I have seen a few in my time…but this Newcastle United transfer window is maybe one of the most bizarre and ‘doing your head in’ that I have ever experienced, so far.

In the past we have seen the truly barren in summer 2013 and January 2014, when not a single player was bought.

Then of course you had the breakthrough season of 2011/12 being followed by a stunning refusal by Mike Ashley to push on, on the back of that, only Vurnon Anita arriving in summer 2012.

We of course also had the summer 2007 one, where wages were no problem. Sam Allardyce allowed to bring in ‘free’ transfers Viduka and Geremi on weekly wages of close to £100,000 each, plus the likes of Barton and Smith on huge £60,000 a week five year deals.

We also witnessed the January 2013 one with five Frenchman signed in almost the same number of days, as relegation threatened.

And of course these are just transfer windows experienced under Mike Ashley, never mind what we also saw before summer 2007.

Coming back to the present day, Newcastle have brought in four new players but fair to say the supporters are all a bit confused.

Normally a promoted team would be looking to prioritise signings that would instantly increase the quality of the first team, go into the starting eleven, yet at the minute none of could say for certain that any of Atseu, Manquillo, Lejeune and Murphy will play against Tottenham. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad players but not really the kind of signings that most fans envisaged would be prioritised to help deal with the step up back to the Premier League.

We all know that prices have gone up, just as the Premier League cash has also gone up, the two things inextricably linked.

Anyway, it got me thinking, if Newcastle United were shopping in this window, could Rafa Benitez with the budget he has been given, be able to buy the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle and Ciaran Clark?

The quartet are all British, all four have played in the Premier League before, three of the four are internationals, three of the four are creative midfielders/strikers, plus all four are in the 25-27 age bracket.

In other words, these tick pretty much every box for what Newcastle are looking for in this summer transfer window, along with the vast majority of other Premier League clubs.

So again, could Newcastle United afford to bring in any or all of these four players with the way they would be valued now?

Dwight Gayle – Signed for £10m in July 2016

Seeing Britt Assombalonga go from Forest to Middlesbrough for £15m, it confirms that the 26 year old wouldn’t be going anywhere on the cheap/reasonable. With 23 Championship goals despite starting only 26 league games, a valuation would surely be £20m or upwards. So I think safe to say that the signs are Rafa wouldn’t get anywhere near affording Gayle in this window.

Jonjo Shelvey – Signed for £13m in January 2016

Only 25, an England international, and widely acknowledged as the best midfielder, if not overall player, in the Championship last season, has also got 99 starts in the Premier League already on his CV. If he was worth £13m eighteen months ago, then with the increased market and the fact he has enhanced his CV with his time at Newcastle, Jonjo Shelvey is surely another who would be valued at around that £20m mark.

Ciaran Clark – Signed for £5m (release clause) in summer 2016

An experienced Premier League player with 119 starts, Clark is also first choice for the Republic of Ireland. Having a release clause in his contract meant he was sold by Villa for less than his market value a year ago and after easily being Newcastle’s best defender last season, and arguably overall player of the season, Ciaran Clark must now be valued at least in the £10m-£12m bracket. That would put him within Newcastle’s reach (Jacob Murphy arrived for £12.5m) but even that could potentially be on the high side for a defender if Rafa hasn’t got a realistic budget to play with.

Matt Ritchie – Signed for £12m in summer 2016

The 27 year old held his own in the Premier League in his one season so far in the top tier, whilst in the Championship he showed himself to be a goals and assists machine for both Bournemouth and Newcastle.  Add in a brilliant work ethic and you have somebody who never lets the side down, at the very least giving it his all. Another who enhanced his reputation this past year, so difficult to see him having raised in value any less than £5m on top of the £12m Newcastle paid for him last summer. So to land him Newcastle would be looking at £17m+ and breaking the 12 year old NUFC transfer record, not likely in my opinion. Not if we aren’t going to pay that for a striker.

Reviewing what I have written above, it gives me both positive and negative feelings. The relief/reminder that we have got some decent Premier League level players BUT at the same time, it makes me wonder just how we will bring in any other similar level, or better, players unless Mike Ashley sanctions at least two or three signings that match or probably beat the current transfer record?

The bottom line is that at the moment, some of our starting eleven will be way below the standard of the four above, plus Matt Ritchie is still yet to play this pre-season as he recovers from injury.

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



  • joe mac

    Answer is….no!

  • Leazes Ender

    Don’t have ‘positive and negative’ feelings at the same time Dean…. you’ll blow a fuse.

    I prefer the ‘Market value development’ valuations which will be updated on the German site transfermarkt. at the end of the window.

    It is quite impartial, but of course there is a difference between what a club need to pay in order to acquire the services of a player and their market value..

