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George Graham points to major flaw in Newcastle United transfer policy

6 years ago

Looking back over the past few seasons and in particular the Newcastle United transfer policy and scouting that the club have implemented, they seem to identify a list of targets and wait for when the time is right financially to make their move for the player.

On occasions the fee is too high or the deal doesn’t make financial sense for the club so they decide to walk away.

What is also the case at times, is that the player the club has been tracking has shown little interest in a move to Newcastle and therefore the move doesn’t materialise. This is of course understandable as players want to play at the highest level they possibly can and if they have ambition they want to go to the very top.

Newcastle United isn’t currently in this bracket of clubs so it is inevitable that they will miss out on some of their preferred targets.  It is also understandable that teams like Newcastle should be constantly trying to improve their squad by bridging the gap to the top clubs, by bringing in the best possible quality of players available to them.

Is there a danger then that clubs in this pursuit of quality are overlooking other important areas of recruitment and scouting, such as a player’s personality, drive and determination to succeed and the possible influence they will have on others in the dressing room?

George Graham once said,

“Never buy a player who thinks he is taking a step down to join you.”

Graham believed the player would act as if he was doing you a favour by ‘just being there’.

There are players who we are continually linked with in every transfer window, even if they have stated they would prefer to go elsewhere or rejected the club in the past, they still seem to go after them as they are on the club’s preferred shopping list.

A player we are constantly linked with is Pierre-Michel Lassonga from Hamburg. He is a player who has not exactly set the world on fire, and has had the opportunity to sign for Newcastle in the past but has rejected the chance, and yet every transfer window the club seems to be going back in for him.

I believe this was also the case with Florian Thauvin as Graham Carr was after him for a number of years before he eventually signed in the summer after a disappointing spell at Marseille and his career was at a crossroads after rejecting the chance to move to Newcastle earlier in his career.

Remy Cabella seemed to be a similar transfer in that there were a number of comments over previous transfer windows about playing for bigger teams than Newcastle, made by people linked with the player such as chairman, agents etc.

Alexsander Mitrovic also seemed to take his time deciding on a decision while waiting for Champions League qualified teams such as Chelsea, Roma or Porto to make a move before signing for Newcastle.

Perhaps the worst case was going back in for Loic Remy after he had firstly rejected the club in favour of a more lucrative deal to QPR and then after spending a season on loan at Newcastle, he showed no interest whatsoever in signing permanently, yet the club still attempted to sign him.

Newcastle don’t seem to be the only club at it in the Premier League, as clubs look to catch up to the top teams.

Sunderland finally landed Borini after being rejected on numerous occasions by the player and his agents.

I am fairly sure Stoke City was not Xeridan Shaqiri’s first choice when looking at potential new clubs.

Is the club making the job of building an actual team almost impossible for the manager in charge, by mixing players who view the club as a step down, with disenchanted want away players such as Sissoko, Cisse and Tiote who are ready to move on?

A little bit like when you keep asking a girl out who has told you numerous times she is not interested.

Sometimes you need to have some self-respect and if a player has rejected the club before, then Newcastle need to make everybody aware that it is a privilege to play for this great club.

If you turn Newcastle down once, we won’t be knocking on your door again.

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