Four Newcastle United Relegation Recruits
I know that saying we should sign players from relegated clubs, is a bit like suggesting a homeless person joins your flat share. You could argue that their team has gone down and that they as a consequence are not good enough for us.
The positive of recruiting from a recently relegated team is that you are bound to get them on the cheap. Which fits into Mike Ashley’s plan perfectly. We all remember the cut price exodus when we went down.
This summer we need to do some serious business. I think five or six players, at least, are a must. Two proven strikers (which we will not find in the relegated three), a defender or two, and some creative flair. I’m not saying we should spend all our money raiding clubs that have plummeted out of the top division, however there is certainly some young talent there that we could invest in for the future.
I have to say watching some of our current batch of youngsters has been about as exciting as a George Osborne DJ set. Here are my suggestions for players that have been sucked into the Championship abyss and may be available for a discount return to the top flight., here are the Newcastle United relegation recruits;
Nathan Redmond (Norwich)
I’ve been an admirer of Redmond since his Birmingham City days. He only scored one goal this season but I think there’s a lot more to come from the 20 year old winger. His international record is fairly solid, with 7 goals in 10 England Under 21 appearances (including a hat-trick tonight on Monday night). He has said in the past that he wants to emulate Ashley Young which does make me curious about his level of ambition…
It’s a bit like becoming a professional boxer and saying you want to emulate Audley Harrison.
He does look like he could be a real talent. Comfortable on either foot, rapid and creative; this guy could have a long and successful career in the Premier League. Why not on Tyneside?
He cost 2 millionquid last season and has a three year contract. We could probably get him for £4 million. Not bad for a young Englishman in today’s market.
Steven Caulker (Cardiff)
Caulker has been one of Cardiff’s better players this season, although that’s not much of a challenge. Chances are he’ll be stepping back up to the Premiership this summer and I would love to see us being the ones to get him. Not only is he solid in the air and comfortable on the ball, he provides a goal threat too. He has scored five from central defence this season. That’s four more than our four main centre backs put together. It also made him Cardiff’s second top scorer for the season, joint with ex-mackem Frazier Campbell.
At 22 with 82 Premiership appearances under his belt, I think he would provide a good mixture of top division experience and room for development. Personally, I think he would walk straight into the first team.
Caulker was signed for over £8 million. Cardiff will want to recoup most of that but their relegation is bound to force a discount.
Patrick Roberts (Fulham)
I’d never heard of this guy before watching the England Under 17s take on Portugal Under 17s (on The Mag’s recommendation). I was mainly watching to check out Adam Armstrong but didn’t get to see much more than him getting injured. In that first half hour I was very impressed by the right winger Roberts. His ball control was exceptional and he showed a confidence that wasn’t at all impaired by the occasion. Every time he got the ball he looked to take the full back on, usually successfully.
When Armstrong got injured I switched over. However, the game had piqued my interest and just under an hour later I returned to the action. It was a good decision. Roberts picked up the ball on the right and produced a mazy dribble, to take on several players, before popping a deflected shot into the goal. I physically gasped with appreciation. He looks like he could be a very exciting talent and the idea of him and Redmond on either wing for the next ten years is mouthwatering.
If Pardew reconciled with HBA, the Frenchman could continue in his role throughout his peak for the next three or four years whilst Roberts learns his craft. Then when HBA moved on we’d have a player as similar as possible to him to fill the breach. What a plan of succession.
It is very hard to determine a price for this kid. He hasn’t played enough first team football (2 appearances) to command a massive fee but Fulham are bound to be aware of the talent they’ve got there. Felix Magath was quoted as saying that the 17 year old is, “an extraordinary talent.” £5 million with a loan back the first season may do it. Roberts would hopefully get more first team exposure in the Championship.
David Marshall (Cardiff)
This guy would be an option if Tim Krul departs. Personally, I’d prefer him to Krul. I think the Dutchman is a great shot stopper but he certainly isn’t the standard of a certain former keeper of ours, that’s a Given.
I have two issues with Krul. The first is that he sometimes looks dodgy taking crosses, something Shay was exceptional at. Also, when he makes a save he doesn’t seem great at palming the ball out of danger. Often it seems to get pushed straight back into the mix. I remember an incident with Adebayor that cost us and I’m sure if I went through all the goals conceded this season I’d find a few more.
Marshall has been incredible amongst a pathetic outfit. Admittedly he conceded the most goals this season but he also made the most saves. 153 times the Scot protected his net, 21 times more than Scumderland’s Mannone in second place. Tim Krul didn’t even make it past 100, which is poor seeing as he made a record 14 in one game against Spurs.
Marshall signed for £500 000 in 2009. Being in the ‘Team of the Season’ would’ve increased his stock but ‘keepers never go for too much. £2 million should cover it.
I’ll probably get blasted for some or all of these choices. The pairing of Marshall and Caulker may raise some eyebrows.
However, judge each player on their own merit, not on the abysmal performances of their respective teams. The two young wingers may not get straight into the first team but they would provide a bit of flair and imagination from the bench and are excellent prospects for the future.
The major flaw in all this is that at a conservative projected cost of £19 million it would probably/definitely be outside Ashley’s price range.
This is especially true considering we still need a creative centre midfielder of the Cabella/Grenier mould and two decent strikers (Ba and Remy would certainly do it for me). With those requirements left to be fulfilled, we are looking at an outlay of over £40 million. Not going to happen.
Even taking into account the Cabaye money and any money we get from players ‘that need to find new clubs’ I think this is still a dream.
However, what do we have if not our dreams?
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