Campbell Deal Affects Mason Role At Cardiff City
Cardiff City have landed their number one target for the January transfer window after lively striker Frazier Campbell joined the Bluebirds from Sunderland. Mackay had chased his target hard, and despite Sunderland suggested the move would not be completed until they had landed a replacement - CCFC and the player pushed the deal through in time for him to link up with his new team-mates during the warm weather training camp in Dubai this week.
Campbell adds pace, pedigree and Championship experience to the squad, while also possessing a proven goalscoring threat. Considering the fact that Nicky Maynard (knee injury) and Etien Velikonja (not ready for first team action) are highly unlikely to feature again this season - our choice of strikers would appear to be: Bellamy, Campbell, Helguson, Mason and Gestede.
The addition of Frazier Campbell gives us more options, and he will surely strengthen this squad towards a sustained promotion push. However, young striker Joe Mason is the man who will potentially be pushed aside to accommodate Campbell. Rudy Gestede will also see reduced action given the exciting new arrival.
Mason has not actually featured much this season. The 21 year old was a regular starter in the last campaign - largely due to his impressive form and our small squad. However, this season although he has made 23 league appearances - many of these have been from the bench. Indeed during a busy December schedule of 6 games, Mason made just three late appearances from the bench. His return of five goals is certainly not a poor contribution, and he is certainly deserving of a place in the matchday squad at least.
Malky Mackay has shown strong signs of rotation recently with Gestede displacing Helguson, and Mason selected to lead the line against Blackpool on Friday. All the strikers will need to get used to not being selected but Bellamy has been immense recently, Helguson is vastly experienced while Gestede offers another 'option' with his aerial prowess. Joe Mason, for all his skill, potential and dangerous movement - is the least natural 'striker' of our forwards and thus is more difficult to see a defined role for him.
Mason has played alone up front, as a second striker, and attacking midfielder and a winger at times. He will desperately hoping that he does not fall foul of the same versatility issues that prevented Darcy Blake from ever establishing himself in one position. Mason has proved to have exceptional professionalism, talent and potential but must continue to experience first team football if he is to develop.