Mark Lawrenson sees very different seasons ahead for Newcastle United and Swansea.
He believes that Renato Sanches is ‘a great signing’, Swansea paying £8m for a one year loan to land the talented midfielder who only turned 20 last month – he was signed last summer by Bayern Munich in a deal which could eventually see them pay over £70m if targets are met,
Swansea earlier paid £16m for Sam Clucas, £12m for Roque Mesa, as well as the loan signing of Tammy Abraham after Mike Ashley failed to back Rafa Benitez in doing a deal for the Chelsea striker.
On top of that, Swansea also made a late £13m move for former striker Wilfried Bony.
Mark Lawrenson contrast this transfer activity for high profile/cost signings with what has happened, or rather hasn’t, at Newcastle.
The BBC Sport pundit can only see ‘a real battle’ for Newcastle to try and stay up.
He is scathing about Mike Ashley, Lawrenson saying that Mike Ashley announced he couldn’t compete in the transfer market with the top clubs, which ‘did not make sense’ to him.
The former Liverpool defender saying that it wasn’t a case of competing with the top six for transfers BUT the ‘bottom six’ and the net result is that Newcastle ‘still have too many Championship players’ in the first team.
An £11.5m net spend allowed by Mike Ashley at Newcastle, has been dwarfed by figures of around £43m and £48m at Huddersfield and Brighton respectively.
Fancy having to agree with Mark Lawrenson for once!
As for Sunday’s game, Lawrenson sees a comfortable 2-0 win for the Welsh club.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“I think Renato Sanches is a great signing for Swansea and I will be very interested to see how he gets on in the Premier League.
“Another late arrival, Wilfried Bony, is a good buy by the Welsh side too. With his body shape, he is the kind of striker who needs to be match sharp, and if he is playing every week, then we might see him find the kind of form he showed in his first spell there.
“In contrast, Newcastle have not strengthened enough.
“With what they have got, I can see a season of struggle ahead.
“What they needed to do in the transfer market was compete for players with the bottom six, because they are a newly promoted club, and they still have too many Championship players.
“It is going to be a real battle for them to stay up.
“Mark Lawrenson: 2-0”