Tan has awarded his manager Malky Mackay a gold Medel in the Premier League survival stakes – Gary Medel.
The Chilean International has made a surprise move from La Liga team Sevilla on a four-year deal for a Cardiff City record transfer fee, reported at £11million.
Thwarted in his efforts to land Etienne Capoue from Toulouse, the midfielder choosing Tottenham, instead of lowering his sights, Mackay persuaded his owner to up the stakes and land the veritable ‘Pitbull’ of the Spanish League. Cardiff’s initial loss maybe Tottenham’s gain but Medel is a shining example of Tan’s support for Mackay and his determination to keep the Bluebirds in the Premier League.
I said in a previous blog that Cardiff needed difference makers and since then Mackay has persuaded Steven Caulker to join from Spurs for a then record £8.5m. No doubt the Caulker fee helped offset the purchase cost of Soldado and Capoue for Spurs but it may be Cardiff have come out of those deals in just as good an order themselves. Caulker and Medel will clearly make a difference.
Medel is a midfield enforcer and a tenacious tackler as his ‘Pitbull’ nickname suggests. He will pick up cards a-plenty but his combative nature is just what the Bluebirds midfield needs. Along with Craig Bellamy the Bluebirds now boast two players the opposing fans will love to hate.
The rumours out of the Cardiff City Stadium are rife that there may yet be more to come. Mackay has been searching for another forward and unless he has spent most of his remaining transfer kitty on Medel, then another expensive forward or wide midfielder may well be on the cards.
Despite the big-money signings Cardiff could also do themselves a favour by picking up one or two of the more experienced, free transfers and low cost performers still unattached or looking for moves.
Early links to the Fenerbahce duo Joseph Yobo and Dirk Kuyt seemed to have quietened down but with Cardiff showing their ambition and ability to attract big-money players, perhaps the waiting is over and those experienced campaigners can look anew and with confidence toward the Welsh capital club as a realistic move.
On the playing front the impressive 2-1 friendly game victory over Athletic Bilbao last Saturday will have proved a definite confidence booster for the team. Despite the Spaniards looking the better team for most of the game, Cardiff defended solidly and resolutely and used their limited possession to form two goals of real quality – something they will need to do consistently in the Premier League, starting at West Ham next Saturday.
Fraizer Campbell took his goal with aplomb, going one on one with the goalkeeper after Peter Whittingham had opened the scoring with a trademark strike from the top of the box. Although Bilbao pulled a goal back the Bluebirds held out without too much trouble to keep the win.