After years of near misses, Cardiff finally secured promotion to the Premier League following a 0-0 draw with Charlton.
While securing the Championship title will be top of Malky Mackay’s list of priorities, he will surely have one eye on potential recruits for next season.
Following the success local hero Craig Bellamy has had this year, the Bluebirds’ gaffer might be tempted to try and attract more Cardiffians who fancy a crack at the big time with their hometown club, two of which are ex-players themselves.
Joe Ledley left Cardiff three years ago after the club failed to achieve promotion to the Premier League. Now that they are there, a crack at the England’s top flight, with his boyhood club, would surely appeal.
Having spent the last three years at Celtic, Ledley has gained experience of regular top-flight football and competed against the elite in the Champions League.
The tidy midfielder boasted an 87 per cent pass completion rate in Europe this year and similar displays would no doubt help to shore up Cardiff in the centre of the park.
Given that 18 of the 20 most accurate Premier League passers play for top-ten teams, and Park Ji-Sung is the only representative in the top 100 from the doomed bottom two, Ledley’s ball retention would be crucial to help ensure success.
James Collins also started his career with Cardiff in 2000 and spent five years with the club before moving to West Ham and then on to Aston Villa. Currently enjoying a second spell with West Ham following their bounce back to the Premier League, Collins has been pivotal in ensuring survival this year.
Like Ledley, the Welsh international offers a wealth of experience. Having attained 41 caps for his country and making over 150 Premier League appearances, the no-nonsense centre half knows what it takes to play at this level.
Collins will to keep the opposition out has been there for all to see this year having averaged the joint third most blocked shots per game. And, with younger options James Tomkins and Winston Reid now establishing themselves, he could become available for the right price.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.