It is now obvious to all that Newcastle United must act in the January transfer window, if there is to be any real confidence in surviving the drop this season.
When most fans and media talk about the prospects of Newcastle buying better players in January, it all revolves around whether Mike Ashley will allow the money to be spent.
However, there are two massive obstacles in the way, as the January transfer window rapidly approaches.
With only five weeks until Newcastle could potentially try and buy their way out of trouble, ask yourself these two questions.
Why would clubs sell their best players halfway through a season?
Why would any talented player consider signing for Newcastle when it is such a joke under Mike Ashley?
Taking the first question: why would any club in say Holland, France, Belgium, wherever, considering selling key players? The players that Newcastle would be interested in, will be pretty much guaranteed to be playing for the small handful of clubs at the top of each league.
These clubs are all focused on desperately trying to finish in a Champions League place, as that is the only way for them to be guaranteed big money, as their TV contracts are small beer compared to the Premier League.
So selling their best players at the halfway stage will immediately make it so much more difficult to achieve that. The reality being that the only players they would be happy to trade, would be those who they feel that they can get over the top fees for and replace with other players who are just as good, but for less. This level of player would almost certainly not be good enough to make a difference in the Premier League.
Similarly, the best players at the top of the Championship, especially creative ones and goalscorers, these clubs are chasing the massive Premier League pot of gold. Why would they trade the best players scoring and stopping the goals for say £10m, when they are chasing a promotion that would guarantee them close to £100m just for one season if they got promoted?
As for Premier League clubs, the same applies, they are either battling to get into a Champions League spot or simply trying to survive. Either way, the money on offer from simply being in the Premier League next season, makes it obvious that only players who aren’t good enough for their first teams will be allowed to move on.
This is all before you get to the second question: why would players good enough to make a difference, want to come to Newcastle United at this moment in time, as the club is under Mike Ashley?
If players are currently performing well in the Premier League then wages won’t be a major motivation – even if their current club could be paying them more, there will be plenty of other clubs willing to pay as much as Newcastle or more, if these are players good enough to improve their team.
This then of course brings us to the usual scenario.
The players Newcastle could potentially tempt to want to come in January, will be lower paid players from inferior leagues.
The cycle simply continues, Newcastle would have to pay over the odds to get any club to sell their best players and then it is unrealistic to expect young foreign players (Thauvin, Mitrovic…) to immediately do the business in the Premier League, if ever…
Clubs home and abroad are far more likely to trade players in the summer, as they then have the chance to bring in their targets, whilst if players are at a club who are doing well halfway through the season, why would they swap the chance of winning trophies for a relegatin battle at Newcastle?
Steve McClaren said ‘we have what we have’ last week when it came to the players that are available to him at this moment in time – I can’t see that massively changing in the January transfer window.
Forget about the total spent this past summer, whatever money was or wasn’t spent – Newcastle needed to bring in seven or eight first team players due to the failure by Mike Ashley over a number of years to properly strengthen the team and squad.
For example, with the worst defence in the Premier League, bringing in just one defender (especially after just selling two internationals in Santon and Yanga-Mbiwa) was ludicrous.
The same with the total failure to bring in the one, preferably two, quality central midfielders that were desperately needed.
Similarly, up front Newcastle are still at least one striker short even if Mitrovic makes it.
It is a total mess and is the result of years of mismanagement on and off the pitch.
One transfer window was never going to solve it and despite the total spent, it proved far too little and almost certainly too late.
If Steve McClaren had a major say in the summer recruitment then he is totally incompetent.
If he had no say as most of us suspect, then he is just the same type of puppet as we had with Alan Pardew.
There are no easy solutions ahead of us in the January transfer window but business must be done and early.
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