With the transfer window now closed, Paul Merson has given his opinion on the moves made by both Newcastle and Sunderland.
With the two clubs propping up the rest of the Premier League after four matches, will the former Arsenal player and now annoying pundit savage the north east hopes?
Maybe surprisingly, Merson is relatively positive about the signings made by both clubs.
He gives Newcastle a ‘B?’ for the activity as he thinks the signings could work, or might not…the main problem in assessing the players being that as usual, Mike Ashley has spent the club’s money on players who have never played in the Premier League.
As for Sunderland, the Sky Sports pundit describes them as one of a number of clubs who have brought in a lit of players but who he predicts will be nearer the bottom than the top.
With Newcastle United’s signings, I think the vast majority of fans think that on paper the club have bought well but that there are three factors to take into consideration.
One is that two of the signings were only aged 20 and another 22 (Thauvin) when Newcastle bought them, with Wijnaldum aged 24. So there is a lot of potential there but these are young players who still need to progress.
There is then the fact that all four signings are coming from weaker foreign leagues and need to step up to the Premier League and adapt their games accordingly.
Finally, Wijnaldum arrived halfway through pre season and the other three had no pre season, or very little, at St James Park. Meaning that they are still getting to know their teammates, without the benefit of training and playing together throughout the summer.
Paul Merson’s verdict on Sky Sports:
Newcastle United: B?
‘Newcastle have had a go and you can’t ask for more than that.
I look at the names and you can throw up a coin and say ‘heads or tails?’ because they might work and it will be a good season or they won’t click and it could go the other way.
They have spent some money so I am going to give them a B with a question mark because we need to see what these lads are like.’
‘I think Fabio Borini is a good signing because he’s a handful, he’s quick and he will score goals for them.
I don’t think Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates are players you want in a relegation battle either.
This is another club that have brought in a lot of players and are likely to end up in the bottom half.’