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Opinion

Raiding the relegated Premier League clubs – 5 players Newcastle United should go for

9 months ago
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Every year I write an article about which players I feel Newcastle should buy to strengthen our team/squad from the three relegated Premier League clubs.

It might be the case that the players highlighted won’t want to come to us, we may be priced out.

However, these are the players I would like to see added this time,  if the opportunity is there.

Xherdan Shaqiri

Okay, so I don’t think this one will be possible under the current regime.

Relegated or not, if we can get £30 mil for Sissoko, imagine what Stoke will want for an actual effective Premier League Player.

There has been talk that he’s got a relegation release fee for half that…but even then I think Copper Mike might struggle to justify spending that on one player.

As the season came to an end Perez had an excellent run of form. He’s a player I’ve always liked, and not someone I want to get rid of, but I think Shaqiri would be a real step up in class in the number ten position.

Some people think of him as a luxury. That’s a phrase I hear bandied about a lot. ‘He’s a luxury player, I wouldn’t want him’.

What have so many people got against luxuries? I love a luxury myself.

Either way, I think he’ll be going to a bigger club (in terms of ambition) next season so this one might just be pipe dream.

Jordan Ayew

Not since the days of Hatem Ben Arfa have we had a winger that can create something out of nothing.

Jordan Ayew is a firecracker of a player and, in my opinion, is Swansea’s best player.

Before that he was Aston Villa’s best player, so could he be Newcastle’s?

I love Ritchie and want him to retain his position on the right next season. He may not be the quickest but he’s very technically gifted and has extraordinary work rate. I think in a stronger team he’ll chip in with a few more goals and assists next year.

With Kenedy unlikely to extend his stay, and Christian Atsu and Jacob Murphy yet to really impress in the Premier League, there could be scope for one more winger.

Ayew would be my pick. He can create and score out of nothing. Granted, his goal tally isn’t exceptional. He’s scored 17 goals in 101 Premier League games, which is roughly 1 in 6. This year though, he’s had one of his best seasons with 7 goals, which would make him our second top scorer! Not bad from the wing.

If I could only pick one player from the relegated sides to sign, he would be my choice.

Jack Butland

First of all, I want to state that Martin Dubravka has done a fantastic job since coming in. If there is this widely reported, cheap buyout clause, then I think that we should trigger it.

But this article isn’t called ‘Which Loan Deals Shall We Make Permanent’, so I’ll ignore that potential arrangement.

If, for whatever reason, the Dubravka deal didn’t happen, I’d love Butland to come in. It’s been a long time since Butland was linked to the likes of Chelsea and, at 25 years of age, his seven England caps isn’t hugely impressive.

However, anyone who remembers our 0-0 game with Stoke in the most recent relegation season will know that Jack is world class on his day. There’s been talk of him going to Liverpool (much like a player I picked out in two previous editions of this article, Andy Robertson. How has he got on?) and that’s probably where he’ll go.

However, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a ‘keeper who’s challenging for the England number one? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Newcastle goalie play for England in my lifetime.

I felt bad for West Brom in the end. They are the first team to not experience the Pardew-bounce before the ocean of excrement that always follows. Instead they by-passed the initial success stage and experienced just one win and five draws in eighteen games. That’s a shocking record of 0.44 points per game.

Darren Moore has worked wonders with the same group of players and it would have been nice to see them going into the last day with a chance of staying up after such a great run of results.

They’ve got a few handy players I could pick out here. I remember seeing Jay Rodrigues tear us apart in a 4-0 away loss to Southampton a few years ago and he could be a good option. Likewise Jonny Evans, Ahmed Hegazi and Ben Foster could all come in and offer us options in their respective positions.

I’m not really interested in any of those guys though. I’ve gone for a couple of maybe slightly more surprising options.

Kieran Gibbs

Paul Dummett is solid, there’s no denying that. He offers what he offers and rarely lets us down.

However, he will never be an attacking full back and give us what Yedlin does on the right. Kieran Gibbs could give us that balance.

I’m not saying get rid of Dummett, and maybe it’s a bit of a fantasy that we could have two left backs of international (previously) quality in the squad. But it would be nice to have another option and recently we’ve been seeing centre backs getting shuffled across when Dummett is injured.

Gibbs is a steady defender, reliable at the back and offers something going forward. I think he’d be a fantastic addition.

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Salomon Rondon

This one might come across as a little bit odd.

Rondon isn’t someone I’d want starting every game but he’s a player I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for. He’s athletic, powerful and can finish (albeit not as regularly as we or WBA would like).

I think there’ll be a bit of a clear out of strikers this summer and I see Rondon as an upgrade on Joselu, who can offer us a different option from the bench.

If I had my way I’d bring back Mitro, spend double our current transfer record on a proven goal scorer, get in Rondon and keep Gayle.

Chances of any of that happening seems slim though. For a start it’d be very tough to keep four strikers happy when there’s only ever space for one in Rafa’s formation.

I think Mitro will be gone and we won’t spend £35+ million on a striker so it’ll probably be Gayle, Armstrong and a £5-£10 million signing that we see as our line leading options. Rondon wouldn’t be a bad bet at £5-£10 mil.

There’s lots of other potential options; Alfie Mawson, Wilfried Bony, Ryan Shawcross etc that others might pick and I’d be interested to hear other people’s opinions.

In other news, as I was writing this the breaking news came out that West Ham are supposedly making a move for our gaffer. This could be terrible but it could also turn out to be brilliant.

Rafa holds all the cards now and Mr Ashley is going to have to prove his commitment this time to keep him. The result of this could be that we have the power to bring in players of an even higher calibre than the ones I’ve identified.

Or maybe it’s just late and I’ve drifted into a dream land.

You can follow the author on Twitter @billymerlin
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