Cardiff City Opinion: Signing Joe Day could be a massive coup for the Bluebirds
According to BBC Sports, recently-relegated outfit Cardiff City have been credited with an interest in Newport County shot-stopper Joe Day, with reports claiming that manager Neil Warnock is keen to bolster his ranks with some fresh additions ahead of the upcoming Championship season.
Day is out-of-contract at Newport County at the end of the month and the 28-year-old is expected to make a move to a bigger club on a free transfer this summer, having turned down a new deal at Rodney Parade earlier in the year. (h/t BBC Sports)
The Brighton-born shot-stopper was an ever-present for Newport County between the sticks in League Two this past season, playing a key role to guide the Exiles to the finals of the playoffs.
Newport eventually lost out to Tranmere Rovers in the final and missed the chance to secure promotion to League One but Day impressed with a total of 16 clean sheets in 43 league appearances.
A youth product of Crystal Palace, Day left his boyhood club to join non-league outfit Rushden & Diamonds and spent time on loan at Harrow Borough before moving to Peterborough United back in 2011.
He struggled to establish himself as the first-choice goalkeeper in Peterborough’s ranks and had loan stints at Alfreton Town, Eastbourne Borough and Newport County, joining the latter permanently back in December 2014 on the back of a successful loan spell.
Day hasn’t looked back since then and has carved out a huge reputation for himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Football League over the past few campaigns.
The 28-year-old might not be one of the household names in English football but it certainly won’t be an overstatement to say that he is one of the best in his position in League One and League Two combined, although he has played largely in the fourth-tier over the course of his career.
The 28-year-old has made a total of 243 appearances for Newport County in all competitions till date, accumulating 71 clean sheets in the process. Those impressive numbers speak volumes of his quality and experience as a goalkeeper in the lower echelons of English football and at 28, the time might just be right for him to test his credentials at a higher level.
To put things into perspective, Cardiff City have every reason to look at Joe Day as someone who could add a lot of depth to their squad in the Championship next season, despite the 28-year-old lacking any sort of experience of playing in the second-tier prior to this.
However, snapping him up for free won’t do the Bluebirds much harm, and in fact, it might as well prove to be a piece of shrewd business for the club.
Day has not only excelled in League Two but he has held his own more often than not against higher level opposition in FA Cup and League Cup games in recent years, meaning that there shouldn’t be very little concern about him making the step up to the Championship level.
Neil Etheridge, who was Cardiff’s undisputed No.1 between the sticks in the Premier League last season and arguably one of their most consistent performers, has attracted interest from a host of top-flight clubs and the Bluebirds might find it difficult to hold on to the 29-year-old Filipino international.
While Joe Day would be coming in on a free transfer, Etheridge’s potential sale is likely to boost Cardiff’s transfer budget significantly, and that could allow the Bluebirds to invest heavily in a bid to improve other areas of their squad.
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Critics might argue that Cardiff should look for a better replacement to fill in the boots of Etheridge, particularly with Warnock’s side expected to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
It is true that bringing in Joe Day would be somewhat of a gamble for Cardiff but, going by what the 28-year-old has shown over the years in League Two, it would be hard to back against him making the step up to the Championship with ease.