Sitting just four points above the drop zone a year on from a season where they nearly made the Playoffs in the Championship, Cardiff City are looking to the January transfer window for sparks in the push for distance from the bottom and potentially a climb up the table. They have brought in Manchester City‘s Tommy Doyle on loan for the rest of the campaign, an exciting youngster who may be just what they need.
The Impact Tommy Doyle Is Set to Have in Welsh Capital
Bluebirds Confirm Tommy Doyle Loan From Manchester City
Cardiff City have confirmed the arrival of Tommy Doyle from Manchester City. His loan move with Hamburger SV which was set to run until the end of the season was cut short earlier this month as he only made six Bundesliga 2 appearances. Manchester City recalled him to find him more playing time.
A move to the second tier of English football was the perfect move for all parties involved.
Experienced for His Age
Even though Doyle is just 20-years-old, he is a mature head on young shoulders. The current England U21 international has worn the captain’s armband for each of England’s youth teams from the U16 to U20 level.
His initial call-up to the Manchester City U23 team from the U18 setup occurred in the January of 2019 when he was just 17-years-old. He amassed 50 appearances for the U23s, earning the captain’s armband on multiple occasions.
He has trained a considerable amount under the oversight of Pep Guardiola as well, making seven senior appearances in Manchester.
Tommy Doyle Provides Much-Needed Creativity in Midfield
Despite mainly playing as a number eight or number six in the midfield (and even occasionally dropping as deep as centre-back), it is Doyle’s creativity from the heart of the pitch that sets him apart and put him in Guardiola’s mind. In 18 Premier League 2 matches last campaign, he found the back of the net four times and provided 10 assists.
Cardiff’s midfield unit focally consisting of Joe Ralls, Marlon Pack, Will Vaulks, Leandro Bacuna, and youngster Rubin Colwill is not terrible on paper, but the one department they severely lack in is creativity. Those five midfielders have combined for nine assists over this season’s 25 matches, and Ralls alone accounts for five of those. The midfield may do enough defensively, but going forwards, the Bluebirds faithful have demanded to see more in terms of creativity from the middle of the park. As offensive innovation has been absent in most matches, the backline has been unnecessarily strained and the goal-scoring supply line, spearheaded by the talented Kieffer Moore, has often been cut off.
In comes Doyle, a midfielder with solid defensive acumen and an eye to assist. He is talented at set-piece taking, an asset Moore can profit off of. Unlike many of Cardiff City’s current midfielders, Doyle’s first instinct when the ball comes to his feet is to advance the play forward via through-balls to the centre-forwards or low-driven long balls to the flanks of the pitch. He is composed when necessary and does not force attacks, but his instincts are primarily to go forwards, exactly the instinct the Bluebirds’ midfield has lacked all season.
As always with young loans for players who have spent the majority of their career in the youth ranks at one club, it is hard to perfectly predict how they will perform at the senior level in one of the most physical leagues in the world. However, if he is able to demonstrate the strengths he showed for Manchester City and England’s top youth teams, then Cardiff will have secured themselves the creative, forward-thinking midfielder they have so desperately need.