Should Chesterfield sell or keep Kabongo Tshimanga in the January transfer window?

Kabongo Tshimanga.Kabongo Tshimanga.
Kabongo Tshimanga.
With the January transfer window just around the corner, the situation with Kabongo Tshimanga is an interesting one.

Will Birmingham City come back in for him? Will another Football League club make a bid? Or will he stay and help fire Town to promotion?

Chesterfield have gone from having a 25-goal striker, who mopped up at the player of the year awards and who was being linked with several different clubs higher up the pyramid, to one who is now not a regular starter.

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His total record for the Spireites is a staggering 32 goals in 50 appearances. This time last season he had bagged 18 goals. He has only managed seven so far this term, but he has only started six times, and he is still the club’s joint top scorer. So there is no doubt that he is still a deadly finisher, but Joe Quigley has been the preferred man to play the lone striker role and, in fairness, has done it well and notched five goals and two assists. He is also a big reason why those playing behind him have the numbers that they have (Armando Dobra - five goals, four assists) and (Liam Mandeville - four goals, six assists).

With 18 months left on his contract, there is a decision to be made on Tshimanga. A new deal seems unlikely at this stage. So they either sell him in January (if they receive any bids) and use the funds to bring in another forward, or they reject the temptation to let him depart and hope he can help them win promotion. If they keep him and don’t go up, it would mean they would have to let him go for a much lower price because he would then only have 12 months on his contract. But is there anyone else you would rather bring off the bench to get you a goal on the last day of the season or in a play-off final to get you a winner? And what if they can find a way to play to his strengths but without having to change too much? That is what they will have to weigh up.

If they do sell Tshimanga, it would be difficult to find a more natural finisher than him, but it would mean they could get another striker in the mould of Quigley who perhaps suits the 4-2-3-1 system better. Tshimanga himself may feel that he needs a fresh challenge and a new start after the disappointment of the Birmingham deal collapse, too.

It might be best that they part ways, but we might also be left wondering what would have happened if he had stayed. There could be some regret there. It’s a difficult one.