With Newcastle United reporting back for training last week and subsequently setting off to the US, eyes turned to the much awaited first signing (of many I hope!) of the summer transfer window.

With Georginio Wijnaldum, I’m relatively pleased with what I have heard from people who follow Dutch football, I’m also pleased that the transfer policy at least appears to have shifted with the £15m purchase.

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We have to hope that more players will follow that are from this kind of price bracket, as it’s a truism that you get what you pay for.

For every bargain Jack Colback, you find a Yohan Gouffran. Gouffran for example, should not be pilloried by our fans, he is a hard working honest footballer, who in a good team will knock a couple of goals in here and there.

But signing strikers for £1m will not get you a 15 goal a season hit-man. Even the £6m we bought Emmanuel Riviere for has got us a striker that simply won’t be good enough in the Premier League. We can’t compete with the likes of Chelsea for the £30m Diego Costas of this world and the likes of Raheem Sterling going to Man City for £50m shows you, that deals can still be inflated way beyond what a player is actually worth.

The next subject is where we need to strengthen.

I hear talk from fans of two strikers and two centre backs, two midfielders and a couple of full backs and a couple of wingers. Well that means changing a whole team, which just isn’t going to work, or be financially viable.

The most important moves of the summer have taken place. We have a manager in place who has won things across Europe and he’s brought in his own backroom team. Unfortunately, he has had to dispense with the ‘best coach in the Premier League’ in the process, but that’s progress for you.

Now if you look at the squad as a whole and discard the whole ‘purples’ nonsense that has been spouted in the past, you begin to see a decent set of players, certainly not a group that needs a dozen new faces adding to it.

The goalkeeping situation is good enough as, despite slip-ups last season, Tim Krul is a good goalkeeper and anyone could be forgiven for looking less than comfortable at times last year.

With Karl Darlow having something to prove, we can forget about the goalkeeping situation and hope that someone takes Rob Elliot off our hands.

Up front I think we can all agree that we need a 15-20 goal a season man before a ball is even kicked in August. However, if that man is in place, I’d be more than happy with Ayoze Perez, Papiss Cisse and Adam Armstrong floating around. In the process, admitting defeat on Gouffran and Riviere.

In midfield we are actually overloaded with players. I’d go with an attacking forward three of De Jong, Wijnaldum and Sissoko backed up by Colback, keeping Anita, Cabella, Aarons and Abeid in reserve. That would mean Tiote and Obertan would be obvious departures.

Moving backwards to the nightmare that has been our defence.

Even the most optimistic of Newcastle fans would have to say that this has been a weak area for years and one that cannot be ignored.

You can have a Cisse knocking goals in regularly (let’s be fair, he scored quite a few last season from his limited appearances) but if you’re shipping goals at the other end like we did, then even a 30 goal a season striker would struggle to bail his defenders out.

Put simply, allowing this charade of a problem to continue is not acceptable. If we don’t sign anyone of quality at the back this summer, then we go into another season with the same centre-back pairing as the one that came up from the Championship FIVE years ago.

I’m happy with Daryl Janmaat as we have one of the best right-backs in the league without question, although what happens if/when he gets a suspension or an injury remains to be seen.

summer transfer window

Presumably Vurnon Anita will be despatched out right, which is not acceptable. Janmaat stands out a mile as a player of genuine quality in a back four deserving of criticism. It’s across the back line we need to have cause for concern.

In Lascelles we have one for the future, a player who should be nurtured so that what happened to Steven Taylor doesn’t happen to this new lad. That unfortunately means dispensing with Steven Taylor himself.

How he’s been allowed to remain at such a level without improvement, or being moved on, is a mystery to me.

It’s obvious that, in the eyes of our managers/owners it would cost too much to replace him. This needs to be addressed, although I have severe doubts that it will.

If it’s ok to spend £15m on Wijnaldum for the midfield, then surely a similar amount is needed to plug the gap at the back. Ryan Shawcross at Stoke for example – for me another potential captain.

On that subject, I have my doubts over Fabricio Coloccini. He’s no longer the assured member of the squad he once was and his leadership abilities are back in Argentina where he surely wants to be.

If he can’t give us a solid 12 months then he too must be replaced along with Mike Williamson, which is where the budget starts to increase.

I’m not entirely happy with what we have at left-back but it’s a position that’s quite a hard one to get right. A good left-back is very hard to find, hence why Davide Santon was shoehorned into that role when he was actually a better right-back. Haidara and Dummett might just have to fight it out for that position themselves.

So there we have it, a goal getter (Charlie Austin?) two brash centre-backs (Shawrcross) and cover at right-back.

Georginio Wijnaldum is a great start to business this summer and we don’t need a whole team worth of new recruits, however, with the season just over three weeks away, work needs to continue apace. Time’s running out.

  • Corkyjohn

    In your opinion…..


    Apparently Austins agent tweeted out earlier today that Austin is joint Newcastle. Please please please be right

  • Shaker_Shakrah

    For me I don’t agree with some things 
    We must sell : Gouffran , Haidara , Tiote ,  Williamson ( These 4 ) 

    Then we need  :
    – a strong center back ( Rüdiger ) 
    – a good goalscorer ( Austin )
    – a quality left back  & Anita can play as cover for Janmaat ( I know it maybe hard but my choice goes to the PSG LB ( Lucas Digne ) , very young & good , he is just at £40k a week ) dream move for me :)
    – a working hard defensive midfielder ( personally I’d like to see Ever Banega as our first choice ahead of Colback . 

