With 12 Newcastle signings already landed, United fans were then in the bizarre position of celebrating a big name, last minute sale.
Daniel Levy handing over £30million for Moussa Sissoko…let’s be honest, he didn’t want to be here and we didn’t want him here – a real win-win! (Unless you’re a Spurs fan).
Enough about him though, the club is moving forward now and as Rafa Benitez has said:
“Every player should be honoured to wear the shirt of this Club.”
Moussa clearly wasn’t, so we won’t miss him. All we can hope now is that the 12 players brought in this summer will fit the bill and be exactly what Mr Benitez was looking for.
So, I’ve had a go at ranking the five best Newcastle signings (in reverse order) the Magpies have made this summer and feel free to disagree in the comments section below… (And yes, I know some haven’t played for us yet but don’t ruin the fun.)
5 – DeAndre Yedlin
Picture it: Sunderland lead at St James Park and their right-back commits a foul throw, then is beaten to a header at the back post 30 seconds later. Maybe he knew he was signing for us all along? Jokes aside, the lad has almost 40 caps for the United States and Premier League experience last season.
At Championship level, he should be more than good enough. Plus, he can make the step up to the top division if Newcastle do make it back at the first time of asking. Pace is his main attribute, so having Achraf Lazaar (who just missed out on the top five) on the other side would make us extremely attacking from the full-back areas.
4 – Isaac Hayden
The England under 21 International has been massively impressive for the Toon so far and is quickly playing himself into the ‘Undroppable’ category. Patrolling the central midfield area, he’s usually seen breaking up play and restarting another attack.
His goal against Reading suggested to us early that he was more than just a defensive player. Coming from Arsenal I suppose his good technique on the ball shouldn’t be a surprise, but considering he was in and out of the team at Hull last year, it has been a bit of a shock just how complete he is as a player.
At 21 years old, he has a great future ahead of him.
3 – Mohamed Diame
It’s great to find a bargain and the club have found a few this summer. Probably none more so than the combative Senegalese midfielder. When he found the top corner from 25+ yards at Wembley to win promotion for Hull City, I’m sure everyone would have expected him to stay put for the new season. Thankfully, Rafa had other ideas!
It was revealed that Diamé had a release clause in his contract for around £4.5million and the deal was done quite quickly. Everyone knew Sissoko wanted out, so the club had to find a like for like replacement. At £25.5million profit on this particular ‘swap’, I think we’ve done alright!
Mo has the power and dynamism to really drive the team on this season.
2 – Dwight Gayle
There have been quite a few questions regarding Gayle this summer;
Why couldn’t he get a game for Palace?
Is £10m too much?
Why’s he been given the number 9 shirt?
He hasn’t taken long to answer all of those though! With four goals in his first four Championship games, he’s quickly proving to be the clinical striker that we’ve been missing for a while. The impressive thing is, he’s not just a poacher. He can score all types of goals and none of his strikes so far have been the same. The free-kick against Reading has been a particular highlight.
This lad could be our main source of goals for years to come.
1 – Matt Ritchie
You weren’t expecting anyone else, were you? It’s quite clear that Ritchie is head and shoulders above this level of football and it was a great coup to get the Scottish International to sign.
Fresh off the back of an impressive first season at Premier League level with Bournemouth and a goal of the season contender in his locker, few would have expected him to drop down a level. Especially when West Ham had a bid for him rejected at the end of last season. I suppose he’s the epitome of the great business Newcastle United have done this summer.
He adds goals and a creative flair that is so valuable in this division.
Don’t agree with my choices? Comment with your 1-5, there is no lack of options!