    For that reason I much prefer MV to amount paid.

  • TheNutJob

    Makes you wonder why there has been no bids for them from premiership clubs

    • Leazes Ender

      Because Dean has overvalued them…. they are worth £31m.

    • TheFatController

      Not really, no

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Idiot

        • TheFatController

          why, are you surprised no PL clubs have bid for them?

  • We got them for such because the players wanted to leave and the clubs wanted to sell, simple as that. We will get a few more like this before September, but the right players with the right situation are hard to find.

  • Jezza

    It’s not a case of how much NUFC can afford to spend. The problem is, as ever, how much Ashley is prepared to make available. As usual that figure is little or nothing other than what can be generated from player sales.

    • TheNutJob

      he`ll never change Jezza no matter who the manager is

    • Clarko

      £38.27m spent (£18.20m net spend) in 14/15, £92.02m spent (£88.08m net spend) in 15/16, £54.72m spent in 16/17 (-£31.01m net spent) and £28.73m spent so far in 17/18 (£17.42m net spend).

      Newcastle have a £213.73m total spend (£92.69m total net spend) in just over three seasons (including a relegation), do you really think those numbers are “little or nothing”? I certainly don’t.

      • Leazes Ender

        With figures like that you would think the squad would be better than it is wouldn’t you?

        How do you correlate your figures with relegation and a downsized club?

        The only figures I’m interested in is the Squad Valuation Table which will show where the incumbent owner positions the club. It uses market value development (MVD) criteria, an assessment based upon changes in the player improvement and experience or otherwise.

        Transfermarkt update the valuations regularly and you can compare our squad with that of competitors.

        • Clarko

          I am not arguing about “valuations” I am arguing about money spent, Newcastle have spent significant money over the past few seasons.

          The majority of you posts are centred about transfermarkt’s market valuations, do the valuations take into account all possible variables such as age, experience, reputation, player marketability, performance, nationality, inflation, competing interest, player potential, player mentality, ect? The valuations are not reliable.

          • Leazes Ender

            No I’m not …….I’m, arguing about the value of the squad, if it has declined over the period of Ashley’s reign then it amounts to gross negligence …..as indeed history has testified.

            The figures are reliable, even the chronicle is starting to use them see Andrew Musgrove article…

          • Clarko

            Yes you were arguing about “value”. You stated, “The only figures I’m interested in is the Squad Valuation Table”, before stating “Transfermarkt update the valuations regularly and you can compare our squad with that of competitors”. The squad valuation is a constant in your argument.

            I am not arguing about whether the squad value has “declined” either, I was solely arguing that Newcastle have spent significant money.

          • Leazes Ender

            As Ashley hasnt invested a penny into the squad then any spending is financed by income, if you are saying the Value of the squad has declined with investment then sorry its blatantly not true, the squad was valued at more than £117m when Ashley bought the club ten years ago! It was about 50% higher ten years ago.

            Asset stripping, downsizing if you prefer…. gross negligence by the board and owner.

          • Clarko

            Are you being ignorant to be funny, annoying or are you just brain dead?

            See my first comment for net spend amounts.

            No where have I stated that “the Value of the squad has declined with investment”, you’re a liar.

            I cannot debate with an ignorant liar.

          • Leazes Ender

            Change your name to ‘Thicko’ its more apt.

          • Clarko

            ‘Lies Endlessly’, ‘Leaves Education Early”, Lacks Enderstanding”, pick your favourite.

          • Leazes Ender

            Okay explain your comments.

          • Clarko

            Explain what comments? I have already explained everything, you have chosen to ignore any explanation I have given and have lied to try and make your point. Again, I am not debating with someone who does that, it is a waste of time and effort.

          • Leazes Ender

            The ones above where it says ‘Okay explain your comments.’

          • Clarko

            Another example of your ignorance. “I have already explained everything”.

            If you have a problem, disagree or don’t understand any of my comments, make a point to counter them at the time, without changing the subject matter, without lying and without ignoring the facts. Go back and read.

        • Mal

          We are in the position we are in partly because of poor past management and some very poor buys. You appear to think that just by spending vast sums of money and moving up your ‘valuation table’ will bring instant success. We’ve spent large sums of money on players in the past who have been sadly lacking. Why you place so much faith in a site that values Saivet at over £4 million is beyond me. And do you really think if we put Gayle up for transfer that we would only get £8.5 million?

      • Jezza

        You are being selective. Why not give the figures for every window since Ashley took over the club?

        • Clarko

          I wasn’t being selective, I have included the figures from the last four consecutive years, including last season where Newcastle had a net spend of -£31.01m, if I was being selective I would have selectively chosen to ignore that figure.

          If you are accusing me of being selective you have to accuse yourself of being selective for ignoring the last four years of clear spending.

