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Opinion

Newcastle fans getting excited when selling players is beyond bizarre under Mike Ashley

11 months ago
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Do you remember the days when Newcastle fans used to get excited by the players that the club bought?

Mike Ashley may be getting it in the neck with supporters mobilising to attack his ownership but other Newcastle fans are falling into the trap.

You actually get some fans, and local media, heaping praise on Mike Ashley and his minions for selling players.

The storyline being that we should be applauding them getting these departures ‘over the line’, especially when it is (allegedly, according to Sky Sports) £22m to be paid by Fulham, potentially (supposedly) rising to £27m if certain targets hit.

Surely Newcastle fans should understand by now, what players are sold for, is a bit of an irrelevance with this owner.

Andy Carroll for £35m…

Yohan Cabaye for £20m…

Moussa Sissoko for £30m…

Gini Wijnaldum for £25m…

Mitro for £22m/£27m…

Rafa Benitez generated a £40m profit on transfers in and out in 2016/17 transfer trading, mainly through that Sissoko sale, then last season there was a net spend of ony around £15m, £20m at the very tops.

Yet here we are this summer with Rafa Benitez not having a penny to spend unless he sells first.

So once again I say, why should we be celebrating what players are sold for by Newcastle United?

Even if you see the benefits of big selling fees, you then have serious doubts as to exactly how much of any sale price Rafa gets to spend now.

Merino goes for £10m and free transfer Ki Sung–yueng comes in.

Mbemba out for £6m and £3m Schar arrives.

Mitrovic for £22m and £9.5m Muto in.

Maybe we will see a miracle and a big net spend in the next 11 days will all leave us wondering how we could ever have doubted Mike Ashley…but I doubt it.

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to get excited at all if we sell Mitro for £22m, I will save that for when Newcastle buy a striker for that amount.

Although whether I’m actually still alive when that happens is open to doubt, plus by the time it does come around under Ashley, £22m will be what ambitious clubs such as Fulham and Bournemouth are spending on third choice left-backs.

The idea, that seemingly many Newcastle fans are being duped into, that it is somehow clever/good business to be selling a forward for £22m and then buying a replacement for far less, is just plain daft.

Yes, not all big transfer fee players work out, but they are far more likely to be good enough than your average budget signing.

Just look at last summer, players such as Manquillo, Joselu, Atsu and Murphy aren’t good enough for our first team, just our luck that the one player (Lejeune) that has proved good enough is now going to miss the whole season, or most of it at any rate.

The thing that people conveniently ignore as well, when congratulating Mike Ashley on selling high, is all the players who the club lose money on, especially those who aren’t good enough and can’t be shifted, seeing out their entire contracts or given away. The likes of Haidara, Marveaux, Obertan, Riviere and many more.

Fulham are no mugs. They are spending money and buying players who they think can progress their club, not only keep them up this coming season but help them build and build, year after year.

Maybe you think Fulham have paid £5m or so more than Mitro’s worth but what is that compared to the financial hit that Mike Ashley has already brought twice to the club with relegations in 2009 and 2016?

I understand from Rafa’s side of things why he is ok to sell Mitrovic but from the Fulham side of things, I can very much see why it works for them.

Mitro has scored 10 goals in 40 Premier League games but that isn’t the whole story. With 18 of those games as a sub, he has only actually played 2,203 minutes in the English top tier, his 10 PL goals coming at a rate of one every 220 minutes.

Taking that over a full season (38 x 90 minutes), he could potentially get Fulham 15 or 16 goals if staying fit and the Cottagers getting the service to him.

What would we give to be signing a striker who we believed had every chance of scoring 15+ goals this upcoming PL season?

Even if not backed elsewhere on signings, Rafa should be paying out that £22m Mitro money (plus a few extra quid) on a striker that he really wanted to go for.

Instead it will be another cut-price option such as Salomon Rondon, with 24 goals in three Premier League seasons.

Meanwhile, some foolish Newcastle fans will still be applauding Mike Ashley’s ‘business acumen’ on the selling front. You couldn’t make it up.
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