By Gareth Walker
Nahki Wells appears to be on the verge of joining bitter rivals Huddersfield Town as he undergoes a medical and discusses personal terms with them this afternoon.
Of all the clubs linked with Nahki over the last few weeks, this is probably the only one that I personally didn’t want him to sign for. Although in a higher division at the moment, it is hard to argue that we aren’t a bigger club than Town, and this was reflected in tweets from supporters of various teams across the country as the news broke this afternoon. Many expressed surprise at the Bermudian’s choice of destination.
City hero Jamie Lawrence went further as he criticised the decision to sign for a rival club whilst also revealing that he once had the opportunity to sign for the Terriers for more money, but rejected the chance out of loyalty to the Bantams faithful.
Although initially a kick in the teeth for us supporters, Phil Parkinson may now be happy that the saga appears to be drawing to a close so that he can focus on making some additions to his squad, after revealing in a radio interview yesterday that he didn’t feel that Wells’ head had been right for the last few weeks.
Whilst City’s prize asset looks to be heading out of the club, one man joining us is 18-year-old Aston Villa winger Jordan Graham. Graham is a highly-rated prospect at Villa Park and has represented England at a variety of youth levels. However, his only previous first team action came during a previous short loan spell at Ipswich Town, where he played just twice. Parkinson has clearly identified Graham as the source of attacking quality that he admitted to be seeking after the draw with Swindon Town a couple of weeks ago.
Whilst Graham will provide more competition and another source of attack from the City midfield, it remains to be seen what kind of a replacement the club will bring in for Wells. It is to be hoped that whoever comes in is up to the job, because some supporters might be slightly less forgiving if the current poor run continues if our star player is sold to a team that we love to hate.
Nahki Wells scored 53 goals in 115 games for Bradford City.
City have also signed a new back up goalkeeper this afternoon.
24-year-old Arron Jameson joins on loan for one month from Sheffield Wednesday as a replacement for Connor Ripley, who’s own loan spell with us ended last week. Like Jordan Graham, Jameson only has two league appearances to his name, but he appears to have been chosen ahead of Harrogate prospect Craig MacGillvray to be Jon Mclaughlin’s back up for the next month at least.
Absolutely disgusted with this move and will take some convincing that there aren’t darker forces afoot here. This move has been done with indecent haste at a price that seems laughable if true.
I am seriously worried that the club have done this because we need money in fast and we are going to see a repeat of last time we sold our top scorer whilst sitting a couple of wins outside the L1 playoffs.
My prediction for the rest of the season is one of massive struggle with Parky walking at the end of it.
Thanks Rhodes, Lawn & Baldwin for last season but I think you have just crapped on this one from a great height.
All the very best to Nahki Wells but I have to admit I have never thought Huddersfield would running for his signature due to the way we were being led to believe it had to be a bigger club than Bradford?
I think the club may have realised we could have been stuck with a player who wasn’t 100% happy to stay at Bradford after January?
Mr Parkinson has come out and said as much.
So what exactly is the Transfer Fee? Will we ever get to know? My guess is it will be undisclosed!. We have lost a goalscorer who imo would have made sure of our lge1 status , whoever does come in has to be match-fit and 100% ready for 1st team football no more mistakes from Mr Parkinson in the transfer market!. Lee Gregory from Halifax scores goals at his level but to expect him to score goals at this level straight away would be one massive gamble?
I agree this is difficult from the point of view of local rivalry – and the legend Jamie Lawrence did make me smile on twitter this afternoon – but I’d caution against any over-reaction and value the cool-headed response here.
In other words, I’m not sure we should be unduly concerned that he appears to be heading to T*wn. It could be down to nothing more than him being fond of the local area and not wanting to move away from family and friends. Viewed dispassionately, that seems reasonable to me.
Are they a bigger club? No. Obviously not. Are they better supported? No. Obviously not. Would you rather swap Phil Parkinson for Mark Robins. No. Obviously not. But none of these things actually concern us directly. It will be Nahki’s experience that is potentially tainted by that, not ours, and it may or may not influence the next stages of his career.
If Nahki had to leave for financial reasons, then the money is all we should really be concerned about. Is this going to be the £2m plus 20% sell-on clause mooted in some parts? Is that enough? Will we all be able to hold our tongue when it’s announced as ‘undisclosed’? I hope we will see that the Board and Parkinson have been of one-mind here, whatever the outcome, and that everyone is happy with it from a Bradford City perspective.
