Huddersfield Town's Contract Situation


Only 9 games left in what has been a very hectic year on and off the pitch and unless Town collapse emphatically, Town will be a Championship side next season and can start planning properly for that.
A big decision for the Town hierarchy is which players will be retained and which will be let go. This summer is the first time that the club can properly clear out the squad since relegation. I have repeatedly said that this is the summer where I will judge Phil as a chairman on signings and his handling of the club, as up to this point, the club has been constricted by the legacy of the Premier League. 'Premier League legacy' has been a phrase thrown about a lot and fans have complained about the Training Ground not being up to a level you would expect after being in the Premier League. As a fan, I do sometimes think, 'why didn't we push to go back up?' or 'How have we gone from beating Manchester United at home to losing to Wycombe Wanderers?' A fan is entitled to that opinion, but when I do pieces on Town, I have to take the emotion out of my writing. So when I think of 'Premier League legacy' I don't do what most do, which is look at only the good things that the Premier League journey has left us, I have to look at the negatives, which most fans seem to gloss over.
Adama Diakhaby will have cost the club £25 million, Terence Kongolo approaching £40 million and we will have been lucky if we got a combined £10 million back from that £65 million. You will be thinking that we spent nowhere near that amount of those players, but you forget to take into account wages and bonuses, which you will be surprised at how much they raise the price of the deal overall. Now there will have been reductions due to relegation, but we still effectively had to pay Premier League transfer money and wages while we were in the Championship. This summer should be the first year that all the committed spending from the Premier League has gone.
On that note, I think it would be a good time to look at the out of contract players and whether I think we should keep them and then use the data I collected this week from the fan opinion and then compare with the same poll I took in November last year.

Fraizer Campbell

I asked my twitter followers the question in November and now in March whether they would keep Fraizer Campbell and the results are:

November March
Renew % 47 41
Option % - 32
Release % 53 32

You would have thought at the age of 33, you would have found your best position, but with Fraizer, I don't think he is a striker, I think he could potentially be a false 9, but I think he is more naturally a number 10 or even a box to box midfielder. I think he definitely adds energy to our side. I don't think he should be starting every game, but certainly someone who you bring on to see out a game. I believe he has an option for a further year, but I think it would be worth looking to offer him a new 1 year deal at reduced terms rather than use the option.
My Opinion: Offer new 1 year deal.

Romoney Crichlow

November March
Renew % - 85
Option % - 9
Release % - 6

I think it says enough that Romoney wasn't included in the poll in November, but now has been. He has been a hit with the fans with 85% of fans who took the poll wanting him to sign a new deal. Still at the age of 21 and someone with clear potential and is left footed, I don't think it should be even a question if we give him a new deal.
My Opinion: Offer new 3 year deal

Richard Stearman

November March
Renew % 34 51
Option % - -
Release % 66 49

I am not his biggest fan, but I understand his importance to the team. I know it is not cool to have a 33 year old centre back, but sometimes you need that experience. I personally would offer either him or Keogh a new deal. With Schindler leaving, we do need that experience, I don't think Stearman would play more than 10/15 games, and more importantly he can help REG and Crichlow.
My Opinion: Potential new 1 year deal

Tommy Elphick

November March
Renew % 2 1
Option % - -
Release % 98 99

I have nothing against the guy, but I don't think you can come back after 18 months and play at this level again.
My Opinion: Release

Jaden Brown

November March
Renew % 48 30
Option % 46 14
Release % 6 57

He blew his chance when he got sent off, Rowe is ahead of him now in the pecking order. I would keep him but maybe look to sell or loan out.
My Opinion: Use Option

Demeaco Duhaney

November March
Renew % 90 41
Option % - -
Release % 10 59

I don't think he is as bad as people make out. He has impressed me recently as I have been left unimpressed with many of his appearances earlier in the season. I think he is another one that needs a loan move out, but equally, I wouldn't be surprised if the club just released him altogether.
My Opinion: Offer 2 year deal