          • Jezza

            Nothing spent in January and £40 million profit last summer.

          • Clarko

            Newcastle made a £31.01m profit last season, not “£40 million”. You’re being selective.

          • Jezza

            £40 million according to the club’s own publicised accounts.

          • Clarko

            That’s 100% wrong, the club have not yet published accounts for the 16/17 season, those accounts will not be published until April 2018. You’re massively uninformed.

  • Mrkgw

    When is Mike Ashley selling up? When will Lee Charnley quit?

    • Kneebotherm8

      Lee Charnley will quit when Mike Ashley sells up,he wouldn’t get a job for anyone else.

      • Jezza

        You have to wonder if Ashley would allow same kind of serial incompetence from an executive in his core sweat shop business as he does with Charnley at NUFC.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Does Ashley actually view Charnley as being incompetent?

          • Jezza

            Good point. I hadn’t thought of it that way. NUFC may be failing spectacularly in the team strengthening stakes but the club is making huge profits in the transfer market so as far as Ashley is concerned Charnley is doing a very good job.

          • Kneebotherm8

            That’s my view,Jezza,staying in the premier league with the least possible outlay.

  • Glen Winnard

    Why do so many fans think the more you pay for a player the better he’s going to be? I understand this is probably the case with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo etc but there is a very fine line at the level we are talking about? The likes of Man City have spent ridiculous amounts on some players who wouldn’t even make it into our team (total waste of money)! You should be able to find good value players via the scouts, that’s their sole objective and if they can’t pick out a bargain or two then they are in the wrong job! I personally would take a few chances if the price is right, for example you might get someone like Sturridge at a good price? Yes he’s had a few injuries but he’s class and many think he was injured all last season but that wasn’t the case, on many occasions it was Klop’s selection process! I for one think Ashley has done a good job, the clubs never been in such a good financial state and now he has that right (let’s not forget what happened to Leeds, Pompy etc) he seems happy to buy a few more players but let’s keep it sensible eh?

    • Leazes Ender

      That is a gross misunderstanding of what is being said…. are you a chartered accountant?

      • Glen Winnard

        I agree it could be going off the subject but I just get sick of people making Ashley as a scape goat when things don’t go just as the fans expect them to go without taking everything into account? And no I am not a chartered accountant….are you?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Lunatic

      • Glen Winnard

        Personally I don’t go round calling people I’ve never met Lunatic’s but if that’s your thing cracking on Maximus?

    • Geordiegiants

      You are a knacka!

      • Glen Winnard

        Cheers but that’s your opinion #ficklefan

    • Jezza

      “the clubs never been in such a good financial state”

      What are you on about? The club is more than £130 million in debt. It was £53 million in debt when Ashley took over and has made over £100 million in transfer profits in that time. All you can really say is that the club has never before had an owner who is taking so much money out of the club, both in hard currency and in the form of free advertising for his core sweat shop business.

  • Leicester Mag

    A cynic might feel a few on this forum actually work for the chunky controller either that or a sitting a little to close to the paint thinners

    Reality is the club realised these players were needed to get out the fizzy pop league. Now the cash cow has returned back to the bare minimum.

    • Stephen Paylor

      we have already spent over 30 million and will likely end up at 60 million plus? How big of a cash cow do you want?

      • Leicester Mag

        That would be the 30 million profit on transfers last year + money generated by selling Mbemba and others. As ever we have and will spend ruck all

        • Stephen Paylor

          was no 30 million profit last year. The 30 million comes in 5 x 6 million annual installments from the sale of Sissoko. The club operated at a net loss last year as a result of the relegation. Mbemba is still at the club? This year will or would have operated at a net surplus of around 60 million which is why im guessing that will be close to our net spend. How many times do we need to go over this?

          • Stephen Paylor

            the reality is that Rafa has to spend that budget filling several problems and will need to be very clever. Massive pressure this year on Gayle to provide the goals and many players to step up.

          • Damon Horner

            Reality really. Always has been since Rafa came out of that meeting smiling.

          • Leicester Mag

            According to Northern Echo transfer listed. As for how many times we need to go over this until the club stops being run as anything other than an advertising board for Direct shjte

      • Jezza

        I reckon the spend by NUFC so far is about £28 miliion with £18 million having come in from the sales of Thauvin, Murphy and that kid to Everton. A net spend of £10 million puts well behind newly relegated Middlesborough.

        • Kneebotherm8

          At least Gibson has the Boro’ at heart,wish we could say the same about our owner.

          • Geordiegiants

            Without a doubt.

