Winner of the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year 2011 award and short-listed for the PFA Player of the Year Award, Scott Parker played the football of his career in 2010-11.
Despite playing his best season yet, including some impressive stints with the England national team, Parker found himself on a relegated squad come May. His valiant efforts failed to save the team, and the suitors came calling.
The West Ham faithful wait with baited breath for definitive news of Parker’s future. Here are the six most likely destinations of the West Ham midfielder.
In April of 2011, Mirror Football reported interest in Parker from Man City.
Apparently, Man City looked ready to duke it out with Tottenham for the midfield talisman. At this point, it seems unlikely Parker will go to City, but the Citizens certainly have an interest in collecting big names, and Parker wouldn’t make a bad fit alongside the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva.
But all in all, City seems the team on this list least likely to nab Parker, mostly because the squad doesn't really need him.
An article in the Daily Mail displays the typical sort of rumor swirling around Arsenal and Parker since the spring.
Certainly Parker would favor a move within his home city of London, but the whole thing seemed weird from the get go. Packed with the likes of Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, the Arsenal midfield certainly doesn’t need Parker.
Furthermore, Arsenal maintains a relatively young average age in 2011, and the 31-year-old Parker would be a fish out of water—a temporary replacement in face the pending departure of Cesc Fabregas.
At this point, a move to Arsenal seems relatively unlikely for Parker, though certainly more likely than a move to any team not on this list.
Tottenham offers all the right ingredients for Parker: a chance to contend in Europe, the opportunity to play alongside the likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, a short trip north from West Ham and an English manager who likes using English players.
Add to that the litany of articles asserting an impending move to Spurs and it’s hard to think Parker would go anywhere else. Certainly he would make a good addition to Spurs midfield and the team can afford Parker’s wages, but some elements in the equation are amiss.
For starters, West Ham claims Spurs have yet to make an offer for Parker. Of course, Redknapp likes to make last minute deals, but Sam Allardyce attests that Parker will have signed a new contract with West Ham if the Spurs wait too long to make a move.
If Tottenham wants Parker, they’ll have to take him soon; and it looks like Spurs have other things on their minds.
Aston Villa is overhauling and Scott Parker is just the kind of player suited to stepping into such a situation to make a big impact.
Various sources report Villa’s interest in the player, including the Daily Mail, and with a new manager looking to make a big impact after a disappointing season, the Villains look like a prime destination for Parker.
What’s more, Villa recently lost three of its most important players in Stewart Downing, Ashley Young and Brad Friedel. Bringing Parker in would please faithful supporters and help make up for the loss of these key players.
Chelsea’s new wunderkind manager Andre Villas-boas reportedly wants Parker as a temporary replacement for Michael Essien.
According to articles such as this one in the Guardian, West Ham wants £4m for a half-season loan for Scott Parker, in addition to having the Blues pay Parker’s £70,000 a week.
Though Chelsea balked at the steepness of the loan fee, we all know owner Roman Abramovich has bottomless pockets. What’s more, the Russian tycoon gets his man when he wants his man, and loves nothing more than collecting trophies.
The loan deal would benefit both teams, as West Ham would win considerable money and get Parker back in January, while Chelsea would have a top player to fill the void left during Essien’s injury.
At first, Liverpool seemed the most likely destination for West Ham’s 31-year-old talisman. Then the Reds signed Charlie Adams and Jordan Henderson—and the Arsenal versus Tottenham furor arose.
As those prospects declined at the north London squads, Aston Villa and Chelsea stepped up their interest. But West Ham seems reluctant to let go of Parker and set an asking price too high for a man with only a handful of top years left in him.
With Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan now on board at West Ham, the team looks primed for success in the championship and positive long-term prospects in the EPL.
With the unlikelihood of prolonged success at any top club, West Ham seems the most attractive option available to Parker. Add to that the England international’s commitment to his east London side and its fans, and you have a recipe for Parker staying put.
*Warning: this slide may contain wishful thinking*