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Opinion

Newcastle signed only Joselu in final 34 days of 2017 summer transfer window – Now 34 days left in 2018 window…

9 months ago
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The final 34 days of the 2017 Summer transfer window saw Newcastle United only sign Joselu.

Mikel Merino (on loan) had followed Javier Manquillo, Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune and Jacob Murphy into Newcastle United but there were big concerns still.

However, with 34 days to go, fans looked at it as a pivotal time to see what ambition would be shown.

Rafa Benitez had repeatedly said he was hoping Mike Ashley would still keep his transfer ‘promises’, so we waited to see which direction the window would go.

The reality was that Rafa in the end had to accept the situation, Ashley restricting him to only Stoke reserve striker Joselu for £5m in those final 34 days of last summer’s window.

You think surely history can’t repeat itself but how often have we been reminded of just what lengths Mike Ashley will gamble with the future of the team/club.

The ultimate being not a single player bought in summer 2013, indeed not a single one bought in for 18 months from after the January 2013 window until summer 2014.

So back to the here and now and whilst their is World Cup fever hitting the country ahead of the Sweden match, I am feeling a little hot under the collar with our NUFC transfer hopes.

If these 34 remaining transfer window days did see only one more journeyman squad player arrive, as happened 12 months ago, then we are definitely going to be deep in a relegation fight.

The recent frenzy of transfer (speculation) activity had me a little excited for a bit, well you can’t help it can you, no matter how sceptical or jaded you are due to 11 years of Ashley.

However, I am back now to thinking I will believe it if I see it.

I found it absolutely demoralising when after last summer’s window, Rafa Benitez admitted he hadn’t been able to challenge either Brighton or Huddersfield when it came to paying transfer fees or wages for new players.

You have to be realistic, if this is the case yet again then you have to accept Rafa can only do so much.

As it stands, with Kenedy no longer here and Merino heading out of the door imminently, with Ki Sung-Yueng the only new addition, we are actually significantly worse off than the final few months of last season.

I still had high hopes for Merino back then, in terms of looking ahead to this season, and as for Kenedy, he was the player who opened up the opposition and at last Newcastle had somebody to run at the other team. It made so many players look so much better, as the Brazilian’s threat opened up space and opportunity for others.

If Newcastle went into this new season with the same strikers and Atsu back on the left, I can only see struggle.

The thing is, we aren’t that far away from looking a far better team. Rafa makes it his business to sort the defence wherever he goes and he has done that job, he only needs now for ambition to be shown and buy the two or three attacking/flair players that can create the chances and score the goals that will transform relegation contenders into top eight contenders.

The clock is ticking (loudly).
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