The first Newcastle signing of the summer has traditionally been seen by fans as the toughest to get ‘over the line’.
That initial signing coming in, giving supporters confidence of more to come.
That changed a little in 2017, Christian Atsu bought from Chelsea for £6m on 24 May.
Florian Lejeune became the second of last summer but that was six weeks later on 4 July 2017. There were repeated claims throughout June that he was lined up to move to St James Park, only for haggling over the transfer fee to mean a transfer-free June for NUFC.
Atsu was an easy transfer to make as he had a set buying price at the end of his season on loan, now we have had the same with Martin Dubravka as his £4m permanent move went through on Wednesday 30 May.
There was little doubt that Dubravka would be signing but the fear was still there, that would have been a really disastrous opening to this summer’s window, if Newcastle had managed to mess this one up.
June usually has a fair few decent distractions with everything from Wimbledon to the Hoppings to occupy the football free days, then we can add a World Cup this time around – always a bonus no matter how England get on.
However, the idea of having another signing free June for Newcastle United woudn’t exactly be a relaxing break from (club) football.
The first Monday (2nd) of July sees the Newcastle squad returning to work and then off to Ireland for their pre-season training camp within two weeks, the first pre-season friendly taking place only two days after the World Cup final.
When the NUFC squad landed in Ireland on the 16 July 2017, the only new signings were Atsu and Lejeune, with of course the winger having already spent a season on loan at St James Park.
With his emphasis on attention to detail and drilling his preferred team for as long as possible, Rafa Benitez would surely want the bulk of his signings to arrive in time for that week away together for the whole squad.
It doesn’t take a lot to light the touchpaper of positivity for Newcastle fans and the sparks are already there with the reassurance of Dubravka committing.
A couple of additional credible new signings by mid-June would really see spirits of Newcastle fans warming up and early positivity can only be a good thing all round, whether you are talking fans, manager, or squad.
As for whether the 13 year old NUFC record will be broken this window, maybe best not to get that carried away just yet…