It only takes two words to show how ridiculous the transfer policy is at Newcastle, rigidly imposed by Mike Ashley.
The two words?
‘Jamie’ and ‘Vardy’.
You might have heard of him.
That’s right, the striker who is tearing up the Premier League and currently has 13 goals from Leicester’s opening 13 Premier League matches, fully four goals ahead of his nearest rival.
The same forward who despite being allegedly half-fit and carrying a hip injury, outmuscled Chancel Mbemba and lapped Coloccini despite running with the ball at his feet.
If for some mad reason Leicester City decided they wanted to sell him in January, Mike Ashley would turn his nose up in disgust.
No resale value you see.
Vardy turns 29 in January so obviously you’d have to be a fool to buy him, you know, give him a four year contract and next thing you know he’s 33 and you’ll be lucky to get a fraction of what you paid for him.
He might score 60 or 70 goals for you in the meantime but you have to understand, it’s just not ‘good business’.
Despite spending upwards of £50m of Newcastle United’s cash in the summer, Mike Ashley insisted yet again that nobody could be bought who was over 26 years old.
As a result, a desperately failing Newcastle United bought a 19 year old, two 20 year olds, a 22 year old and a 24 year old to fill the gaps, solve the problems, plug the creativity gaps, supply the goals.
What could possibly go wrong?
In January 2013, Mike Ashley actually allowed the rules to be slightly stretched with the recruitment of Mathieu Debuchy. At the age of 27 he was on the wrong side of the line but what with him being Yohan Cabaye’s mate Ashley turned a blind eye, helped by Lille selling him at a relatively bargain price as a thank you for him sticking around and not leaving when Newcastle originally went in for him (when he was on the right side of the age divide).
Ironically, Mike Ashley ended up doubling his money on this older player he’d allowed to come in, plus Debuchy was arguably Newcastle’s top performer in the one full season he was at St James Park.
As opposed to pretty much all of the younger players that have been brought in with a supposedly future higher resale value but who end up usually leaving for far less and/or prove not good enough…Santon, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara, Cabella, Riviere, Gouffran, Bigirimana, Amalfitano, Anita, Obertan and so on.
Any sensible club will always consider any player on their own merits and happily recruit a mixture of the young & inexperienced, those in their prime (24-30 year olds?), as well as the odd older head/stop gap (over 30) who comes in to do a specific job and give an essential instant impact on a part of the team that needs it.
Having a set in stone rigid age transfer policy is probably even more stupid in Jamie Vardy’s case when you consider he has only played league football for the last few years and still hasn’t started 100 games in the Premier League and Championship combined. He is very likely to be able to retain his pace and energy to an older age than those who have competed at the highest level for a lot longer.
The bottom line is that until Newcastle United simply buy the players the team/squad needs, we will never have any kind of a sustainable healthy club.
Yes you don’t want to throw money away on players looking for one last big deal and offering nothing in return, as happened under Mike Ashley with Geremi and Viduka, thanks to Fat Sam’s judgement.
However, there are numerous examples out there of players who could and would have vastly improved Newcastle’s team but who fall outside Mike Ashley’s parameters.
Dimitri Payet was a brilliant signing for West Ham and he lit up the Premier League until picking up a bad injury, only problem is he turns 29 in March.
Our old friend Yohan Cabaye is apparently doing not too bad but he is 30 in January and so couldn’t be considered. Is there anybody who really thinks that it wouldn’t have been better business to spend the Florian Thauvin money on Cabaye?
You can even look at Saturday’s match against Leicester and ignoring the likes of Mahrez and Vardy for a second, do you honestly think that the likes of Robert Huth and left-back Christian Fuchs wouldn’t have improved our defence?
The pair were brought in for only £3m in total in the summer (Fuchs out of contract at Schalke) but at 31 (Huth) and 29 (Fuchs) there is no way Ashley would consider allowing signings like those to come in.
Watching Coloccini and Dummett is just painful, the Stoke pair might not be the best in the world but I reckon they would improve our defence by a significant degree.
Newcastle are on the road to disaster and we are a long way down it, unless Mike Ashley accepts he has got it totally wrong then there won’t be any turning back.
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