Cardiff City Opinion: Signing Joe Day could be a risk worth taking
According to BBC, Cardiff City have been credited with an interest in Newport County shot-stopper Joe Day, with the report claiming that the Bluebirds are looking to make a few additions to their ranks ahead of the upcoming Championship season.
However, if Cardiff are really serious about bringing the 28-year-old to the club this summer, then they would need to fend off interest from other Football League clubs Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town, as reported by Bristol Live.
Joe Day is expected to leave Newport County upon the expiry of his current contract at the end of the month, and although the Exiles have a fresh deal for him on the table, the shot-stopper is likely to have his head turned by the interest from Cardiff City. (h/t BBC)
The 28-year-old made a total of 43 appearances for Newport County in League Two this past season and helped the Exiles make it to the finals of the playoffs, where a defeat at the hands of Tranmere Rovers ended their chances of securing promotion to the third tier.
A youth product of Crystal Palace, Day played non-league football for the likes of Rushden & Diamonds and Harrow Borough before making his Football League debut with Peterborough United back in 2014.
However, he failed to nail down a regular first-team role at Peterborough and spent time on loan at Alfreton Town, Eastbourne Borough and Newport County, joining the latter permanently in 2015 on the back of a successful loan spell.
The Brighton-born shot-stopper hasn’t looked back since then and has established himself as one of the best in his position in the fourth-tier over the years, registering a total of 71 clean sheets in 243 appearances for Newport in all competitions.
As a matter of fact, Day has proven himself to be head and shoulders above League Two level and at 28, the time might just be right for him to take the next big step in his career and test his credentials at a higher level.
To put things into perspective, Cardiff City have a rebuilding job on their hands this summer now that they are back in the Championship following their relegation from the top-flight.
The Bluebirds will be expected to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and a few new arrivals are likely to boost the team morale ahead of the upcoming season as well as help Neil Warnock tie up the loose ends.
Neil Etheridge, who was one of the standout performers for Cardiff in the Premier League last term, has attracted interest from a host of top-flight clubs and the Bluebirds might eventually be forced to part company with the Filipino international.
However, even if Cardiff manage to hold on to their prized asset, bringing in Joe Day on a free transfer as a back-up for Etheridge could prove to be a piece of shrewd business by the club.
It is true that Day doesn’t have any prior experience of playing in the Championship, but there should be very little concerns about him making the step up to the second tier given that the 28-year-old has held his own against higher level opposition in Newport’s FA Cup and League Cup fixtures in recent years.
To say that he is one of the best, if not the best, in League One and League Two combined is certainly not an overstatement by any means, and Cardiff City have every reason to look at him as a viable option between the sticks next term.
While Day is set to arrive on the cheap, Neil Etheridge’s sale is likely to fetch Cardiff City a sizeable fee, and that could allow the Bluebirds to invest in other areas of their squad before the next season gets underway.
The fans might argue that the club should look for a more tried and tested alternative to Etheridge in the market but Joe Day won’t be the worst choice for the Bluebirds given his top-drawer performances at Rodney Parade in League Two.
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That said, they should not hesitate to snap up the 28-year-old for free this summer, irrespective of what the future holds for Neil Etheridge.