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Keep A Close Eye On Newcastle United’s First Signing Of The Summer

9 years ago

I remember how I felt basking in the sunshine on holiday at Scarborough after the team finished a surprising fifth and we had a glimpse of what could be.

However, just as the rain clouds gathered over Scarborough and I hurriedly took shelter in the nearest pub, it coincided with news of last summer’s first incoming transfer.

The player was Romain Amalfitano.

Now I’m no big follower of French football but after the successful signings of Ben Arf and Cabaye (who I’d known nothing about either) etc. I was happy for my ignorance to be put right with another gem.

On getting home there was a big write up in the Chronicle and I thought; if the club are putting him up for interviews then he must be decent and not just there top make up the numbers…

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I then read up on him and found out that approaching the age of 23 he was now out of contract and as yet hadn’t played a single match in France’s top division, which is rated some way below the Premier league.

My heart sank, especially when there was no indication of a single French club fighting for his signature.

No disrespect to Romain but my next thought was that if the club were making a song and dance about his signing then it was looking to be a dismal summer transfer market and so it proved.

Moving forward a year and if ever there has been a player brought in just to fill a shirt it must be him. The brief glimpses we’ve seen have confirmed why he was never sighted in France’s top division.

A year on and The Journal are reporting that both Amalfitano and Medhi Abeid are free to leave if they can find a club.

One small problem just might be the fact that Abeid was given a 5 (FIVE) year contact in 2011 and Amalfitano a 4 (FOUR) year contract last year. In other words, come what may Newcastle are obliged to pay them until June 2016.

Now I’m all for tying down top quality young players on decent contracts but surely it is obvious that there has been serious flaws in Newcastle United’s contract strategy.

Surely Amalfitano would have bee prepared to walk here from the French second division for the chance of a twelve month opportunity…unless the idea all along was to make it look like we’d bought a substantial player.

Newcastle have brought in one or two very young kids this summer but thankfully they haven’t made much of it.

Watch out though for our first signing when the club do make a song and dance, it could tell us an awful lot about what we can expect for the rest of the summer window.



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