Newcastle United aren’t quite ready to be challenging Manchester United and Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku but that was never going to be the contest NUFC were gearing up for this summer.
A bit like expectations of where your team will finish in the table, you need to have a little bit of realism in your life when it comes to transfer targets.
The hope of course is that under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle will be able to build and follow the path the likes of Everton and Tottenham have followed, getting ever more competitive both on the pitch and in the transfer market.
Or of course we could just go down the Leicester City route and absolutely smash it in one go!
Atsu and Lejeune are two solid enough signings, with just under £15m spent on a couple of squad players who will hopefully earn a decent amount of game time, with the Frenchman possibly even starting the season.
However, the expectation surely is that bigger, more ‘sure’ signings, are still to be made. Players who when signed will be bought with the expectation of instantly raising the quality and being first team certainties.
Newcastle will definitely have less money to spend than some clubs but at the same time, Rafa Benitez should be guaranteed a budget far higher than certain others.
Two clubs that Newcastle must be outmuscling in the transfer market and expect to finish ahead of, if any relegation fears are to be dispelled, are surely Huddersfield and Brighton.
Newcastle earned a relatively small amount from the Championship via TV/league position but the reported £7m was still more than the other two promoted clubs.
However, this is dwarfed by other advantages Newcastle have over the other pair.
As well as their Championship rewards, £40,915,922 in Parachute Payments was received by Newcastle United this summer.
Then you also have the £40m profit Newcastle United announced that Rafa Benitez had made last season in the transfer market..
This then topped up with Florian Thauvin’s £10m move to Marseille going through last week and whatever was brought in by Kevin Mbabu’s permanent transfer to Young Boys.
Brighton have already broken their transfer record twice this summer whilst Huddersfield are having a right go, spending some £40m already and bringing in some relatively ambitious signings.
We can just hope that Rafa Benitez is getting similar full backing from Mike Ashley when it comes to Newcastle United.
The Newcastle Manager’s frustration was shown when he went public in February after the club had failed to bring in any transfer deals he had put to them in the January window, including loan deals.
Every club has to try and compete the best they can in the transfer window and it inevitably means having to compromise at times if you really want a particular player, paying more in transfer fee and/or wages than you’d prefer.
Huddersfield are showing that transfers can be got over the line if a club is determined to make them, some of the players they are signing show that they are punching at their weight and maybe even above it, good luck to them.
Whether their signings are good ones is obviously very subjective for any of us and the same as to whether any of them could have done a job for Newcastle.
What I do know is that Huddersfield are trying to make the most of this opportunity of moving up and Newcastle must do the same, Rafa Benitez must be backed to make the signings he feels are needed for the Premier League.
You have to feel this next week or two is crucial and if we get to a few weeks before the season starting, it then gives little time for any further signings to integrate into the team and Rafa’s way of thinking, if indeed there were any further signings.
The likes of Huddersfield and Brighton are of course speculating based on the money they will receive at the end of this Premier League season, failure to do so would mean almost certain relegation.
Where would you put Newcastle finishing in the Premier League without any further signings? That is a question that should be on the minds of everybody inside Newcastle United.
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