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Newcastle United signing 1 player for £6m less than Mitrovic was sold for and this is the reaction?

3 months ago
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Hopefully Miguel Almiron will prove to be a great signing for Newcastle United.

Obviously we wish this for any player who arrives at St James Park.

The more money that somebody costs, naturally raises expectations that little bit more.

However, this signing is only getting the sheer overkill due to the circumstances surrounding it.

Those circumstances being…

That for the previous 12 years Mike Ashley had refused to allow any player to be bought for more than the NUFC transfer record paid back in 2005 (This despite Mike Ashley being happy to sell a series of players for amounts greater than the £16.8m paid out for Michael Owen – namely Andy Carroll £35m, Moussa Sissoko £30m, Gini Wijnaldum £25m, Yohan Cabaye £20m…).

This is as well as the shocking overall lack of net investment in the squad, especially in the time Rafa Benitez has been manager.

Like everybody else I was happy and massively relieved that at last Mike Ashley had given the go ahead to a transfer fee that is now the norm for any Premier League club to be ready to pay for one or more of their signings each season (Of course only the usual suspects can expect to fill a whole team with £20m+ players).

Why wouldn’t fans get excited that not only is this a potentially very good player but also one who can bring  flair to a team that has none.

A lot of hard working players throughout the team and some can pass it about a little bit better than others…lovely to think though that Almiron could prove to bring some of the spark of a Ben Arfa or Ginola, as well as buying into Rafa’s team ethic.

Anyway, from what I see, it isn’t the Newcastle supporters who are going over the top about this one signing. They see it for what it is.

Rafa Benitez getting the bare minimum from Mike Ashley in this window for a team still in serious danger of relegation. It desperately needed extra goals and creativity and the owner has allowed one player to be bought on the final day of the window, leaving it so late that he can only have a maximum impact on 13 matches and he hasn’t played for two months due to the MLS close season.

Newcastle fans aren’t seeing this as a huge change having happened at the club overall, Mike Ashley transforming into something approaching a normal ambitious owner.

Instead it is the media, especially in the north east, who have gone way overboard.

You would honestly think three or four Premier League price signings had arrived, not Miguel Almiron and a cheap and cheerful loan left-back who was way down Rafa’s list (certainly behind Jordan Lukaku) of cheap and cheerful loan left-backs – a player who got only three starts for Torino last season and seven for second bottom Monaco this season.

The Almiron signing hasn’t even pulled Newcastle up into being net spenders this season after the shambles of the summer, when Mike Ashley demanded a profit of over £20m on deals in and out.

It is mental to think how over the top the media reaction has been, when you consider Ashley sold a player for £6m more, only six months ago.

Miguel Almiron has arrived for £16m up front and rising to £21m, much of the add-on amount reported to be depending on Newcastle dodging relegation.

In the summer, Aleksandar Mitrovic joined Fulham for £22m and that figure set to rise eventually to £27m with add-ons.

There should have been a far bigger media reaction when Rafa Benitez wasn’t allowed to use that Mitro fee on a similarly priced signing, never mind going on now as if Almiron is the equivalent of Mike Ashley signing Lionel Messi.

To put it further into perspective, Fulham actually signed three players in the summer who cost more than Miguel Almiron is going to cost in total, as well as Mitrovic the Cottagers brought in Anguissa and Seri for bigger fees.

Bournemouth spent some £26m for a defensive midfielder (Lerma), yet the media hardly gave it a mention compared to the overreaction to Ashley allowing less money to be spent on Almiron.

My ears might have been deceiving me but I’m sure whoever the co-commentator was today on Sky Sports (for the Spurs v NUFC game), made reference to Miguel Almiron and said something like ‘Well the Newcastle fans certainly can’t have any complaints now’ in terms of Mike Ashley releasing club transfer funds.

I’m sorry but yes we can.

Newcastle’s front five today at Wembley cost under £12m for the lot of them, that is our reality.

Miguel Almiron is a very welcome punt on a player who could succeed but we need plenty more before anybody can believe anything has changed.

At his pre-Tottenham press conference, Rafa Benitez laughed at the idea that simply buying Miguel Almiron would mean he was instantly going to sign a contract extension.

Like the fans, he needs to see commitment to plenty of other investment, in both the first team squad and elsewhere (training complex, Academy etc), before he will think of ticking around after this season.

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