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Cardiff City’s confirmed squad status for 2022/23 shows huge transfer task ahead

For Cardiff City fans, all the talk is escalating towards the prospect of a huge summer. There are debates over contract extensions, players returning from loan and whether the Bluebirds can nab any of the on-loan stars currently set to return to their parent clubs.

Given the sheer volume of players who are, as things stand, heading out the exit door this summer — a number totalling as many as 15 — the confirmed list of players we know will be at the club next term, on the proviso they are not sold, of course, looks pretty threadbare.

In fact, it exposes quite a few frailties which will no doubt be transfer priorities for Steve Morison and his recruitment team in the months ahead. As things stand, these are the players who are in contract and filling up the squad list for next term.

READ MORE: The transfer status of every Cardiff City player

Goalkeepers : Phillips, Ratcliffe.

Defenders : Ng, McGuinness, Nelson, Denham, Connolly, Bagan.

Midfielders : Sang, Wintle, Colwill, Bowen, King, Whyte, Evans.

Forwards : Collins, Harris, Watters, Davies, Zimba.

It’s obvious to point out, but that looks seriously thin on the ground and if Cardiff have any designs on challenging the top half of the table next term, there has to be some real strengthening done in the summer window.

Of the squad list above, picking a tentative best XI would probably look something like this: Phillips; Ng, McGuinness, Nelson; Sang, King, Wintle, Colwill, Bagan; Collins, Davies.

Given what the current first team looks like, and how hard Morison has had to work to curate it, it is glaringly obvious to see the gaps which need filling in the summer, either by tying more current stars down to new deals or with more shrewd transfer work – as we saw in January.

While there are talented players and those who have potential to become decent players at this level already in situ, Cardiff know they will have to add pace, creativity and even experience in abundance to complement those who are definitely going to be staying on beyond this summer.

He needs another goalkeeper, three wing-backs, two centre-backs, a couple of central midfielders, a playmaker and two strikers. He would perhaps even like a few wingers to make his squad more flexible and to facilitate the changing of formations, too.

Morison has spoken about having a better blend of players and bridging the gap between young and old — you can read about that here — while he has made no secret of his desire to utilise the loan market again as he did in January.

It is only when you see the squad laid out in its barest form, and a potential starting XI, that you grasp the true scale of what Morison and his staff will have to undertake in the summer if they want to hit the ground running and be competitive next season.

“You forget how young some of the players are now,” Morison said last week when assessing his current squad and looking ahead to this summer’s transfer plans. “People like Mark McGuinness, you think they’re a bit older than they are. He had a tough paper round, Macca!

“In the market we have looked for the loan players, they are younger players, and we want a core group from the academy, which we have got here. But they still need to work incredibly hard to make themselves stalwarts to be picked in the team.

“We need bridge the gap. We need a more blended group. We need to have a few older heads. Perry (Ng) is the only one who is actually in the middle ages. You go top end and then we go really young. We need to bridge the gap of the whole squad.

“That’s what we will be looking to do, have a more blended group, which will really help the younger players at the bottom end to develop at the right time and not to have too much pressure on them.”

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