        • Stephen Paylor

          good point

  • Stephen Paylor

    Inflation comes when there is more money chasing the same resources and this year has as expected seen a spike in fees. To think of Asomblonga being 15 million shows just how crazy things are. If we are wise and look for things like Loic Remy at just a few million we can still strengthen the squad without spending much. Truth is we are playing catch up because of our season in the championship. This year is just a stability year hoping for mid table. With Rafa being clever we can get where we want to be but it wont be this year. We need our senior players to have a big year and a few of the up and coming players to break through too. I said a few months ago we will net spend 60 million or so this year including the winter window. Were about 34 million in or so with 4 arrivals and i would expect another 3 for the other 30 million. Striker, Midfielder and a left back

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Everything is terrible and the Toon are an embarrassment and are going to lose 30+ games (with a -100 goal difference) this year and be immediately relegated to league 2 and the pints of ale are all going to be blue-green and a sinkhole is going to swallow SJP and anyone who disagrees with me a paid shill. Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      And anyone who disagrees with me is a paid shill

    • Leazes Ender

      I don’t think so…. just a boring season ahead…. wave your scarf.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        so says the #1 doom and gloomer

        • Martin

          I’m happy others see that. I feel like I’m the only one.

          • Leazes Ender

            You’re the only one what idiot?

        • Leazes Ender

          Whats doom and gloom about that?……. the football was poor last season and we have the same squad so it’ll be poor again.

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            Any sort of debate with you is about as useful as arguing with a can of corn.

    • Martin

      Always love a Ghostbusters quote!

    • Damon Horner

      I feel like I’m one of the few that feel this group deserve the shot to show how good they are. Our season wasn’t perfect last year but how many teams breeze that league these days?

      • Leazes Ender

        You don’t have a feeling about a Trophy signing to complement the seven dwarfs do you?

        • Damon Horner

          I’d like a team of galacticos playing the most expansive, fast free flowing the world has ever seen.

          I’d like a trophy wife and a big bank account.

          Sadly though what we want isn’t always what we get no matter how much we stamp our feet. This team will not be far away from what we will have with us come September. We might have to get used to it otherwise this will be a conversation lasting the season.

          • Leazes Ender

            I really don’t like trophy signings but I cant help feeling that in order to get the squad valuation up to tenth they will might splash some money on a striker and midfielder. about £40-50m will get us to tenth.

            I’ve said many times that Ashley likes to play Russian roulette with the club by underfinancing the squad, it might just be the latter choice again, and Rafa will walk, unfortunately the fans have to stay and take the medicine administered by the madman.

            Either way its a shoddy way to treat fans.

          • rickyd

            Would love a top ten finish in the squad valuation like that would be mint

          • Damon Horner

            He could do with being more selective when he adds/holds finance.

            Like you said it’s a risk he’s taking and even if we spend less next summer it would be make more sense to me because this is the one that needs to be right.

            It was always going to be this way because we’re on the back of a Championship season. Relegated or not, we’ll have more to spend next summer.

          • Leazes Ender

            Like a smaller squad of better players.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He’s not really bothered about winning things,only survival as you know,he’ll be happy to leave it till the January window then look at it then. If we’re struggling he’ll splash the cash,if we’re not and survival looks assured,then his gamble has paid off.

          • Leazes Ender

            He’ll use a stick to measure how deep we are in the clarts again…… and panick….. I can’t prove it but I’m going by history here….. there’s a precedent.

          • Jezza

            Yes, my thoughts entirely. Ashley will be perfectly willing to take a punt on the squad that won the Championship, with a few sub £10 million additions, being good enough to finish fourth bottom of the Premiership. He’ll be determined to keep the net outlay to a bare minimum this summer with the January window to fall back on if we find ourselves in trouble.

          • Mal

            These valuations that you place so much credence on include Shelvey, Richie, Gayle and Clarke at just under £30 million in total. At the other end of the scale the site values Krul, Colback, Saivet and De Jong at just over £16 million in total – fat chance. It’s rubbish.

    • Kneebotherm8

      So you reckon we’re gonna have a season similar to the mackems last year……..?

      • Jezza

        I think he was being sarcastic. Unfortunately I also think some of his “predictions” are not going to be far wrong the way things are shaping up.

  • Steve Smith

    Fat man should just take a wonga loan out, buy up as many players as possible then sell them on for profit in a few years time when prices inflate further.

    • Leazes Ender

      If he takes a loan from wonga there’ll not be any profit, better to stick a million on relegation with ‘Fun88’

  • lata ta birdofpeace

    Is Robin Van Persie still available?

    • Kneebotherm8

      Van Persie’s better than Riviere even if he is 42(ish)

  • Desree

    When teams are promoted, they buy/invest in better players just in order to avoid the drop. NUFC are perhaps the first club to buy players not as good as they already have to avoid relegation.

    Mike Ashley is Maverick.