The Arsenal transfer prodigy who held the key to Cardiff City’s season, the missed opportunity and what happens next
The word coming out of both Cardiff City and Arsenal last summer was that Jordi Osei-Tutu was a top young player, one who was about to embark on his coming-of-age season in the Championship with the Bluebirds.
The Welsh club were quietly over the moon they had managed to land the young Gunners prodigy, who impressed City’s scouting staff and then manager Neil Harris during his impressive loan spell with VFL Bochum last season.
The Bluebirds were desperately looking to add an attack-minded right-back and Osei-Tutu, who thrived when deployed on the right wing for the German club last season, looked the perfect fit.
Cardiff wanted to change the way they played at the start of this season, they wanted to pass the ball more, move it quicker and use width and pace, all for which Osei-Tutu was key.
City, though, did take something of a gamble. They only brought in the one right-back, meaning that position became increasingly vulnerable to a nightmare injury.
They decided to sign Harry Wilson, a forward, Filip Benkovic, a centre-back, and Dillon Phillips, a goalkeeper, on deadline day, when many thought, especially with a dearth of right-backs in the academy at that time, they would have been better served bringing in another right-back.
We now know the club had tried for three transfer windows to sign Perry Ng before landing him in January, while the club passed on Dion Sanderson because they chose to bolster other areas of the pitch. But not bringing in another player in that position seemed like a decision on which this season could hinge.
It might be over-egging the pudding to suggest that is why it all went a little south, but it certainly played its part.
Here, we look at the promise of Osei-Tutu, what went wrong and what happens next this summer…