It was a strange one back in January, Sky Sports announcing that their sources had told them that Mike Ashley was backing Rafa Benitez with a £20m striker.
Even stranger was the fact that this £20m striker was then claimed to be Nicolai Jorgensen.
What wasn’t strange for Newcastle fans, was that the January transfer window ended with Rafa Benitez restricted to only loan signings, not a single player bought.
The inescapable conclusion for most supporters was that yet again Mike Ashley had used his mates at Sky Sports and elsewhere, to do his PR for him, making out that he was prepared to back Rafa when the truth was clearly something very different.
With Nicolai Jorgensen flagged up as this supposed big Newcastle target, Toon fans started to take an interest and watched him on TV for Feyenoord (see below).
Feyenoord had bought the journeyman striker for only £2.5m in June 2016 and for his valuation to suddenly be £20m supposedly, seemed crazy, based on scoring 21 goals in the Dutch league in his first season. Prior to that, he had scored a mediocre number of goals in the even weaker Danish league, having failed to score a single goal for Bayer Leverkusen and Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga.
The claims that Mike Ashley had allowed a bid more than Newcastle’s current transfer record was scarcely believable and as bizarre as the fact that that transfer record is 13 years old.
Last season, Nicolai Jorgensen ended up with 10 goals in the Dutch league, with only three of those after Christmas.
Saturday saw Newcastle fans getting a chance to see Jorgensen on the big stage, Denmark facing a very average Peru side.
A bit like what John Williams said back in February (see below), difficult to see what the striker has going for him really, certainly not at the supposed £20m mark.
Monday morning sees the Chronicle reporting that their ‘Dutch sources’ have told them that Feyenoord are actually still holding out for a big fee, with it now claimed to be £22m.
We all know prices have gone crazy but that looks closer to around £20m overvalued than that being his actual worth.
I suppose that the reality is that in this era of so much money going on strikers who have achieved so little, that somebody might panic and be willing to pay Feyenoord up to maybe £10m, but surely impossible to think that Nicolai Jorgensen would be Rafa’s dream striker at any price.
The Mag – Contributor John Williams writing on the 9 February 2018:
I was sick and fed up of watching endless TV dramas, especially when we have our own at Newcastle virtually every week.
I decided to do some scouting instead, watching fourth top Feyenoord against fighting relegation Groningen last night (Thursday), specifically to watch Nicolai Jorgensen.
One swallow doesn’t make a summer and all that claptrap and he might have had an off night but…
Here is my overview:
Firstly, he is not physically enough (despite being 6ft 2), was brushed off the ball several times.
He doesn’t anticipate the ball into the box (watched too many Joselu videos).
Nicolai Jorgensen controls the ball well on the ground.
He hardly won a header, jumping at least twice only to be nowhere near the ball.
Never looked like scoring, despite Feyenoord winning 3-0 against weak opposition.
Overall opinion – Not worth £10 million, far less the £20m/25m allegedly asked for.
Not up to Premier League standard, Championship at best.
Lastly, Dutch football is terrible.
Veteran Robin Van Persie (turns 35 in August) came on, looked at least one class above anybody else.
No wonder Holland didn’t qualify for the World Cup.
(ED: Nicolai Jorgensen only has seven league goals this season and apart from 21 goals last season for Feyenoord, the 27 year old’s best two other goalscoring years, have been 15 and 11 league goals in the even weaker Danish league. It is actually Jorgensen’s Feyenoord team-mate Steven Berghuis who has been the Dutch club’s top striker this time and he got two assists last night against Groningen. In total, Berghuis has 12 goals and 8 assists in 21 league starts this season, whilst Nicolai Jorgensen has 7 goals and 3 assists in 16 league starts. Not writing Jorgensen off as a Newcastle target but as John says, he has to do an awful lot more to justify that £20m+ valuation, even in these crazy transfer times.)