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Wright-Phillips Link?

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Mark Hughes is still being heavily linked with a January move for Manchester City winger, Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Wright-Phillips is rumoured to be one of a few players high on the shortlist of manager Mark Hughes as the second week of trading in the January transfer window comes to a close. Having played under Sparky before, it is clear where the link has come from, however, there is expected to be more than a hint of truth behind this gossip-column story, with our gaffer himself refusing to rule out a move for the right midfielder.

Hughes stated in a press conference ahead of the game against Wigan on Saturday;

'He's a player I've worked with, a player I know.

'There's a number of players out there that there's speculation about that I've worked with before.

'It's unfair for me to comment on specific situations or specific players.'

When asked if Fulham had made a move for Ian Wright's son, Hughes claimed;

'I think those conversations happen all the time in terms of what's available and who you're releasing.

'Those conversations have been had not only with Man City but almost every club in the Premier League.

'Certainly, we've enquired at a number of clubs in terms of what they're likely to be allowing out.'

So, Hughes has hardly been open about this potential acquisition, yet, his refusal to deny the link suggests that we may well be after the pacey winger. Whether the deal will be a permanent one and whether the player is really a necessary purchase are two questions that can't hastily be answered.

One would have to assume that any deal would be short term due to restrictions on our finances, and, while Wright-Phillips is a top drawer player, would we want to see the likes of Simon Davies and Damien Duff dropped in order to find the 29 year-old some room in the starting eleven?

I would say it's unfair on Davies to drop him straight out of a side that he has worked incomprehensibly hard for over the past few years, however, Duff's form of late has taken a drop and more pace on the wings can only be a good thing. Assuming Duff is the man to lose his place, though, we are left with two right-footed wingers roaming both flanks, which, in itself, causes problems.

All in all then, if the deal goes through then we've captured a great player, yet, I would urge Hughes to be on the look out for a striker first, and then maybe delving into the market for a winger. What we need and what we want are two very different things.