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Go for it Warnock – This 30-year-old Nigerian wall is just what Cardiff City need to fix their leaky defence



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Efe Ambrose would be a good signing for Cardiff City in January

According to Plymouth Live, Cardiff City are interested in signing Nigerian international centre-back Efe Ambrose after the 30-year-old terminated his contract with Scottish Premiership side Hibernian.

However, the same report claims that a formal offer for the free agent is yet to be made by the Bluebirds, with Turkish club Akhisarspor close to agreeing a deal with the former Celtic man.

Neil Warnock’s side are desperate to bring in some reinforcements in January to boost their chances of survival in the Premier League. Cardiff are currently placed 17th in the standings with 18 points from 21 games, just a couple of points clear of Southampton in the relegation zone.

The Wales-based club has the second worst defensive record in the Premier League this season, having conceded 41 goals already with a goal difference of -22. The Bluebirds cannot afford to ship goals at such an alarming rate in the second half of the season and they should aim to improve on their goal difference, something which can be turn out to be a deciding factor in their bid for survival.

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Sol Bamba has been the standout figure at the back for Cardiff City this season and the veteran has also chipped in with a couple of valuable strikes. However, Sean Morrison and Bruno Manga haven’t been too consistent, letting the team down with occasional lapses in concentration.

To put things into perspective, Cardiff should not hesitate to add another experienced defender to their squad to achieve a better defensive record in the second half of the season. And that is exactly where someone like Efe Ambrose fits the bill.

Ambrose is best remembered for his heroics in Celtic’s 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Champions League in 2012. He played for Bayelsa United and Kaduna United in his native land before joining Celtic in 2012 following a brief spell in Israel. Ambrose established himself as a seasoned campaigner at Celtic Park and played there for five seasons before joining Hibernian on loan in 2017.

The 30-year-old, who has 51 international caps for Nigeria, won the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and was an integral part of the Super Eagles team that tasted glory at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He was also a part of Nigeria’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Standing at 6ft. 3 inches with a towering frame, Ambrose is known for his versatility to play as a centre-back, right-back and also as a central midfielder due to his good range of passing and composure in possession.

He is a strong and powerful defender blessed with good aerial ability, who contributes a lot to the team with his work ethics. Furthermore, he is a hugely experienced customer with good leadership qualities and his presence at the back can be an invaluable asset to a team like Cardiff.

Read More:- 11 goals in 16 games – This 29-year-old goal machine is just what Warnock needs to solve Cardiff’s goal drought and relieve Paterson of his makeshift striker duties

Cardiff still have a good chance of surviving in the Premier League if they can string together a consistent run in the second half of the season. And the acquisition of Ambrose will only to a world of good to their chances of staying up in the top flight.

Cardiff City

Cardiff City should reignite their £10m pursuit of this 25-year-old midfield enforcer to add greater edge to their display



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Cardiff City Opinion: Warnock should move for Adrien Tameze in the summer

Towards the end of the January transfer window, a report from Wales Online claimed that Cardiff City were ready to reignite their interest in Nice midfielder Adrien Tameze.

The Bluebirds were interested in signing the former French youth international but they reportedly pulled out of negotiations after agreeing to pay £10million for his services. (h/t Daily Mail)

Tameze has caught the eye with his consistently impressive displays for Nice at the heart of midfield this season and has established himself as one of the first names on Patrick Vieira’s team sheet.

The 25-year-old midfield enforcer has made a total of 29 appearances for Nice in the Ligue 1 this season, claiming 2 assists.

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Cardiff, however, should be more interested in his qualities on the other end of the pitch. Renowned as an all-action tough-tackling midfielder, Tameze has excelled in a central defensive midfield role at Nice.

The Frenchman has earned rave reviews for his wonderful range of passing, as well as calmness and composure in possession and ability to dictate the tempo of the game from a deep position in the middle of the park.

Tameze has averaged 51.6 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 88.3, including 2.6 long passes and 0.7 key passes per game, figures reveal that he is the sort of player who registers a lot of touches on the ball throughout the game.

Noted for his strength, ball retention and uncompromised work-rate rate on and off the ball, the Frenchman works tirelessly carry the ball forward and close down the spaces, whilst also cutting out the attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions.

To put things into perspective, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Cardiff to reignite their interest in the midfield engine. Aron Gunnarsson, who has been an integral part of their midfield for a long time, is likely to depart the club in the summer.

The Icelandic international’s departure would leave a massive void in Cardiff’s midfield and the Neil Warnock apparently doesn’t have an ideal replacement to call upon.

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Moreover, Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa are on loan from Bournemouth and Real Betis respectively and there is no guarantee that either of them would stay beyond the ongoing season.

Cardiff were tipped to be one of the bookmakers’ favourites to go back to the Championship but the Bluebirds have fought tooth and nail to hold on to their Premier League status.

Neil Warnock’s side is still alive in the race to beat the drop this season but they should aim for better things next season.

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With that being said, Adrien Tameze can certainly prove to be an influential signing and Cardiff should go all out in their pursuit of the 25-year-old in the summer.

