|You're the Bunn for ME, Harry|
Written by Mullet on Tuesday, 1st Aug 2017 16:43
After freelance journalist Alan Nixon threw the social media space of ITFC fans into turmoil, the expectation of a striker from a Premier League club predictably sent cynics and dreamers into action.
As the morning gave rise to the news that Mick McCarthy was apparently in fact targeting Harry Bunn of Huddersfield perhaps many of us were left perplexed.
Predominantly a left winger who was played on the right and up front for a handful of loan clubs, Bunn far from fits the mould when it comes to Nixon’s description. However, a delve through his career soon reveals the cause of confusion.
The excellent lengths the Man City academy go to means we have this footage showing the raw talent of a player they had from a very early age.
Clearly at the start of the video at age 17 or so he calls himself a striker, however, tracking him off the ball shows that he naturally likes to drift on the overlap. This makes the left-wing conversion obvious when looking at the runs he takes.
Based on this clip it’s clear that Harry has a habit of getting his head down and driving on the diagonal. Lots of his goals come from simple low shots with either foot past keepers. A low centre of gravity, he competes for the ball so he can turn his man and run in on goal.
From a developmental point of view, Bunn looks most like Paul Anderson to me. He’s not exactly a carbon copy, but you can see a similarity in tendencies, rather than particular skills or attributes. While Ando was indeed helping us to a top-six finish, Mark Robins took Bunn from his boyhood club to Huddersfield full-time.
A successful loan turned permanent. Here you can see the impact having a settled 'home' had on the youngster. Previously he had been shipped around the league below managing very few appearances before suffering a devastating knee injury whilst down in Cheshire with Crewe.
Clearly, he matured into a left-sided player who favours coming on his right foot. This gives Ipswich a perfect balance to Danny Rowe on the right. Interestingly Bunn seems to be the polar-opposite of another Man City alumni and fellow left winger at Town, Bersant Celina. All this footage shows a distinct lack of crosses, and moreover that he prefers to drill the ball across the keeper or the area for others.
Likewise, he tends to drift in to the edge of the box and collect loose balls. Something very old-fashioned and you’d hope to see from Emyr Huws and Tom Adeyemi too this season. Grant Ward did it on his debut to profound effect, so if all four can perfect the timing to grab a few goals each Town’s threat would dramatically increase.
Nothing illustrates his tendency to wait on space than this goal against his old club. Letting his colleagues draw the full-back and making use of the big pitch to find the room and angle to score an important goal.
While those who might be concerned about his lack of assists can see that Bunn is neither a vaunted set-piece specialist nor does he deliver the ball so much as he forces the attacking opportunity, his 19 career goals in 115 appearances or 17 in 96 at this level (all for the Terriers) might look equally uninspiring in isolation. The key is how this translates across the whole side. A question of who and how many players can add to their tally regularly rather than needing to be relied upon to score each week.
What Bunn would give us is a definite second style and approach for the left-wing spot, and a sense that even reversion back to a flat 4-4-2 can still change mid-game. Celina can move off the striker à la David McGoldrick, Bunn can move up next to Joe Garner et al giving us a left-sided Freddie Sears in effect and he’s not too dissimilar in terms of providing us with more balance.
With Rowe and Ward the likely candidates for the right-hand side it means Mick can play with two out and out attacking wingers, two defensive ones, or a mix and match approach in the flat 4-4-2.
The flexibility within midfield to play one or two sitters or mirror it with attacking options will also demand that however Bunn would fit in and whoever Mick selects or has fit will need to be versatile and able to adapt to long and short-term roles.
Overall there is a sense that his time is up this summer at the Terriers, and that maybe Bunn was nowhere near Premier League standard.
Tom Ince’s arrival sparked some sense that the old guard who got them up were ready to be phased out including Bunn. It’s interesting to contemplate that Bunn may have been someone on McCarthy’s shopping list for a long time, as is often the case. Equally, with Celina and more than likely Huws; to be on at least nodding terms with the former academy captain, perhaps Mick took counsel from those already at the club.
The fact that the Huddersfield Town footage is from Wyscout means that should Mick have somehow failed to notice Bunn at all, the software system Town use would presumably allow him to review and scout players retrospectively. It was of course heralded for bringing us our Danish mainstay Jonas Knudsen and is something we might have expected more use from since.
This detailed piece from the Guardian previewing his heroics against his old club shows the close bond with his dad, who played for Oldham and was a coach at Huddersfield, the triumph over a serious cruciate injury and the determination to make it in the game.
It paints Bunn in the kind of light that you can easily see him fitting into our side. Indeed, if Mick’s nemesis directed tape measures at forearms during the medicals, one can assume Mick has a sample taken and test for grit when eyeing his prospective diamonds.
What Bunn does do is reconfirm the current state of the club and Marcus Evans’ approach. Like Ward, like Webster, there is a sense we will only spend something under £1 million on someone with the potential to contribute and add short-term impact. Potential to improve with the hope of long term value to us is all over this move.
While the debate over spending power and investment was fuelled by the recent lurch back into pre-season disaster there is sense, not of panic but poise here.
If this transfer wasn’t long planned then as a reaction it is a small but telling gesture, that doesn’t stray too far from the blueprint all over the club for the last five years or so. Harry is not the name or player that will unite fans immediately or dazzle, but maybe over time he’ll be one we can really, really love.
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