We’re entering that stage of the season where we’re not only trawling through the rumour mill looking for potential bargains or ‘next big things’ but also keeping an eye on the Sixfields stands for scouts, managers and coaches of other clubs. There’s not a lot of diamonds amongst the rough to be fair but one man stands alone as the prized Cobblers asset this winter and that’s Michael Jacobs.
‘Crackers’ burst onto the scene in the summer of 2010 and has, ever since, been slowly crafting his art enough for scouts from as far up as the Championship to take notice. With the midfielder’s contract up in the summer there’s an extra focus on this transfer window, particularly with the club’s current plight sitting second bottom of the Football League.
Jacobs has expressed that he’s happy to stay but can we really afford to hold onto a man who could walk away for a fraction of his worth in the summer. It’s an age old problem when it comes to the January window with a ‘stick or twist’ mentality coming into play for managers. Do we hold onto Jacobs and hope that he signs on a new contract in the summer or accept a more sizeable offer now and give the money to Aidy Boothroyd to try and strengthen his new squad?
I’m more inclined personally to let him go. Even if he does help to turn our fortunes around and gets us to mid-table come May where does that leave him? Is that enough for a young man with real potential, to be finishing in the middle of the bottom tier? Jacobs has massive ambitions which he’s been very open about to be fair to him and if an appropriate offer comes in now we should accept, move on quickly and install a squad that will not only get us out of the fine mess that we’ve been left in by the previous regime but challenge next season at the right end of the table.
It could be argued that we’re in no position to be needing to sell our best player, that the last thing we should be doing is getting rid of a man who could potentially keep us in the league but as far as I see it we could get at least two or three decent players in with even half of what could be a good sum taken in from Jacob’s sale.
It also allows the player to fulfil his ambitions with an example over the Christmas weekend that should help to give him an extra spark. Mark Bunn was thrust, finally, into the lime light at Anfield with the Cobblers youth team graduate pulling off a couple of top class saves to earn Blackburn Rovers an unlikely point. It took Bunn a while, and some luck in terms of an injury to long term number one Paul Robinson, to get there but I’m sure I wasn’t the only Cobbler feeling immense pride at watching Match of the Day and seeing Bunny get his moment.
Should Jacobs be the next to progress we should wish him every success…I for one would prefer it to happen now rather than sweat it out in the summer when we’re unlikely to be able to compete for his services with those higher up.
As always, I welcome opinions from all Cobblers fans and beyond!