Giovanni van Bronckhorst has further muddied the waters over Ridvan Yilmaz, John Souttar and Ben Davies (and Helander and Roofe) by refusing to reveal why they’re not part of the first team or indeed where they are.
Yilmaz and Davies, of course, are on the bench on a permanent basis, and Gio refused to clarify exactly why they’re not playing, despite his spending £10M on the high-profile pair, but it gets even murkier.
Davies and Souttar have had rumours surrounding them for weeks – ‘personal reasons’ cited as the reason.
We know Davies’ wife is ill, and we know Souttar has had a bereavement, but Souttar was never officially granted compassionate leave, and Davies wasn’t either.
Now, the reason this matters is assistant coach Roy Makaay WAS granted this, and it was announced the former striker had personal matters to attend to and would be away for a while.
But nothing similar was ever confirmed for Souttar or Davies, which makes us believe it isn’t the case for them.
As for Ridvan, he, like Davies, sits on the bench match after match never playing. It is bizarre, but while previously we suggested he wasn’t ready, well, end of the day it’s still £5.5M of talent wasting away.
Then there’s Filip Helander. Gio says he, like John Souttar, is months away – the manager confirmed neither of them will be available in the coming weeks, so you can instantly discount this and next month, with a slim chance either of them will be available before next year.
The one positive was Kemar Roofe, who there’s some small optimism that he could become available some time before mid-October, but we don’t know for sure.
It’s…. all a bit messy, frankly, and we’ve not even touched on yet another match with so few new signings even starting – just Colak was there, with Matondo not even on the bench.
So, yeah, mysterious, strange and odd. All in one.