Reports have been swirling in the past few days linking Newcastle United to Georginio Wijnaldum, the star 24 year old Dutch central midfielder who currently plays for PSV.
Multiple news sources have claimed, both in England and abroad, that Newcastle are in ‘advanced talks’ with PSV representatives in an attempt to get a £15 million deal done in the coming days.
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Wijnaldum is considered to be a member of the next wave of Dutch stars. With 19 caps and 3 goals for his national team, as well as his impressive club form, his talent is unquestioned.
However, despite his success at both the club and international level, a bid for the PSV man is a very confusing move for Newcastle United to make.
After escaping relegation on the last day of the Premier League season it is obvious that immediate change is needed amongst the Newcastle personnel.
The Magpies ended the season with the second most goals conceded and sixth least goals scored in the English top tier.
They were also outscored by 3 or more goals five times during the season and were kept scoreless on twelve different occasions.
In a Chronicle end of season survey, fans identified striker and centre-back as the two positions that the Newcastle board most needed to focus on during the transfer window.
However, in the nearly two months since the season ended, no significant progress has been made on getting cover at either of these positions.
Instead of filling the obviously massive holes that nearly got Newcastle relegated, the higher ups on Tyneside are looking to spend significant funds on a position that can already be occupied by first-teamers Siem de Jong, Remy Cabella, Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback.
So why are funds being allocated towards purchasing a player that, although talented, doesn’t play one of the two positions in most dire need of support?
Some would argue that it is to prepare for a longstanding rumoured sale of Sissoko to Liverpool, or to provide cover for last year’s injury stricken midfield.
It is true that if Sissoko is to be sold then Wijnaldum would fit into the vacant box-to-box midfielder role. However, as has been the case time and time again during Mike Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle, it would be frustrating to see a player bought simply as a direct replacement of a sold footballer.
In a rare pre-game interview in May, Mike Ashley promised progress would be made during the summer months.
The potential purchasing of Georginio Wijnaldum for £15 million in preparation of selling Moussa Sissoko, instead of allocating that money towards buying long sought after forward or central defensive transfer targets, is baffling.
QPR striker Charlie Austin and FC Schalke 04 center-back Joel Matip have been repeatedly linked to Newcastle and would instantly strengthen the team.
Unfortunately, bidding £15m for Wijnaldum would prove that the mentality of ‘two steps forward and one step back’ still reigns supreme in the Newcastle United front office.