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Transfer blunder waiting to happen? Here is why Cardiff City should steer clear of a £7m deal to sign this 22-year-old attacker



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Cardiff City Opinion: Why Cardiff would commit a blunder by signing Luis Diaz

According to Marca, Cardiff City are set to make a £7million bid for South American starlet Luis Diaz who currently plies his trade with Colombian club Atletico Junior.

The AS reports that Diaz’s agent Carlos van Strahalen has confirmed Cardiff’s interest in the promising 22-year-old Colombian international.

Diaz has been a revelation since breaking into Atletico’s first team in 2017 and has caught the eye with his impressive performances, accumulating 17 goals and 6 assists from 57 appearances for the club.

He has been in decent touch this season as well, scoring twice and setting up another two from 8 appearances in the Liga Aguila.

Meanwhile, Cardiff did a world of good to their chances of avoiding relegation in the Premier League with a well-earned 2-0 victory over West Ham last week.

The Bluebirds have fought hard, having shown plenty of resilience in the top flight under the stewardship of Neil Warnock and they are still very much in with a chance of beating the drop.

The Wales-based club currently sit 18th in the standings but they are just two points adrift of safety, and with eight games remaining in the Premier League, the tables might as well turn in Cardiff’s favour.

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The absence of a prolific centre-forward has been one of Cardiff’s major problems this season, whilst a lack of creativity has also hit them hard at times.

The tragic death of club-record signing Emiliano Sala in January was a massive blow to Cardiff’s chances of surviving in the Premier League and Neil Warnock has been forced to rely on the misfiring Oumar Niasse who was signed on loan from Everton.

Junior Hoilett, who was supposed to be one of the mainstays of Cardiff’s attack, has lit up the scene with moments of individual brilliance but he has lacked the levels of consistency that was expected of him. The other attackers like Bobby Reid, Kadeem Harris, Danny Ward and Kenneth Zohore hasn’t delivered the goods consistently either.

To put things into perspective, Cardiff are in dire need of reshaping their squad next summer irrespective of what the future holds for them in the Premier League.

The Bluebirds have a good blend of youth and experience in their ranks but they need to bring in a few fresh faces faces to bolster their attack. And Luis Diaz might not be the best possible option for that purpose.

Granted, the 22-year-old has shown signs of promise and has already been capped once at the senior level by Colombia but Cardiff need to rethink their stance given that he is still an unproven talent at the highest level.

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The fact that many young players from the South American leagues have failed to make an impact in the Premier League over the years should make Cardiff all the more apprehensive.

Considering the current scenario in the transfer window, Cardiff aren’t the richest of clubs in England and shelling out such an amount to sign a rookie might not be the best idea.

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If Cardiff are genuinely interested in the player, they should continue to keep tabs on his progress for at least another season or negotiate a loan deal to try him out on a temporary basis.

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Robert Snodgrass to continue on the right-wing? – Predicted 4-2-3-1 West Ham XI to face Cardiff City



Predicted West Ham line-up to face Cardiff City in the Premier League

West Ham will look to improve their away form when they travel to south Wales to face Cardiff City in a Premier League game on Saturday.

The Hammers defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at home last weekend and will be confident of getting a positive result against a relegation-threatened Cardiff side.

Cardiff City are currently two points adrift of Southampton in 17th but a win against West Ham on Saturday could see them leapfrog the Saints.

Team News

Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena have been passed fit to face the Bluebirds.

Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are long-term absentees.

Probable West Ham XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

Lukasz Fabianski (GK)

Fabianski has been one of the top performing players for the Hammers and he will be keen to keep a clean sheet against Cardiff.

Ryan Fredericks (RB)

Fredericks has done very well in the last two games and deserves to keep his place at right-back.

Issa Diop (CB)

The Frenchman has been a regular under Pellegrini, keeping things tight at the back. He will retain his place in the team.

Angelo Ogbonna (CB)

Ogbonna has featured regularly since the injury to Balbuena. Despite Balbuena attaining full fitness, Pellegrini will go with Ogbonna in central defence.

Aaron Cresswell (LB)

Cresswell has recovered from niggle picked up last weekend and is raring to make a mark against Cardiff.

Declan Rice (CM)

Rice has been one of West Ham’s best players this season. The youngster has become an indispensable figure for Pellegrini’s side.

Mark Noble

Mark Noble (CM)

Noble is going strong and putting in solid shifts. Under Pellegrini, he remains a key member of the squad.

Robert Snodgrass (RW)

A tireless worker, Snodgrass likes to pick up important spaces and create chances for his teammates.

Manuel Lanzini (CAM)

Lanzini is tailor-made for the no.10 role at West Ham. The clever Argentine possesses a lot of qualities with which he can rip apart Cardiff to shreds single-handedly.

Marko Arnautovic

Felipe Anderson (LW)

Anderson is a classy operator of the ball and plays with a lot of speed, flair and intensity. The Brazilian can be a threat all day long for the hosts.

Read more: West Ham United would be capable of fueling European hopes by making a move for this stunning 11-goal La Liga ace

Marko Arnautovic (ST)

This game could see Arnautovic lead the attack for the Hammers. With his pace and power, he can be a real handful for the Cardiff defenders.

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