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.

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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  • DC1964

    I agree about Jack Butland, he is world class and should be the England No.1. Personally, I think Pickford is overrated.

    • Liam Hogg

      Agree, although Pickford should save more shots since he’s got 7 fingers per hand

      • DC1964

        I would love to see Butland at the toon if we don’t sign Dubravka but Jack will no doubt go to Arsenal or Liverpool.

        • Liam Hogg

          Aye I’ve got a feeling he’s Too good for us. Dubravka is a quality signing though, just shows the English market is terrible for value

          • DC1964

            Yeah, I know. Dubravka would be a steal at 4 million, he’s been fantastic. He’s made some cracking saves and is very good at taking crosses. Wonder which keeper(s) will leave.

      • PercyArcade


      • East Durham Mag

        They are webbed too.

  • Liam Hogg

    Jordan Ayew, the worse Brother no thanks. And people who call players like Shaqiri ‘luxury players’ are the type of folk who think football should be played 4-4-2….at Basel & Bayern he use to graft his nuts off when replacing robben

    • Ram Kishore

      Yea… He does a lot at graft at Bayern

      • Liam Hogg

        Excuse me ?

        • Ram Kishore

          He worked his socks off at Bayern ..
          I used to watch Bayern and borussia matches regularly during Klopp era.. so I know that he puts in a lot of effort

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Interesting comment on the merits of Dummett v Yedlin, I see Yedlin’s position as a priority for improvement as I think he isn’t that productive going forward and his positioning is poor, so much so, his pace cannot get him out of trouble.

    • pedrodelgardo

      Richie keeps him right on positioning and his pace has covered when other defenders have been caught out of position a number of times this season. I agree he is in the team for athleticism rather than footballing brain power and we could do better.

  • Paul Patterson

    I’d be up for Ayew, Butland and Gibbs . .

  • Leazes.

    Bin Dipping Moron

  • Rich Lawson

    Wouldn’t have a single one of them.

  • Double Carpet

    This is a joke, right?
    – The worst of the 2 Ayews?
    – Butland when we (hopefully) have Dubravka for about a 6th of the cost?
    – Shaqiri – talented but short-arsed fat lad who doesn’t work hard and therefore Rafa would never pick?
    – Gibbs – career on the slide and no evidence he’s any better a defender than Dummett.
    – and Rondon – been in the Premier League for about 3 years and not pulled up a single tree.

    If this lot are the limit of your imagination and ambition I worry for you.

    • Gallowgate_Gimp

      Only Newcastle United would suggest raiding the 3 relegated clubs.

  • Weyhhadaway

    I’d take Butland and Shaqiri,

    Rafa has all of the cards, I think the naughty toy shop is not his cup of tea, there are bigger fish circling. He wants to stay and finish his project so lets hope the club have the sense to see that. There I go again using words lie sense in the same sentence as club.

  • Gallowgate_Gimp

    Can you share the story you wrote last year about the 3 relegated clubs please?

    • Gallowgate_Gimp

      Jermain Defoe – was never going to happen
      Andy Robertson – chose Liverpool over us, no brainer
      Ben Gibson – still in Champ. No PL clubs have made a move for him, with reason.
      Alvaro Negredo – playig in Turkey alongside the greats, such as Jeremain Lens!
      Adama Traore – still in Champ. No PL clubs have made a move for him, with reason.
      Kamil Grosicki – still in Champ. No PL clubs have made a move for him, with reason.

  • Wor Monga

    No need for any of these over glamourised failures…just give Rafa the money the club has rightly earned, and what can be raised from sales…he knows players, and has the power to attract them in!!!

  • Weyhhadaway

    Rafa has said that his targets are identified and he is ready to go after them, he just needs a wedge of cash to do it.

    If any of these players are on that list then now is a good time to strike as the player will be upset about relegation and potentially see a quick deal as a good thing to get out of the way before he heads of to the house of the mouse with his kids or Ibiza to dance, do E etc.

    • Ram Kishore

      Not just budget but the freedom to spend on whichever player he wants.. and how much

  • Guest 2

    Wouldn’t have Bony. He did a Ba / Remy when leaving Swansea the first time. Never went anywhere but backwards. 15 goals in all competitions for three clubs since then.

  • Kev-82

    First player I’d have from WBA is Phillips but no mention of him. Wouldn’t touch Rondon or Gibbs, would set us back quite a lot and offer very little.

  • foggy

    Only West Brom player I’d have is Nacer Chadli.

  • Scott Robinson

    You don’t need attacking wing backs if you have decent wingers, Rafa is happy to have a solid defence with Dummett nailed on starter and others to do the wing work. Attacking full backs are normally part of a team of midfielders, e.g. England. Dummett is fast, good tackler, good headerer, good positional play and Rafa loves him, so what is the problem with Dummett in some folk’s heeds? Some said he was slow??? They must never watch a proper football match and know nothing about football full stop. Even Bobby Moore made mistakes!!!

    Butland would be the best choice as he is top 3 English keepers and probably top before his injury.

    • pedrodelgardo

      Dummy knacked Martial in a race for the ball this season.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    only one I’d have is Ayew. lots of talent going forward and for all intents and purposes a very hard worker. We don’t need a keeper so I have no idea why we’d be in for Butland (he’ll end up at a top 6 side anyhow) and the other 3 have very well documented attitude issues that Rafa wouldn’t stand for for even a second.

    • 1ewis

      I don’t understand why we need so many keepers, we can only play one. We have more keepers than forwards.

  • Tony English

    Looked at the three squads and I don’t see ANYONE on the form they’ve shown in the last six months that would improve us as a team, Shaquiri is an individual talent but plays for himself, and Rondon looks good in flashes, but hardly the hard working free scoring player we need up front. Ayew, Gibbs and an overpriced Butland, no thanks.

    The likes of Hegazi (who looks a unit) or Alfie Mawson could possibly add to the squad as back up players but not worth pushing the boat out for.

    Maybe Oliver Burke being only 21, 6’2 and being an athlete could be a player with the right coaching….but he cost West Brom £15million and has shown nowt yet, maybe a loan to cover wages with a view to buy.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Why? Theres a reason the three teams got relegated. Mainly that the players weren’t good enough!!

  • Leazes.

    Bin Dipper alert.

  • George Stainsby

    Some interesting ideas there, Billy. It’s always interesting to think about a player in a relegated team who is part of a bigger picture, even if the picture was drawn in part by Pardew. There must be some cracking players who for one reason or another haven’t been in a strong enough team. We’ve had plenty of them. Makes you wonder how many players are just interchangeable, but a bit shiny and different. Like getting new car mats.