The spotlight is once again cast on the Newcastle United transfer policy.
With Newcastle United having named a full 25 player senior Premier League squad in September, it has already been widely reported that a number of players have to be shed from that group before Mike Ashley will consider letting much needed signings to come in.
As well as raising/saving money through transfer fees and wages, the club owner doesn’t want to see players at the club who aren’t even in a position to potentially play, which would be the case if Newcastle had more than 25 senior professionals after they name their updated Premier League squad after the January transfer window.
Whilst there looks to be every chance of Mike Williamson securing a permanent move after an impressive start to his loan spell at Wolves, there is now news that at least one other Newcastle player might be a lot harder to shift.
The Chronicle report that a number of Championship clubs, including Wolves and Charlton, have expressed an interest in taking Yoan Gouffran on an initial loan.
However, they also report that Gouffran has indicated that he will refuse to go out on loan, as he supposedly wants to stay and ‘fight for his place’.
It must surely be clear to Yoan Gouffran that he isn’t wanted at Newcastle, the only Premier League action he has seen under the new Head Coach was when in an act of desperation due to injuries and tactical madness, he put the Frenchman into central midfield alongside Vurnon Anita against Manchester City.
Once the sixth goal hit the back of the net, Steve McClaren instantly hauled Yoan Gouffran off and hasn’t used him since. In fact it is only when injuries to fringe players have severely dented McClaren’s squad, that the midfielder/striker has even sat unused on the bench, only making the substitutes list three times in the Premier League.
With little to no prospect of shifting Gouffran on, we now have the prospect of him filling one of those 25 spaces in the squad until summer 2017, when the player’s contract has ended and he will have turned 31.
Giving ridiculously long contracts to average players who aren’t good enough for the Premier League, is a key part of Mike Ashley’s disastrous transfer policy that attracts little attention, but which has been maybe more damaging than any other aspect of it.
Newcastle end up accumulating a squad that is filled up with players not fit for purpose and who they can’t get rid of, due to receiving Premier League wages for lower league ability. Mike Ashley won’t pay them not to be part of the squad, so they stay at Newcastle and in the squad, meaning it dramatically lessens the possibility of players arriving who we desperately need.
The list of players is depressingly well populated, who are given contracts that are far too lucrative and overly long, all of the following were given contracts that were a minimum of five years:
Gabriel Obertan, Emmanuel Riviere, Sylvain Marveaux, Yoan Gouffran, Gael Bigirimana, Shane Ferguson, Massadio Haidara, Haris Vuckic and Vurnon Anita.
All of the above look set to be at St James Park, until their contract ends and they are pushed out of the club and back into the community.
Others such as Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote were also given contracts that were far too long and the money that they are paid in relation to their rapidly diminishing ability, means Newcastle will be very lucky to offload them.
Whilst I hope he proves otherwise, you also have to wonder at the decision to give Siem de Jong a six year contract after he had just experienced an injury and illness riddled year at Ajax. He is scheduled to still be here in 2020 with no sign as yet that he will ever recapture the sharpness needed to compete at this level.
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