Steve McClaren is targeting Premier League players as the core of his summer spending at Newcastle, according to widespread reports in the media.
Nothing strange about that until you really look at how bizarre Newcastle United’s transfer policy has ended up under Mike Ashley.
The last player NUFC have bought from another Premier League club?
That would be Gabriel Obertan which is four years ago, that’s right, summer 2011 was the last time United bought a player from one of their ‘rivals’.
Going back further, the two before that were both signed bizarrely when Newcastle were in the Championship. The promotion effort was backed up halfway through in January 2010 with Danny Simpson completing a permanent move from Manchester United (he’d previously been on loan at NUFC) and Mike Williamson arriving from Portsmouth.
Whilst Williamson and Simpson ended up as semi-first team regulars, it is only if you then venture back to January 2009, which is six and a half years ago, when a certain Joe Kinnear bought Kevin Nolan, that you can say was the last time Newcastle bought a player from another PL club who was an undoubted success. A player who was playing week in week out for his club – in Nolan’s case, Bolton.
At the same time JFK brought in Ryan Taylor from Wigan who whilst not a week in week out regular, has proven a relative success.
In that timeframe other players have came in but they were on frees; Demba Ba and Jack Colback.
The stories that are being put out regarding supposed genuine intention to sign the likes of Charlie Austin and others, would be a massive change in attitude/intention from Mike Ashley. To potentially sign three or four or more from the PL of the significant number of players needed, would be a major commitment that Ashley has never ever looked like making since he got his fingers burnt with Sam Allardyce bringing in Viduka, Geremi, Smith and Barton on ludicrous wages (Viduka and Geremi arriving after the end of their contracts at Boro and Chelsea).
Every transfer window has far more ifs and buts than actual action, but for any kind of significant move by Newcastle to buy from other Premier League clubs it takes some massive belief that I’m afraid I don’t have.
The main hopes we have are that firstly the money should undoubtedly be there to speculate on credible signings. Whilst secondly, Mike Ashley has shown in the past that he is capable of radical about turns in both his general business life and with regard to Newcastle United – though sadly where we are concerned, nearly every turn in recent years has seen the club owner take us heading full speed to the edge of a cliff.
If there is to be a major change at St James’ Park then with only 61 days until the season kicks off it had better happen soon (plus confirming that we actually have a new manager/head coach would be qute handy as well…).