Another two new Newcastle players came in this week, that makes it eight signings so far and as we will have released or sold eight (assuming Sissoko goes), then we might be forgiven for thinking ‘that’s it, job done’.
Certainly Rafa is now creating a squad where there is fierce competition for every position, unlike last year where certain players were far too sure of their places.
He has also done it without breaking the bank. I reckon his net spend so far is around £7 million or so, then assuming we sell Sissoko we will have enough to buy another striker if he wants and still have change left over. He’s probably also reduced the wage bill, so overall the owner should be happy as well.
Lee Charnley also has to be given credit for securing these deals. Now he’s not involved in actually deciding who we buy, he seems to be doing a good job.
I think our first team squad now looks something like this:
Krul, Elliott, Darlow, Sels.
Janmatt, Gamez, Dummett, Haidara, Sterry.
Lascelles, Mbemba, Hanley, Clark
Colback, Anita, Shelvey, Aarons, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame
Gayle, Perez, Mitrovic, Armstrong
There is also a bit of flexibility in there. Clark and Anita can also cover at FB, Dummett and Hayden at CB, Clark (again) and Perez in MF
But Charnley now has another big job to do and he has to do as much as possible this month before the window closes. We now have around a dozen players, who in my opinion are unlikely to be anywhere near the first team during the coming season and they therefore need to be sent out on loan or sold.
Personally, I would like to see Toney, Mbabu, Woodman and possibly Good, go out on loan for the experience, as they could still have a future with us.
However, that still leaves a large rump of players who ideally should be sold, or alternatively loaned out to get them off the wage bill. These are:
Ameobi, De Jong, Gouffran, Saivet, Tiote, Riviere, Bigirama and Vuckic.
Apart from anything else there won’t be room in the changing room for them all. We are probably now a bit heavy in the goalkeeping department but, due to injuries, I think any movement here will have to wait until January.
If we do sign another striker then I think Armstrong may be sent out on loan again.
I guess we can all argue whether my suggested squad is correct but whichever way you look at it, a big clear out is still required.
Hopefully Lee Charnley hasn’t any holidays booked in August.