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Opinion

When you sign 1 player in final 34 days of transfer window it isn’t by accident

3 years ago
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Mikel Merino was Newcastle United’s fifth signing of the summer transfer window.

The Spanish midfielder arrived on loan at St James Park on 28 July 2017.

At that point there were still 34 days of the transfer window remaining (after midnight on 28 July).

There are now two hours left of the window left and in the last 34 days only one more player has been signed.

Joselu, another bargain signing, arriving on 16 August.

Fair to say that this has been nothing like what it said in the brochure, for either Rafa Benitez or the Newcastle fans.

As it stands, six signings have come into Newcastle, with 14 players leaving.

Achraf Lazaar and Tim Krul are still expected to leave in these final stages, though most of the media are now claiming that the final hope has fled the building of Rafa Benitez having any of his wanted signings completed.

Newcastle supporters have been split over the course of these past 34 days:  those who could see the writing on the wall and feared that Mike Ashley had already laid his stall out, whilst others believed that surely this couldn’t be it – that Newcastle were just being a little bit unlucky in the transfer market and better quality signings would come in time.

Rafa Benitez – 17 July 2017:

“We are working very hard and trying to get as close as possible to some signings.

“When I had the meeting with Mike Ashley (in May) I was confident that after that meeting we have the money available and the wages.

“Everything is in place to move forward.

“Hopefully, Mike Ashley can keep his word and we can do what we want to do.”

When you sign one player in the final 34 days of this summer transfer window and nobody at all in the 31 days of the January window, it isn’t an accident.

It isn’t blundering Lee Charnley to blame, or JFK before him.

It is pure and simple, Mike Ashley refusing to allow transfers to happen.

When he was in fear of relegation, Ashley let the club push through five signings in January 2013, then in January 2016 in similar circumstances – it was four new players came in.

Do you really believe that there wasn’t even a single loan player that Rafa Benitez wanted in these past 34 days (apart from Merino) and who was within Newcastle’s financial reach (as in, not a £200m Neymar)?

What happens next remains to be seen but we all feel cheated, so just imagine how Rafa Benitez is feeling tonight?

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