This summer has been, and still will be, a very important one for Newcastle United.

Our return to the Premier League will obviously come with new challenges and tougher teams to face, whilst new faces in the door were eagerly anticipated ever since the final whistle blew against Barnsley. Some might say we still don’t have enough quality in our squad for the season ahead, others think otherwise and are confident of safety from relegation.

Here I will read into the transfers made so far and my judgment on them.

Christian Atsu

An easy signing to make as we always had the option after his loan from Chelsea. Personally, I think that he had a very solid season last year, showing definite glimpses of promise. Given that we are his first real home club, I really hope that he has settled here and can push on in the Premier League this season and hopefully grab a fair few goals and assists. He was criticised last year by some supporters and it will be interesting to see how important he is to Rafa’s plans this year.

Florian Lejeune

This took weeks to complete and the slow progress was painful at times. Despite this, the pay structure of his reported  £8.7m fee from Eibar was finally resolved in early July. He is a no-nonsense defender who I think could be really useful in this coming season. It is unknown yet who will start the season as the first choice pair at the back, with Ciaran Clark impressing last season and Jamaal Lascelles certainly not going to give up his position without a fight. We desperately need to shore up our defence, which looked woeful at times last season. I realistically see Grant Hanley and possibly Chancel Mbemba moving on this summer, freeing up a space for another defensive signing to strengthen our backline.

Jacob Murphy

For me, the clear signing of the summer so far. An England U21 international with bags of promise. What really excites me about him is not only his pace and ability to find the net, but also his unhidden desire to play for the club. It is well documented that he was a childhood fan of Newcastle and I think that this will play to our advantage in a huge way, I expect performances showing the same amount of passion that we have seen from the likes of Mitrovic and Steven Taylor in recent years.

Given the amount Rafa spent on him this summer, I think that he will start the season, most likely with Ritchie on the other wing. Hopefully he can really blossom in the black and white and I can’t wait to see him tearing up Premier League defences.

Javier Manquillo

A fairly low-risk signing, many greeted it with the view that he would play back up to Yedlin this coming season. I don’t think that will be the case, especially in the earlier stages of the season. He comes here with a point to prove, having not had the greatest of seasons last year with the mackems.

I have seen great glimpses of him from his times at Liverpool and Marseille and I expect him to really be up for the challenge this year. Currently he has more Premier League experience than Yedlin so it will be intriguing to see who Rafa favours come the Tottenham match in August after a long pre-season.

Yarney & O’Connor

Two young signings for the academy, both look like talented players and will definitely lift the quality in the academy, coming from Everton and Arsenal respectively. It is great to see Rafa rebuilding the club in many different areas, and it would be great in this world where signings are always costing more, to bring some great players through the youth system.

What do we need?

In my opinion: a reliable goalkeeper, quality centre midfielder and a real goalscoring striker are still needed this transfer window. If we acquire these players, I think that we will be safely mid-table. Even if we don’t capture the people who Rafa wants, I firmly believe that we can stay up given the fact that we have a really great manager and still have a squad better than some currently in the Premier league.

Who has got away?

There are a few people this summer who I really think we should have made an attempt to sign. Firstly, both Chicharito and Joe Hart moved to West Ham recently. I think that both of these players would have greatly strengthened our first team and would have been great additions. Another get away was Ruben Semedo, a great centre back who ended up signing for Villarreal this transfer window.

I feel that he would really have been a step above our centre-backs, having had the experience of playing Champions League football with Sporting Lisbon. Nevertheless, I am not going to dwell on these players as all we can do now is sign whoever we can.

Who needs to be sold?

Despite a big clear out last summer, there is still a lot of deadwood in the squad at the moment.

I definitely don’t see a big future at the club for Krul, Hanley, Saivet, and Haidara. I expect that Rafa will ship them out as soon as possible in order to make room for new signings.

It also looks like Mitrovic and Darlow will be going, with Newcastle reportedly asking for around £18m and £5m for them respectively. I like both these players and will be sad if they were to go, but ultimately it seems that these are the steps that we need to take in order to really challenge in the Premier League.

It had been reported that we need players to go before we can bring others in, so if that’s what we need to do then so be it.

Ultimately, no matter what happens in this Newcastle United transfer window, in Rafa we trust.

Thanks for reading!

Ross Harrison (Lifelong Newcastle fan. I am 13 years old and currently live in Hong Kong)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Leazes Ender

    Are you any relation to Doctor Ed?

    • Ross Harrison

      I am not related to him, no.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Just been having a look at West ham`s fanzine, see whats going on when i came across this with pictures from social media
    Andy Carroll returned to the Rehab unit today 25th of July, he is not with the squad & spent the weekend in Magaluf with some pals,
    he went clubbing on Sunday evening & was still there at 9am Monday morning
    perfect fit for Fatty as a new drinking partner !

    • Leazes Ender

      You just don’t get information like this in the chronicle.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I was looking for info on Adrian

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        outraged fans took to social media, Andy`s taking the p1 $$ boozing it up in Magaluf with some dark haired dancer, ha ha

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    No one is paying 18 million for Mitro. And even if they were willing to part with him for less, if he goes (and if Riviere mercifully follows Murphy out the door) that’d leave us with only 1 (injury prone) out and out striker. Rafa isn’t an idiot, so unless he signs another striker, he’s stuck with a player he doesn’t think very highly of (as his only viable backup) until further notice.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      Stuck in a paradox really. Can’t sell him because we don’t have anyone in the squad to replace him, can’t have anyone in the squad to replace him because we don’t have the money from his sale to bring in someone to replace him.