Of course it’s difficult to swallow, losing our top scorer to a local rival, but Nahki has done wonderful things for our football club and – whatever we think of today’s prospect of him moving to T*wn – I’d like to remain focused upon what we need to improve our form, our season, our prospects for next year, and our club as whole. To hell with T*wn.
As for the timing, Parky wanted this done quickly, which is yet another eminently sensible strategy for the good of our club. Resolve the issue with time to think and act in January, and then we move on.
I did not want to see him go, but he obviously wanted to.
It is totally irrelevant who he signs for. He is a Bermudan, and can have no “tribal” loyalties.
I do not blame our directors. Unlike Huddersfield, we do not have people who are prepared to bail us out. We have to rely on two Chairman who support the club and do their best to keep it going.
I hope PP recruits well and we keep going comfortably.I do worry about our strength over the next four months.
As for Wells, he scored the goals that kept us up two years ago, he scored the goals that took us up last year, he was a major factor in year’s glory, and I hope he is successful wherever he goes. And remember Huddersfield sold their best player, Rhodes, when he wanted to leave. They did well after it.
Don’t criticise the directors, who are doing their best, and certainly don’t criticise Wells, who owes us absolutely nothing.
Hey Ho. Sounds like a decent deal. Rather lose Naki than Hans. Moving on…….
We’ll see just how good Hanson is when he doesn’t have Nahki running round picking up his wayward headers. It is now time for him to step up and do what a centre forward is supposed to do and score goals.
I take no notice of all the ‘disrespectful’ comments all over the T&A and Twitter this afternoon. If indeed Nakhi goes today or any other day, I would like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for everything he has done for us. Some people have very short memories. Let’s all wish him well in his future career and thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to Bradford City Football Club.
We should now regroup and support our team forward. We have no choice but to trust the Manager and the Chairman and I know that everyone has the best interests of the football club going forward.
Is Nahki moving to a bigger club? Absolutely. Town are established at a higher level of football, with far greater income, a huge budget in comparison to ours and massive financial backing. We could barely claim to be established at League One level.
With time, hopefully we can continue to move onwards and upwards, and perhaps we might once again at some point be on par with Huddersfield. But we’re not there yet, and let’s not kid ourselves that we’re a ‘big’ club just because our attendances are relatively comparable. That view would put us on par with Wigan and Blackburn and completely ignores our (commendably) cheap season ticket deal.
I wish Nahki the very best of luck in his career. It might not be the move that everyone wanted for him but he’s getting the opportunity to play at a higher level, in a bigger spotlight, and increase his chances of being picked up by a top flight club. I don’t seriously believe that he’s switching allegiances to be a ‘Terrier 4 life’ – he’s moving to the next stage of his career and Town will be another stepping stone on his way up the leagues. I’d wager that, this time next year, Twitter will be awash with Town fans speculating about his move to the Premier League.
Good luck Nahki.
Very well put. Huddersfield have bought 2 players for a combined £1m this year – how many of our players are worth anything like that? They are clearly a better team, with much greater resources.
The jump from L1 to Championship is enormous. NW no doubt sees this as another step up, and if he’s successful at Town he can make his next move into the PL. It’s still a big if, but his dream is 50% closer.
Shame his spell with us has ended as bemusingly/annoyingly/awkwardly/distastefully as this. I think, as this blog has pointed out, December and January were always going to be a tipping point/crossroads for the club and I’m parking my arse firmly on the fence when it comes to hazarding a guess as to how it’ll pan out now! Hopfully those City fans who’ve been left with a sour taste in the mouth from this will direct their energies into supporting the team on the pitch tomorrow – if we think Nahki has made a dud move, let’s see if we can get within a sniff of playing them next season to prove that. Until we see how the rest of the window pans out there’s nowt to be gained from venting any frustrations at anybody.
Also, re: Jamie Lawrence – I love him for his support and his great twitter feed. Whilst today’s tweets were entertaining it’s worth remembering the Kevin Gray/Gordon Watson context of the rivalry with Town that defined Jamie’s era at City (a Town fan, who has subsequently deleted their account, classlessly bragged about this recently) – so it’s easy to see where Jamie, and alot of other City fans, stand on this rivalry.