Newcastle United transfers, or rather the lack of them, is the topic on everybody’s lips.
Obviously everybody would like to see quality players through the door as soon as possible but there is wide spread of opinion amongst supporters, when it comes to handling the lack of activity.
Most people are somewhere in the middle but some are feeling like the sky is falling in already, with no new faces as yet and only five days until pre-season training begins.
This has then provoked a reaction from others, with some arguing there is no need to panic and you only have to see the lack of activity so far from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham as proof of nothing to worry about, yet.
You can probably sympathise with all view because as Newcastle fans we are used to the fluctuating emotions following our club, with the modern day transfer windows part of that.
However, when it comes to Newcastle United transfers, or lack of, you can’t judge the amount of activity next to that of clubs such as Tottenham and Arsenal.
If a club is already in the Premier League, then by definition they already have a full team of Premier League players.
Yes these clubs will always be looking to improve but as you go higher up the food chain, you generally find that clubs make fewer and fewer signings.
There will be a smaller group of players to go for who could potentially improve your team, whilst also much of your efforts are going instead on keeping your best current Premier League stars happy.
The message is quality not quantity.
When you are a recently promoted club, the opposite is surely true. By definition you have a team full of Championship players – yes they may have potential to be better than that but the fact still remains, you will need greater numbers of new players than a Tottenham or Arsenal, as you strive to cope with the step up to the top tier.
The three clubs promoted in 2015/16 were Burnley, Middlesbrough and Hull City, across the summer 2016 and January 2017 windows, these three brought in eight, thirteen and fourteen new players, respectively.
Burnley are a bit of an exception as they have made it a policy of trying to keep a solid squad together whether promoted or relegated, meaning new signings are kept more to a minimum than your average promoted club.
If you look to the previous promoted teams, you had Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich coming up from the Championship in 2014/15. In the summer 2015 and January 2016 windows, they brought in seventeen, eighteen and thirteen new players, respectively.
In contrast to what happened with these six promoted teams of the past two seasons, look at the clubs who finished at the top of the Premier League in 2015/16.
Leicester City were champions, with Arsenal and Tottenham next highest.
A bit like Burnley, Leicester are a bit of an oddity. In their case, it is due to Leicester coming from such a low point (promoted only in 2013/14) to be champions and in particular having Champions League football to deal with as well last season, as a result they made eight signings in the summer 2016 and January 2017 windows.
In comparison, Arsenal and Tottenham, clubs who are stable and have been established at the top for some years, only made five signings each in these last two transfer windows.
This summer Arsenal have brought in Kolasinac from Schalke and Tottenham are yet to make a signing, with Newcastle having only the one in squad player Christian Atsu.
It is a daft comparison though as Newcastle need to bring in a significant number of players, whilst Spurs and the Gunners simply need to tweak their teams/squads and look to bring in real quality in whatever position, unless a star player leaves.
A far better comparison is to look at Brighton and Huddersfield in the coming weeks, to measure Newcastle’s transfer activity against, although we all hope that NUFC’s aspirations are higher than the other two promoted clubs.
So far, Brighton have beaten their old transfer record twice this summer, with midfielder Pascal Gross and keeper Mathew Ryan recruited. Huddersfield have also beaten their transfer record with striker Laurent Depoitre brought in from Porto and they are set to beat it again with a permanent deal for Aaron Mooy reported to be imminent.
Newcastle of course need quality players but we also need a decent number of them, with hopefully five or six regulars from last season dropping to the bench as better players arrive.
We don’t have the luxury of a Premier League standard team already in place, to think otherwise would/could be a fatal mistake.
As to when these new signings need to arrive by, that is a very open question.
However, the more time they have with their new teammates and Rafa Benitez the better.
Five days until pre-season training and sixteen days until the first pre-season friendly at Hearts, the clock is ticking.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])