    I hope to see those signings if not all of them right now in the next 2 windows .

  • Andgeo

    We need two centre halfs and a left back of the calibre of janmaat. Haidara, Taylor, dummet etc are usefull back up, not first team regular material.
    Add to this a real forward and we would have a decent team.

  • DownUnderMag

    Out of that team photo above, if we took out Willo, Lascelles and Gouffran and replaced them with Colocini and two new players (a top quality defender and a 15-goal a season striker) then I think that is a decent team.  Gouffran gets a lot of stick, but let’s be fair…for 1m quid we should only really be expecting a squad player and he does that job well, capable of coming on and putting a shift in, being defensively aware and grafting hard for the team…the fact he lacks much else to his game but is expected to be Messi isn’t his fault.
    There may be arguments for more acquisitions (namely a good quality winger and perhaps another defender) but realistically we can’t change too many too quickly or it will not work, nor will it happen due to finances.  But another 30m spend in the window should see us set up nicely for the season…or at least a lot more solid than we have been in the past.

  • DownUnderMag

    NUFCANADA to be honest if I were an agent I would be doing this just for shits and giggles, but hopefully this is right and we are going to get someone signed up soon for the forward line so we can start looking to the defensive bodies needed.

  • Blackandwhiteblood

    Nice to read an article about football. Two new CB’s are a must and will arrive before the season starts. Macca’s no mug and he sees what we see. Looks like Austin has moved ahead of Mitrovic, although if both arrive all the better! With those additions, added to Wijnaldum, we will have a side to compete. A footballing approach will suit the likes of Aarons, Sissoko, De Jong, Perez  Cabella and Colback, whilst Tiote can hopefully recapture form and add steel. Arma looks like going out on loan, but he will be back with a bang. (What a prospect he is). Selling some deadwood might release more funds, whilst the rest add strength to the bench. I envisage a far better season than the last few seasons and am looking forward to the 9th of August more than ever. The derby even more so!


    Daniel Ainsworth at espn is reporting Austin is a done deal
    People are questioning him but he’s sticking to his story. Time will tell.

  • magpie9

    Dont hold your breath about new expensive recruits, Ashley is still in hospital after a heart attack because he had to spend less than half of the money he had stashed away from last year on this years only signing

  • v0ices

    Andgeo I would add a decent winger to give McClaren the option of playing a wide player. He often went with a single winger in the past.

  • 1957

    With 2 centre backs and a striker who could give us 15 goals plus we would make last seasons top ten target, and we should be able to make a better fist at cup competitions. If we can get quality players for these positions I’m optimistic we can have decent season, playing a tactical system that suits the players we have and is more entertaining to watch than last year
    I agree that we need to get rid of the ‘deadwood’ but at the wages we pay them who would Obertan, for example, even if we were to offer him for free. I suspect most of them will be here until we pay them off or their contract expires, look how long it took for Shola to clear out his locker.

  • Duke Fame

    Andgeo I disagree with Haidara, I think he’s got quality. The Ashley Cole rumour almost had some credibility as back up for Haidara. 

    Just one powerful centre half will do, Partnered by Taylor, Dummett, Lacelles should be good enough. 

    I think we find out about the real forward today.

  • Duke Fame

    v0ices Does Arons not count? I suspect we will be getting our crosses in from the full backs with creativity coming through the middle.

  • Duke Fame

    Shaker_Shakrah Rüdiger is having an operation and out until mid  September, we face huge competition for him, very unlikely. 

    We could find out about Ausitn today. 

    Ever Manega is excellent and knows Ian Cathro but not sure he’ll leave Valanecia in a hurry.

  • Duke Fame

    NUFCANADA That’s not his agent.

  • Kazie23

    Okay…This is who we need-
    Van Dijk/Sven Van Beek-Centre Back ….Then sell Willo and Colo
    Sam Byram-RB
    Austin-ST……..Then loan out Armstrong to a good league 1 club
    Or evens….Patrick Bamford
    Adama Traore-Winger
    /Riyad Mahrez

  • mrkgw

    We need to lose Williamson and possibly Colo. both were liabilities last season. Come on Charnley, step things up a gear.

  • v0ices

    Duke Fame Andgeo Aarons  looks a great prospect but he needs to show it and stay fit, the clubs been going backwards too long to waste time making small fixes and crossing fingers and hoping it turns out ok.  I do agree that most of the width will come from the full backs but I think a quality proven winger would give McClaren a lot of options.

    Cant agree about center halfs I think Taylor (good enough but not fit enough), DUmmett and Lacellles are back ups and cover and no better.  Haidara has never looked the same player since the horror tackle doesnt look good enough now maybe time will show different but in the meantime he needs someone at least good enough to provide competition for the place.

  • PhilYare

    arrons has to play, particularly as he is different to de jong, sissoko and Wijnaldum who all play similar positions

  • alreet

    Defence has to be the highest priority. Weve had questionable defenders for at least 3 seasons now. We got rid of a reasonably promising MYM. Had a couple of bad patches but how often did willo or tayls get the nod over him.
    Midfield is sorted for now. If u dont loose any and use the whole squad it should be fine. Sissoko. Gini. Cabella. De jong. Colback. Gouffran. Tiote. Anita. Abeid. Aarons. 6 first team mids and 4 squaddies.
    Get abdenour. De vrij. Martins indi. Just 2 or 3 of the up and coming players in europe. We really should be able to afford them all to be honest.