Tom’s Transfer Talk – For Sale: Unwanted Talent

 

Credible Rumours are starting to emerge linking some of Port’s bit-part players with moves away from PAT Stadium. After investing huge sums of money in a horde of players who are clearly second, third or even fourth choice in their positions, Port’s scattergun recruitment policy now puts us in a position where a lot of promising talent will either be stagnating on the bench, loaned out or sold.

That so many promising youngsters agreed to join Port in the first place is looking increasingly like a misjudgement on their part, and the lack of interest the club is showing in their development probably means that fewer will be attracted to the club in the future. The likes of Jaturapat (81) and Chatmongkol (14) were never likely to see significant minutes at the time they signed, but new signings have since shunted them even further down the pecking order. The exit door beckons for these two and more. Here’s what I’ve seen on Facebook groups and in media over the last week or so.

 


 

Chakrit Rawanprakone, who was probably the first victim of Port’s lack of transfer strategy back in 2017, has finally departed the club. Signed early in the 2017 transfer window, Port then brought in Nurul and Bordin, leaving Chakrit nowhere near contention. After briefly trying to convert the left winger in to a right back, Port gave in and loaned him out to MOF customs, where he spent last season. Chakrit apparently doesn’t have a new club yet, but hopefully will be picked up by a T1 or T2 outfit soon. That’s two and a half years of his career he probably wishes he could have back.

 

 

Chatmongkol Thongkiri (14) was only signed earlier this year, but the arrivals of Chappuis (17) and Kanarin (31) have meant that he’s unlikely to even get a place on the Port bench now. There are rumours linking the central midfielder with a loan move to Muangthong, which makes sense after the departure of Sarach. Some are saying this is already a done deal, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case.

 

 

Kanarin Thakornsak (31) himself is also so the subject of numerous rumours. Despite an excellent start to the season in Port’s first XI, the likelihood of him starting a big chunk of games is not great. Police were mentioned in one rumour, while former Port boss Uncle Chuai, who has taken a few former Port players to Nongbua Pichaya, has also sent admiring glances his way. In a world that made sense we’d keep Kanarin and loan out Chappuis, but that outcome seems very unlikely.

 

 

Jaturapat Sattham (81) is another who is unlikely to even make it on to the bench, with the arrival of Thitawee Aksornri (3) last week probably putting him fourth in the left back pecking order. Police Tero were reported to be targeting him as a replacement for Thitawee, but they’ve since signed another left back, so this rumour is a little up in the air.

 

 

Two current and one former Port players have reportedly been snapped up by BG Pathum, although this news has only just appeared, and I haven’t seen confirmation from either club yet. Versatile defender Athibordee Athirat (35) and forward Chenrop Samphaodi (39) are the current Port players in question, whilst injury-prone winger Pinyo Inpinit played a single league game for us in 2016 . With BG’s squad depth, it wouldn’t surprise me if one or all of these three end up seeing action for one of BG’s feeder teams like Chiang Mai or Khon Kaen, although I suspect Chenrop will probably make the cut. No, life really isn’t fair.

 

 

Even if all of these players end up departing, expect more to follow. The likes of Todsapol (6), Yossawat (32), Tanakorn (33), Nattawut (45) and Sansern (69) are all unlikely to see any significant game time, and may well be looking for a way out too. Lest we forget, Josimar (30) is still on the books and working his way back from a serious injury, too!

 


 

What do I make of all of this? We’re really, really bad at this transfer business. That doesn’t mean the players we’re signing are bad, rather that we’ve hoovered up a lot of promising talent with no intention of either using or developing that talent. Just having it. It’s no good just having players, players should be part of the manager’s first team plans, offering necessary squad depth or out on loan developing for the future benefit of themselves and the club. If they’re not doing any of these things, they should never have been signed. After signing a player who could offer a meaningful contribution, don’t then spend loads of money on someone of a similar standard, meaning that one of the signings is pointless. Choose players carefully, tell them what is expected of them and what they can expect of the club in return and you can build a strong, cohesive squad with positive morale. Last year’s league champions did it without spending a great deal of money, and we would do well to follow their example, rather than continue to indiscriminately throw money at nothing in particular.

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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