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Cardiff City 2022-23 predictions: Where Bluebirds will finish, the best signing and the surprise package to watch

Cardiff City 2022-23 predictions: Where Bluebirds will finish, the best signing and the surprise package to watch

It is fair to say Cardiff City’s 2021/22 season was a poor one.

A languid start saw Mick McCarthy sacked and replaced by caretaker Steve Morison, who weathered the storm and steered the ship away from the unthinkable: Championship relegation.

With Morison now in place permanently and a major clearing of the decks having taken place this summer, there appears to be some newfound optimism in the Welsh capital. But how will the upcoming term play out?

READ MORE: Man Utd swoop to land Bluebirds highly-rated Academy boss as part of Old Trafford overhaul

Have the Bluebirds done enough in the transfer window to mount an assault on the top half, or even the play-offs? Will they struggle again? Here is what our writers think…

Glen Williams – Sawyers brings new dimension

Most exciting summer signing?

If Romaine Sawyers can capture what he was capable of at Brentford, I think Cardiff have made a very important signing. A player who can add a sprinkling of creativity and poise in a midfield which is well-stocked now with energy and legs.

For one reason or another, it didn’t work out at West Brom during his second stint with the club, but he showed flashes of his old self again at Stoke City last season. In Cardiff colours, he also looked particularly exciting against Swindon Town at the weekend. If Cardiff can add to their forward line and Sawyers can act as that go-between for the midfield and attack, he might just be the most important signing they have made.

Andy Rinomhota is another one I’m really glad to see through the door, too. He looks extremely dynamic and if Cardiff can keep him injury-free I expect him to be something of a mainstay in that midfield.

Surprise player/one to watch?

There are two who immediately spring to mind. Jamilu Collins is almost an unknown, but seems to have an incredible physique and is no slouch. He impressed onlookers during the club’s pre-season trip up to Scotland and I would expect him to be challenging for that first-choice left-back spot come the start of the season. Certainly one to watch.

And, secondly, Ollie Tanner, more so because no one really knows what to expect from him. In training his technique is impressing his colleagues, but the gnarled and grisly world of the Championship is a completely different beast all together.

He might surprise a few, hit his straps straight away and become an important player. It is just as likely the challenge of the Championship hits him like a smack in the face and he might take some time to adjust. Who knows?! But that’s part of the excitement, I suppose.

Where will Cardiff finish and why?

Well, let’s hope it’s higher than last season! Cardiff are a tricky one to pick at the minute, before a ball is kicked, because of the raft of changes at the club. Playing staff, coaching staff, style of play, it’s all been ripped up, really, which makes it hard to know what the season has in store.

A lot hinges on the forward additions. Cardiff’s striker options do not have enough goals in them to challenge those play-off spots and the signing of two quality centre-forwards will certainly better their chances. The midfield looks far better now, the wing-backs have better strength in depth, too, so does the goalkeeper stable.

But it’s a transitional season and I expect to see a different Cardiff when the campaign begins. Whether it all clicks straight away or not is a mystery as I write this, but, regardless of league position, if the football is changed for the better I’d see that as progress. Mid-table with more fit-for-purpose football is perhaps realistic.

Predicted position: 11th

Mathew Davies – Cardiff will be top 10 team

Most exciting summer signing?

I think Ebou Adams could be really important for Cardiff. For a long time they have lacked a player who is mobile enough to go box to box.

By all accounts he was excellent for Forest Green Rovers last season and he will add some bite in the Bluebirds engine room. That department looks a lot more solid now, with additions and the moving on of Marlon Pack, Will Vaulks and Leandro Bacuna, all very much similar players.

Let’s hope Adams’ shoulder injury that he picked up against Cambridge United in pre-season isn’t too bad.

Surprise player/one to watch?

I’m fascinated to see what Ollie Tanner can do this season. He has made a huge step up from Lewes to sign for a Championship but the fact Tottenham almost clinched his signature previously suggests there is a real player in there.

It was only a pre-season game but he looked lively against Cambridge United and although Steve Morison says he has to work on his end product, the initial signs are quite positive. He was exciting against Newport County, too. Will he get much of a look in this term? Obviously it’s a question with no answer right now but it will be interesting to watch how it pans out for him.

Where will Cardiff finish and why?

Cardiff have certainly got the bodies through the door they needed this summer but we won’t know how they will fare until the campaign gets going. On paper they’ve recruited in the right positions and have gone for good player profiles.

It will come down to who they get up front. They need one – possibly two – strikers to supplement the ones they have, who didn’t provide enough goals last season. If they can get a 15-goal-a-season forward, and perhaps a young Premier League striker in on loan, they could have a decent term.

Predicted position: 10th

Tom Coleman – Rinomhota will become a fans’ favourite

Most exciting summer signing?

On paper, I think Romaine Sawyers could be the best signing Cardiff have made in several years. He’s a player that knows this division inside out, and will hopefully bring a little bit of a creative spark in the final third. At the age of 30 he clearly has a few more years left in him and, having been a part of the West Brom side that marched their way to the Premier League in 2020, he knows exactly what it takes to succeed at the top end of this division.

This feels like a massively sensible piece of business, and I fully expect him to be a pivotal part of Steve Morison’s blueprint for the new campaign.

Surprise player/one to watch?

There are so many potential candidates, from the new recruits and indeed some of the players coming through the academy.

But I really think Andy Rinomhota has the hallmarks of potential fan favourite. Cardiff have lacked a true midfield enforcer since Aron Gunnarsson’s departure, but the former Reading man has all the qualities needed to bring some much-added steel to Cardiff’s engine room.

He’s not just a brutish bruiser, either. Yes, he clearly relishes getting stuck in, but he also likes to drive forward and make things happen in the final third. He’s a real box-to-box midfielder, and Morison’s progressive system could well help him thrive in a Cardiff shirt.

Where will Cardiff finish and why?

That’s such a hard question to answer, mainly because Cardiff are something an unknown quantity right now given the amount of upheaval seen over the summer. Last season was tough to watch at times, although Morison deserves credit for successfully staving off relegation. One would hope things will be better this time around, particularly after a full pre-season, but I don’t think we’ll really know where this squad is until the first few games of the season are out of the way.

I am quite concerned about where the goals are going to come from, mind. If you don’t have a real goalscorer in this division, you’re going to struggle. I really want Max Watters to come good, but counting on him would clearly be a massive gamble.

Should that situation go unresolved, I don’t see Cardiff anywhere near the top six – although a mid-table finish is, in such a transitional campaign, perhaps a more realistic aim anyway.

Predicted position: 12th


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