Correctly, the debate on the last day of the August transfer window has been about the sad, unnecessary sale of Michael Turner to Sunderland. But to go with the departure of an irreplaceable centre back could be the further loss of a maligned chap who remains our best current hope for goals.
Daniel Cousin has had his attitude correctly questioned in the one year (exactly) he has been at the KC, not least when his touch and his heart seemed to evaporate against Spurs the other week and he suffered the indignity of an early substitution for being so poor. Even Danny Coles never got that.
Yet although there is obvious hope for the new signings, Cousin does at least come with an element of familiarity. Though I always reject the accusations that he is lazy, he does have the air of a striker who wants to read where the ball is going to go and therefore, when it then goes somewhere else, he rarely feels the need to hunt it down.
But put it in the right place, and he will cause problems.
Kamel Ghilas is quick and smart and upon reaching a level of acceptable fitness in his new surroundings, should be capable of finding the net, assuming he doesn’t play wide too often. Jozy Altidore, already labelled a cult hero for being square-shaped, American and on Twitter, may also come good once his fitness has been improved. But the pace of both suggests that they are suited to the ball played through on the ground, and with the current one-dimensional midfield set-up we have, even with Geovanni in the hole behind either striker, that sort of craft is going to be minimal until Jimmy Bullard’s knee is mended.
Buying Stephen Hunt, a good crosser of the ball from set-pieces or open play, suggests that height and strength in the box is an asset we are still going to need, and Cousin remains our best hope, in the short term, of providing that. Even the threat of Turner at dead balls has gone now, making any extra inches all the more important.
Burnley are reputed to be in for him as a loan player. Keep him until January at least, by which time Altidore and Ghilas will be on fire, we hope. Until then, new swashbuckling centre forwards turning up in the next two hours notwithstanding, it’s Cousin or Caleb Folan. Or, if you prefer, workrate versus actual goalscoring threat. Careful what you wish for…