Agreeing a deal for the signing of PSV captain Georginio Wijnaldum looks to be a fantastic piece of business for Newcastle United, it says it all when our fans appear to be reaching a new level of excitement, and the rest of the Premier League can only offer envious glances.
It is a pretty decent statement of intent from a club who only narrowly avoided relegation seven weeks ago, plus maybe it is a sign that mistakes are starting to be corrected at St. James Park. We were told to remain patient in the club’s pursuit for the ‘right’ players.
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I remain somewhat cautious over the move though. As much as he looks like a good fit for the Premier League, I remember how optimistic I was after the signings of De Jong and Cabella to bring much-needed creativity in to our midfield ranks. Neither of those two worked out last year due to respective fitness problems and poor form.
Fair enough, Siem hasn’t been given any sniff of a fair chance in black and white to be judged, and Cabella probably will need another year or so to adapt to the physicality of English football (and hopefully he can do more so under decent coaching), but Gino looks like he might just be the cut above.
The difference for me with Wijnaldum (pictured at the top with Daryl Janmaat after World Cup heartache), is that he has shone on the international stage as well as domestically, and, despite other offers from elsewhere, he wanted to come to Newcastle.
Of course, it could (and probably will) all be down to Newcastle’s role in the transfer market as a platform for players to use to attract offers from top, top sides. But we’re already taking him from a PSV side with Champions League football to look forward to next year.
It’s something to smile about for Newcastle fans,something that has hardly been a common occurrence in recent times.
It’s a very good start in terms of transfer business for Newcastle, but that is all it must be, a start. The need for a new striker has been emphasised, plus the need for at least one new centre back is even greater.
It’s been reported this week that Serbian forward Aleksandar Mitrovic (pictured below) may join Wijnaldum in becoming a Newcastle player over this weekend. It was a move that I was interested in, but after hearing of the 20-year-old’s desire to allegedly wait for his preferred destination of AS Roma to hijack the bid, I’m not so sure.
I want players at the club who want to be here, I can’t see us becoming a successful side again with players in our squad who had us as their back-up plan. The Mitrovic deal is looking likely, and he may turn out to prove me wrong, but you see my point.
Marseille’s Florian Thauvin is another name that’s been mentioned, though it’s not a deal I’m eager to see materialise.
Thauvin appears to be a similar player to our own Remy Cabella, a quick, lean and skilful attacking midfielder, yet has made nowhere near as much of an impact on the French Ligue 1 as Cabella had in the time before his move to Tyneside.
Considering Cabella’s poor debut season with Newcastle, would signing a seemingly downgraded version of the lad be a good idea? I very much doubt it. I can’t see Marseille willing to sell cheaply too, considering moves away for the likes of Ayew, Gignac and Payet having all been confirmed.
The club has identified the ‘calibre’ of player they’re seeking to bring in, sticking to their word so far with the move for Wijnaldum. A move for Charlie Austin seems to be becoming less likely by the day, which in my eyes is a massive shame.
The trail for Bas Dost has gone stone cold and reports regarding a move for Schalke stopper Joel Matip have gone a little quiet.
These three are the types of players I’d happily have join the ranks at Newcastle United, whether or not deals come through however, remains to be seen.
At least, for now, there’s a new-found sense of optimism at St. James’ Park.
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