Why I think the Sean St Ledger rumour is encouraging
If we really have sent scouts to look at Sean St Ledger, I think this is a genuinely encouraging move. Not because I would like us to sign him (I actually think he's not really good enough but would love to be proved wrong) but because we are scouting players from the Championship.
I genuinely don't think we have done this for a long time. We have signed players with potential from the lower divisions but very rarely have we looked at established Championship players who have the talent to step up.
And there are plenty of them out there you know? Tim Cahill, Scott Dann, Roger Johnson, Chris Brunt, Ashley Young, Matt Jarvis, Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott are just a few who have stepped up to the Premiership, either through promotion or transfer, in the last few years.
If I have a criticism of our scouting and reserves set up over the last decade it's that we haven't done enough of this. The last player I can remember us signing in this way was Danny Murphy.
That said, I do think our scouting set up and youth teams have been, at the very least, made up of talented people trying very hard to do the right things for a long time now. And I also believe we have some young players who will prove that the last five years of youth recruitment have actually been successful when they come to fruition.
But for now, for after the January transfer window and for the foreseeable future, a few players like the ones listed above could really help us out. And the Championship is clearly a fertile breeding ground for them.