Premiership Rivals Sign 3 Players Already, What About Newcastle?
I know Newcastle United have just got one (traumatic) season out of the way but you just hope that the lessons have been learnt from last summer’s disastrous lack of transfer activity.
I didn’t expect to see a queue of new players at St.James’ Park as soon as the final whistle went against Arsenal but I do hope and expect that urgency will be shown this time.
In the past we have had summers, in terms of incoming players, where nothing happens early doors – then we’re told players/managers/agents are all on holiday so nothing doing until back for pre-season – followed by messages from the club saying not to worry because you can sign players right up until the end of August!
As we have found to our cost, signing players so late can often mean you’re already playing catch up after the opening matches, then expecting players (especially from abroad) to hit the ground running doesn’t often happen.
Derek Llambias has announced that top ten is a minimum expectation next season and a good yardstick in that respect is Fulham. They seem to inhabit that dead centre space of around 9th down to 13th, rarely looking in danger of relegation and not troubling the upper reaches. So basically if you finish above the Cottagers you’re almost certain to be top ten, this past season Fulham finished two points ahead of Newcastle in 12th.
The London club have already been busy bees in the transfer market and brought in three experienced players who are all internationals, for a combined fee of £1.4m, two of them arriving on frees.
They are 30 year old Sascha Riether, a German international who has won the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg. Then you have Ghana international Derek Boateng who is also 30, plus Fernando Amorebieta who is a 28 year old Venezuelan international who has been a really solid player for Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
I’ve heard and seen comments of Newcastle needing a couple of extra players but to me there is clearly a need for major rebuilding if Newcastle are to avoid flirting with relegation again, particularly if players like Coloccini leave.
I’m not suggesting that Newcastle totally change their player recruitment strategy and go for all experienced/older players but at times you have to be pragmatic. United need to mix and match to ensure there is no repeat of last season’s shambles.
If Newcastle leave it too little and/or too late in the transfer market this summer it could be catastrophic.
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