Difficult to get away from the fact that this Newcastle United transfer window is definitely proving to be more Mike Ashley, than Rafa Benitez, so far.
Transfer deadline day is now less than five weeks away and free signing Ki Sung-Yueng is the only new face.
This isn’t what we were hoping for by this point, expecting maybe…but not hoping for.
We do all have hope (to varying degrees) though that Rafa will still win the day but that game changing signing is still proving elusive.
The thing is, I don’t think we are very far from having what looks a very good first eleven.
If the team lined up like this against Tottenham in the opening game, I would be more than happy…
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, New Signing, New Signing, New Signing
The good news, in my opinion, is that we only need three new signings to really transform things.
However, the downside is that this extra quality is needed in the positions that are most difficult, and usually most expensive, to fill.
Talk in recent days has linked us with Alassane Plea, Kenedy and Andros Townsend.
Those three would do very nicely and in my opinion, no reason why Newcastle United shouldn’t be able to finance them.
You are probably talking about £60m+ to buy the three but with Merino out the door for £10m and then close to £30m for Mitrovic and Mbemba likely to be realised, you are a long way towards helping to pay for them.
Rafa Benitez has made clear that he wants quick players who are versatile and with those three or similar, you are ticking all the boxes.
We need better quality at left wing, number 10 and centre-forward, with to me both Townsend and Kenedy capable of playing number 10 as well as on the wing.
Expectation of so many Newcastle fans have been dragged so low, they don’t even think of these as NUFC type signings. It isn’t just Mike Ashley who needs to raise his sights, supporters also need to throw off this idea of ‘we’re no longer worthy’ and believe that with some ambition Newcastle United under Rafa Benitez could be special once again.
I don’t have any problem with the club replacing £10m Mikel Merino with freebie Ki Sung-Yueng BUT only if that allows us to go for more expensive better quality options elsewhere in the team.
Rafa has built his defence and Shelvey & Diame came together to form an unlikely but dynamic midfield pair, now we just need to add that flair in front of them.
Better times ahead are more than possible but Mike Ashley needs to allow Rafa Benitez to push the button now, serious realistic bids need to go in and get the ball rolling.
The alternative is that without these better players in the forward positions, a relegation struggle is all but inevitable.