes, I think that’s where I have the greatest potential.
“[St Johnstone manager] Callum Davidson saw my games last year so he thinks like me. But if I need to play in central midfield, I will do the same job and appreciate it just as much.
He has won many admirers in his coming-of-age season in 2021 and many would see it as a bit of a shame if his time at Cardiff were cut short simply because of differing opinions over the position. City fans are no doubt hoping that won’t be the case.
Then there’s Gavin Whyte, a player whose career at Cardiff City came to a halt in the last 18 months. Well, it struggled to get off the ground after Neil Warnock left, truth be told. The Northern Irishman had a stellar season with Oxford United in League 1, narrowly missing out on the play-offs.
The winger played his part too, registering 10 assists and a goal while playing right, left, center and forward for the United States. Some believe he has found his level in League One, while others believe he hasn’t received a fair boost in the Welsh capital.
Morison will want the chance to play with wingers next season, hence Ollie Tanner’s arrival, but it’s unrealistic to expect an 18-year-old ripped off the non-League to have a sustained impact during what will no doubt be a brutal first campaign in the Championship.
DON’T MISS ANYTHING : For all the latest Bluebirds transfer news, sign up for our Cardiff City newsletter here
Whyte, meanwhile, is 26, slap-bang in the middle of that age bracket that Morison is trying to recruit, has plenty of Ligue 1 and even league games under his belt and is a crucial part of the international setup of Northern Ireland, scoring three goals. in 20 appearances for his country.
Cardiff wanted more of an outing from him in the final third and it’s more than fair to say he’s improved on that front. Whether he has the quality to make a real difference at Championship level is still the big question mark and Morison and his team will no doubt consider that.
The player himself, also under contract until 2023, might even think it’s better to go somewhere else. The last time Whyte was asked about his future was in March, when he kept his cards very close to his chest, saying: “I haven’t really given it too much thought, I’m just taking it for granted. moment.
“I can’t really look too far ahead, I love being here and I just want to play as many games as possible until the end of the season. The reason I came here is because I loved it so much when I was first here. It’s a great club, great people, great fans and I felt at home when I first came here.
There will, of course, be many moving parts for Cardiff in this transfer window. The future of Sang and Whyte may seem insignificant at the minute, with so many other plates being rotated, but these are big calls nonetheless that will need to be made shortly.