      • Leazes Ender

        We don’t have any money do we not? have we spent t he £30m profit and the £24m season ticket money already?

        What on?

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          fireplace vomit cleaner isn’t cheap

      • Ross Harrison

        Very true, I think that we just need to splash the cash that Ashley promised and generate back as much as we can. Mitro has enough to do it in the prem, but I am unsure if he actually will. Gayle certainly can, although we definitely need one more striker, regardless of whether others go. Riviere looks certain to leave, which would leave us with Mitro and Gayle as first team strikers as I don’t see Toney getting many chances this year and Armstrong out on loan for now. If both of them can’t play for any reason then we will not be left with any proper options. I expect Rafa to bring another striker in, hopefully we can generate that much money from selling Mitro as Rafa will definitely be able to find a quality striker with that much money.

  • TheFatController

    I’m hoping that the tweet from the U.K. journalist who covers La Liga, and said £8m for Lejeune proves there is value to be had from Spain, is right.

    I hope lascelles is at his best after the hernia op. I hope Clark continues to be Clark.

    If we have a solid keeper too, then I believe the performance of these 3 positions will decide how we fare, given the quality of number 9s in the premiership…even if you score goals in the PL, you know most teams can switch to attack or can counter-attack you effectively

  • Steve Smith

    Allegedly Benfica are close to accepting our original offer for Samaris. Could be interesting considering the apparent movement with Merino.

    • mentalman

      it could be the build up to Colback leaving

      • TheNutJob

        that would be a plus

    • TheNutJob

      Samaris, he`s average. ask yourself this, why is nobody else interested in him ?

      • Clarko

        Transfermarkt’s valuation is not a reliable valuation.

        • TheNutJob

          Ok Clarko, have to rely on you then 😂😂😂😂

          • Clarko

            You just make yourself look silly using it, how do you know that “nobody else is interested in him” are you his agent?

            According to footballwhispers Everton are interested, if you type his name into Google and you would find a host of articles linking him to Everton. You’re uninformed and lazy.

          • TheNutJob

            i am silly but at least im not a facetious a$$hole like you

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            I don’t think facetious means what you think it means

          • TheNutJob

            if another club was in for him it would be all over the media you Pr1k

          • Clarko

            It is, you were just too lazy/stupid to check.

      • Marveauxless

        Transfermarkt considers Oxlade-Chamberlain to be more valuable than Andres Iniesta; stop treating it as gospel

        • TheFatController

          I got told the other day that I should ‘investigate’by someone who was telling me they investigated players before commenting.

          Needless to say, that ‘deep investigation’ undertaken was a quick click onto transfermarkt

          Currently, as investigations go, that puts it right up there with Watergate …

    • Ross Harrison

      Yeah, to be honest I would take both Merino (Just signed!) and Samaris as our midfield needs more depth.

  • HenrySlade

    Nathan Aké and Nathaniel Chalobah would’ve been great signings for us. OK, the £20m fee for Aké might’ve been a bit rich for Ashley, but £5m for Chalobah would’ve been well worth it.

    Apparently Chicharito is on £140k per week at West Ham, so he was never going to join us, and I’m not fussed that we missed out on Joe Hart.

    • Coach Clagnut

      Little Pea and Hart Attack would have, with combined weekly wages as generally agreed of 1 quarter of one million pounds per week. Add the reported 14 transfer fee and, over 5 years, it’s 40 large. The God botherer and Dandruff man would have taken up a massive chunk of Rafa’s kitty. If he’d had some spare change lying around, maybe. Only maybe though but.

  • Down Under Mag

    Rafa gave his interview after the Bradford match and gave the clearest indication of what is going wrong – too many players on the books and he needs to move players out to free up room before he can get any new players in. Yes I think he is frustrated but I don’t think it is from being dealt a bad hand by the owner or anyone going back on their word…I think it comes down to there are some financial realities he needs to work with and he is doing the best he can to get players in who will improve the squad as a whole and give good cover. I don’t think he is finished in the dealing by a long shot and fully expect another 3-4 players minimum to be brought in and others shown the door before the window shuts. No they may not all be superstar names…none of them will be in all honesty, we simply don’t have the finances and reality is we need to cut our cloth accordingly. I say judge the new signings on merit, NOT on price tag! Who knows, Rafa may unearth a future star and can squeeze the most out of everythign he has to get the results needed. It’s not just about buying success, sometimes havign a good manager actually does help!

  • Soul Controlla

    Nothing could be more Newcastle than selling strikers when there’s a severe shortage and trying to buy more keepers when they have 3 perfectly capable ones. Sure Darlow had a gaffe or two but Krul and Elliot are international class players. I guess that’s why we’re trying to get rid of them and buy overpaid rejects like Reina and Hart. HTL!

  • Christ sean

    Mbemba doesn’t have to leave

  • Toon4Ever

    Good article about the ins and outs!