Carel Eiting

November March
Sign Him % 92 93
Send Him back % 8 7

The lad is brilliant, technically exceptional and I would go as far as to say he is on par if not better than Aaron Mooy. For me, I have reservations about his knee injuries, but if we can get him for less than the agreed optional fee, then I would definitely take him. But it all depends on the price. Potentially the knee injury may force Ajax to slash their asking price.
My Opinion: Sign him if under £2.5 million

Alex Vallejo

November March
Renew % 14 83
Option % 74 12
Release % 12 5

In November 14% of fans wanted to renew his contract, 5 months on, over 80% want a contract renewal. For me, I would only trigger the extension, as bad as it sounds, Alex has no value in the transfer market so there is no point tieing him down long term and given his age, it would be silly to give him longer than a new 2-year deal. I do like Vallejo but if we give him a long deal, what happened to Hefele at Forest (frozen out of the first team), could easily happen to Alex at Town and no one wants that to happen for the club or the player's sake.
My Opinion: Trigger Option

Juninho Bacuna

November March
Renew % 45 56
Option % 33 26
Release % 22 19

It does make me laugh when Town fans complain about not spending but then would be happy for one of our highest value assets walk away for free. Nearly 20% of people want Town to release a player who is worth in the region of £2.5 to £5 million. I get that his flicks and tricks will annoy people, but he is a good player at the end of the day. I would like Bacca to be given a new 3 year deal, but I think Town will trigger the option and sell him in the summer.
My Opinion: Trigger Option and Sell

Alex Pritchard

November March
Renew % 7 1
Option % 32 9
Release % 61 90

It just hasn't worked out like we all thought it would...
My Opinion: Release

Isaac Mbenza

November March
Renew % 35 83
Option % 47 11
Release % 19 6

One of the best set-piece takers in the league and one of the best we have had in years. Coming into this season most fans would have been right to question his commitment, but clearly this season has shown the Cowley's couldn't handle big-name players and all that Mbenza needed was the right coach behind him. I would love to see him stay like Bacuna for another few seasons, but like Juninho the club will be looking to move both on for a bit of money, so it is likely that they will trigger the extension.
My Opinion: Trigger Option and Sell

Yaya Sanogo

November March
Renew % - 78
Option % - -
Release % - 22

Good plan B striker that I think is only going to improve with regular minutes. Penalty miss was not great, but I liked that he stepped forward to take it. I would not be against seeing him here next season.
My Opinion: Offer 2-year deal

Jayson Leutwiler

November March
Renew % - 29
Option % - -
Release % - 71

Brought into to fill a temporary gap. I am expecting Town to sign someone of a bit more quality to fill it in the summer.
My Opinion: Release

Richard Keogh

November March
Renew % - 18
Option % - -
Release % - 82

There has been an agenda against since before he even signed, so I was not surprised to see 82% of fans want him gone. When he signed I was the same, but I have been very impressed with him recently. He adds a lot of experience and like Stearman helps with the young defenders who are breaking through. As I said with Stearman I would extend either of their contracts and maybe even have them on as a player-coach as we don't have a defending coach at Town at the moment.
My Opinion: Offer 1 year deal

Christopher Schindler

November March
Renew % 39 56
Option % 51 21
Release % 10 23

Now I don't want to be seen as calling Town fan's delusional, but I couldn't quite believe it when I saw 56% of fans wanting us to renew his contract. Chris will be up there in Town folklore for decades to come, but if it wasn't for him being on 35k a week, he would have gone last summer back to Germany. I think he deserves a piece to himself going over his brilliant career at Town and it would be a shame if he is doesn't get one last game at the John Smith Stadium. Schindler is my favourite Town player of all time, and while I don't want him to leave as much as anyone, he has a young family and is turning 31 this year. It has been a great 5 years with Chris, but as that cheesy saying goes: all good things come to an end.
My Opinion: Release