Fair to say that Newcastle transfers haven’t quite worked out so far as most of us hoped and to a large extent, expected.

The local media in particular had fuelled hopes, claiming that their information was that Rafa Benitez expected to get his main transfer targets in early, allowing him to work with them throughout pre-season.

Christian Atsu was signed only days after the Championship ended, that deal being time sensitive as Newcastle only had a certain number of days in which to take advantage of the previously agreed £6.2m transfer fee.

Atsu only started 15 games in the Championship when on loan last season, so is seen as very much a squad player rather than starting the season in the first team, but an ok start.

Newcastle fans then had almost a two month wait before Florian Lejeune was at last announced as the second signing, after around six weeks of negotiating as the club tried to pay a reduced fee and then pay in instalments, eventually an £8.7m deal was agreed.

Supporters hoped this would be the cork being popped, leading to other Newcastle transfers quickly following.

This hasn’t happened as yet and whilst I haven’t given up hope, my gut feeling isn’t that there are big deals in the pipeline.

The fact the club have stretched the Florian Lejeune transfer coverage to a week so far, hardly encourages, a hopeful transfer of somebody who at the age of 26 has played all but one season in the French and Spanish second divisions.

Whilst the local media coverage of the summer transfer market has gone from reassuring us that Rafa would land big targets early, to now seemingly dragging expectations down with talk of how little Newcastle have received in TV income from last season compared to the clubs that were in the Premier League in 2016/17.

The message appearing to be that Newcastle fans can’t realistically expect ambitious signings and that Lejeune type deals will be more likely. Obviously we don’t know whether this is guesswork by journalists, or they are being given a steer by the club and the media are going down this line to keep in with NUFC. Either way, it doesn’t raise the spirits as to Newcastle bringing in the players they desperately need.

This Thursday saw Lejeune finally have his press conference when presented to the media for the first time.

Rafa Benitez wasn’t present and journalists had no opportunity to ask him about how his transfer plans were progressing and how comfortable he was with things etc.

Following this, an article has now appeared in the Chronicle, putting a positive spin on the Newcastle transfers so far…

Lee Ryder in The Chronicle – 8 July 2017:

‘And in a week when Lejeune arrived through the door plus youngsters Stefan O’Connor and Josef Yarney the fears that Newcastle weren’t going to be adding players to the ranks this summer have been eased.’

I’m afraid to say this smacks very much of clutching at very thin straws.

I do still hope the necessary signings will be made but for the Chronicle to be trying to convince us that ‘fears…have been eased’ by these three players arriving, well I have to say their reassurance works in the exact opposite way.

I always hope any player that arrives at St James Park will be a success but surely you have to be realistic.

To count Stefan O’Connor and Josef Yarney as reassuring signings is surely laughable.

They are young players discarded by other Premier League clubs (Arsenal and Everton) without ever starting a first team match between them. The two players are 20 and 19 years old respectively and O’Connor once got 13 minutes of first team action when Arsenal beat Galatasaray 4-1 away from home.

The fact that Newcastle United had big interviews with each of these two players was worrying enough, they are a million miles away from ever playing in the Premier League and should have been allowed to slip in with barely a mention and get on quietly with the Under 23 set-up, which is where they have gone. It isn’t impossible that they could make it but it would be a bit of a lottery win if it happens and they couldn’t and shouldn’t have been covered as significant signings in any shape or form.

The hype around Lejeune is also ridiculous, with him being the only new face so far he is getting far too much exposure and I fear supporters will have had expectation raised too high as to what to expect.

He is a budget signing with very limited experience of first team football in a top division, it would be a very impressive signing if he can show he can do it in the Premier League but we can’t hide from the fact that at this stage the odds are very much stacked against him.

It is ironic that in the Championship last season, Newcastle made signings such as Ritchie and Gayle, that if being made now, would have fans far more optimistic, with both of them having shown they can do it in the Premier League previously, to a limited extent in terms of number of games.

The bar now has to be raised and Newcastle transfers made who you would expect to be first team certainties when the season kicks off in five weeks time.

Only then will my fears have been eased.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    you start the Nufc transfer windows with the lowest possible expectations then you wont be disappointed

  • magpiefifer

    I’ll reach my conclusion when the transfer window shuts – but I’m not overwhelmed with the activity so far!

  • Leazes Ender

    Lee Ryder…’Santa Clause is coming soon, well actually it might be January before he comes due to heavy snow, but this is a positive, the sleigh is in for repairs, so it’ll be even faster now, lets have a reality check he’s doing everything he can behind the scenes to get it working but he doesn’t really exist’

    Ed: you cant tell them that we have papers to sell

    Ryder….’just cut the last sentence’

    • Biggs Darklighter

      Lee Ryder “Christmas is coming soon”

      Tomorrow “Christmas is a little closer”

      Day after “Christmas is a little closer”

      And so on….

  • Toonarden

    Can’t argue with that article.

  • East Durham Mag

    It would be better if Fatty and Penfold told us we were getting f**k all then anything else is a bonus.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      It would be better if fatty and penfold said that to our faces. Then we could give them both the good kicking they deserve

      • Mark Potter

        To your face? You brave little boy, who hides behind an alias and false picture. How pathetic.

  • brin mcardle

    Agreed…we appear to be sending lots of players..strikers ?…We have Gayle(a premier League)..but injury prone..Mitrovic(who i still think will come good) and Perez(unsure)…surely to god we must buy a striker..

  • Wor Monga

    Well, you’ve managed to write off Atsu as being not good enough for the PL first team, and also put a fair bit of doubt over Lejeune’s abilities too…that’s par for the course on here…

    …just like the same in the past for Shelvey, Gayle, Clark and Ritchie as only being other teams cast offs!!!

  • jack

    No complaints about article ,remember when we only made one signing , vurnon Anita , you can’t trust Ashley , and looks like loftus cheek is going to Southampton , and we should be outspending Brighton and Huddersfield at least ,

  • HarryHype59

    Good article, that is hard to disagree with! I want to know when this “70m” is getting spent on “Marquee” signings needed for the EPL.

    • Jezza

      NUFC were never going to spend big this summer and the be truthfully blunt there won’t even be any moderate level of spending. All those fans who were confidently predicting a £100 million signing spree were not only deluding themselves, they have clearly learned nothing over the past 10 years about the way Ashley operates. Even our newly relegated, cash strapped local rivals will out spend us in this summer’s window.

  • edward alderson

    this has been the plan season after season,no players brought in until the end of the window,then the old saying will come out WE JUST COULD NOT GET THEM OVER THE LINE.If the owner is going to sell the club,he will not spend on new players.Its happened year on year.

  • Mal

    ” The hype around Lejeune is also ridiculous, with him being the only new face so far he is getting far too much exposure and I fear supporters will have had expectation raised too high as to what to expect.”

    If supporters expectations are being raised they mustn’t be readers of this website. The continuing negativity towards this signing is worrying. Hopefully if he reads it he realises that, though this is a supporters’ website, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the view of the majority.

    • Damon Horner

      I didn’t understand that bit either. Part of the exposure comes from the scrutiny The Mag gives the whole transfer saga too so a tad bit contradictory