Strange transfer talk in recent days, Alan Pardew widely linked with ambitious plans to bring former Newcastle players to Crystal Palace.
The silver fox is credited with serious interest in three players, any one of whom would represent a major coup for the former United boss.
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Alan Pardew is reported to have made inquiries for Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Loic Remy, all former residents of St James’ Park.
Is it only me who wonders why bizarrely he isn’t moving heaven and earth to bring in Gabriel Obertan, Remy Cabella and Mike Williamson…?
Until we see any physical signs of a change in direction, we would have to assume that Mike Ashley would block any United move for those three anyway.
Demba Ba is now 30, whilst during the coming season Loic Remy turns 29 and Yohan Cabaye 30, all three rated too old under the Mike Ashley blueprint.
Much more forward thinking to bring in younger players with a great future sell on value such as Emmanuel Riviere, Remy Cabella and Vurnon Anita….Oh!
How much of what Alan Pardew is doing is actually just grandstanding, is impossible to say.
However, apart from the facts that Crystal Palace are in the Premier League and based in London, what would be the selling points for Pardew and his club?
The problem(s) from Newcastle’s end are summed up by Pardew’s supposed targets.
It isn’t just the fact that Newcastle couldn’t keep hold of their best players, it is the fact that those players are the match winners. The goalscorers and the creative players.
Apart from the inexperienced Ayoze Perez, you would probably say that Newcastle’s remaining most valuable assets are the likes of Janmaat, Colback and Krul – all more defensive players. Only the talented but wafer thin committed Moussa Sissoko otherwise remains as a player with a decent price tag if Ashley decides to sell.
Mike Ashley’s refusal to allow proper investment in the squad when Newcastle were on the up, has led to the current mess. A squad that has seen key players such as Cisse and Coloccini age, has lost the most talented (Cabaye, Ba and on-loan Remy), plus been left with players who aren’t good enough and impossible to shift (Williamson, Obertan, Anita, Riviere).
If Ashley had backed up that fifth place finish with a mixture of first team sure starters and others who could be brought along by the likes of Coloccini, Cabaye, Ba and others, then Newcastle wouldn’t find themselves struggling to put a team out.
There is no time to mess about now, players have to come in now who are not only good enough to play in the Premier League but can also be leaders on and off the pitch for United. Whether that is simply leading by example or helping to coax more out of their teammates.
Bringing in more players in the mould of Riviere and Cabella, who lack any or all of experience, confidence and ability would be disastrous this summer.
Newcastle need the real deal and that means investing serious money in players who can walk in and do the business straight away but likely to have a very limited or zero resale value.
Alan Pardew recognises that but do those he left behind at Newcastle see the light yet?