The £30m Tottenham paid for Moussa Sissoko was one of the funniest things Newcastle fans have ever seen and now we have, arguably, had an equally astonishing transfer deal go through.
Jordan Pickford, a 23 year old goalkeeper who has never played for his country (at senior level) and has played only 31 Premier League matches (conceding 56 (FIFTY SIX) goals), has been transferred for £30m!!
BBC Sport say that the total fee is the £30m figure, with £25m plus another £5m based on hitting certain targets.
This surely must be a wake up call to any Newcastle fans who are kidding themselves that Rafa Benitez has special powers, which means he can bring in a handful of £5m per head bargains who will transform NUFC into a top half of the Premier League side this coming seasons.
Rafa worked wonders last summer building a squad to get out of the Championship but he still spent over £50m and paid £10m and £12m on Gayle & Ritchie alone.
Thursday saw another transfer from a relegated club go through, with Harry Maguire moving from Hull to Leicester for £17m. A very similar profile to Jordan Pickford, Maguire 24 year old and without a single international cap, making only 25 Premier League starts in his career so far.
To put it into perspective, Newcastle’s two biggest transfer fees ever paid were 12 and 21 years ago respectively, each for the best goalscorer of their generation in England (and the World where Shearer was concerned!), yet both fees beat anything Newcastle have ever paid for anyone, with indeed Pickford going for roughly what Shearer and Owen went for combined.
I’m not saying that Newcastle should necessarily have tried to sign either Maguire or Pickford but it has to be a reality check.
As I said above,, the now former Sunderland keeper has only started 31 Premier League matches and in his entire career so far, the 23 year old has only kept four clean sheets in the top tier and won five Premier League matches – drawing five and losing 21!
So basically, Everton are paying that fee based purely on potential, that in a better team he might get a few more clean sheets and concede a few less goals.
When it comes to Newcastle United and this transfer market, surely Rafa has to be backed to break our ancient transfer record at east once, if he feels it is a player he needs?
No matter what you pay (just look at Moussa Sissoko…) there is no guarantee signings will be a success but even at Championship level when Rafa Benitez was paying £5m or so for a player, there were players like Lazaar, Diame, Sels and Hanley who proved not good enough, whilst Ciaran Clark instead proved a bargain with his £5m buyout clause and Rafa picked up a couple of rough diamonds in Hayden & Yedlin who can hopefully progress and prove good enough for the top tier.
I always expected it would be a mixed bag Rafa would bring in this summer, with some loan signings, plus permanent deals which would probably include at least a couple of older players on OK fees but high wages, a few signings with potential from the continent, Championship or very little experience in the Premier League, AS WELL AS at least a couple of signings that will around that £15m-£20m transfer fee bracket.
Remember, in our last Premier League season, fees of around £13m/£14m were paid for Mitrovic, Shelvey, Wijnaldum and Thauvin, which was two years ago now.
Money shouldn’t be spent just for the sake of it but Rafa Benitez has to be given a budget that allows him to go out and compete for the players that he needs to bring in, or else Newcastle will almost certainly be in a relegation fight.
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