Solomon Taiwo has joined his former club Dagenham & Redbridge on loan until the end of the season after a disastrous year in South Wales for the midfielder.
A £250k move to bolster our weak central midfield area was a must last season, but Taiwo did not become that man and we again looked unbalanced with any Ledley/McPhail/Rae combination in the engine room.
A young and promising player, Taiwo had impressed against us for the Daggers in a Carling Cup tie, bossing our midfield that day and looking a combative, and strong presence. He made his debut against Doncaster Rovers, playing the final 20 minutes of a disappointing 2-0 away defeat. He then tasted action when replacing Ledley for the final few minutes as the 10 men held on for a crucial win at Reading following McPhail`s red card.
The fans had seen little so far, but Taiwo got his first start just days later when he was selected to face QPR. This was a woeful team performance with shambolic distribution from Paul Quinn, while Bothroyd appeared lazy and dis-interested. Taiwo was no worse than the rest, but was hauled off after 54 minutes and subsequently dropped.
Further subs appearances came against Derby (7 minutes) and Swansea City when Taiwo was simply hopeless during his calamitous 20 minute cameo. His contribution from that moment was extremely limited amid claims of a crisis of confidence. Thirteen minutes apiece against Doncaster Rovers and Peterborough United followed while he also tasted cup action against Bristol City, and the final minute of our defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
A troublesome knee injury, coupled with the loss of form meant that it was fully 8 months after his first Bluebirds start, that Taiwo made his second. This was against Derby County when Jones opted to rest his first teamers for the end-of-season ‘dead rubber` after a play-off place had been achieved.
A loan move to Colchester United, and a transfer to Norwich City over the summer both fell through and it is with some relief for all concerned that he will return to the lower leagues to try and re-buiild his stalling career. There were glimpses of promise, but certainly nothing to show Taiwo would be a successful Championship player. The expenditure of £250k just months before appearing in court on non-payment of HMRC debts – must also be questionable.
Budding statistical geeks may recognise that Taiwo never found a defined role in the team, and Dave Jones in fact couldn`t even decide who to replace when Taiwo made his 8 appearances from the subs bench – he ended up replacing 7 different players! (McPhail twice, and once for Whittingham, Ledley, Capaldi, Rae, Burke and Wildig). Indeed, even when substitutes off, it was in desperation with youngsters Aaron Morris and Josh Magennis (both now departed the club) replacing him.
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