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Opinion

Wolves move quickly to tie up striker and show Newcastle United the way as Mike Ashley sits back

2 years ago
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Wolves are once again showing Mike Ashley how to try and build on the momentum of coming up into the Premier League..

There are clear parallels between the two clubs but they have gone in very different directions in their approach.

When Newcastle were promoted in summer 2017, Mike Ashley did his best to block any kind of momentum, despite promotion and a popular manager.

The NUFC owner restricting Rafa Benitez to a low budget and relatively bargain signings, Newcastle somehow ending up 10th despite the lack of backing. Then even worse this past summer, when Ashley insisted on a £20m profit on deals rather than belatedly backing Rafa, ensuring another relegation struggle.

Wolves however, backed manager Nuno last summer and have reaped the rewards, ambitious signings taking them to seventh in the Premier League and an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to.

In contrast, lack of backing and the relegation struggles ensured Rafa Benitez wasn’t able to even have a go at the cups, meaning Newcastle still haven’t passed the FA Cup fourth round in 12 years of Ashley.

Now we have a perfect example of why Newcastle continue to tread water (at best) under Mike Ashley, whilst other clubs such as Wolves stretch ahead.

Both clubs have struck lucky this season with loan strikers, Raul Jimenez has scored 12 PL goals and got six assists to be a key player in their success.

Likewise, with nine PL goals and five assists, Salomon Rondon has led Newcastle to the brink of safety.

Mike Ashley is refusing to see that it is a no-brainer to buy a 29 year old Rondon this summer for his £16.5m buyout clause, just as was the case last summer.

Over at Wolves though, news has broken that in a deal worth up to £30m, they are now putting the final touches to a permanent deal for Jimenez, who turns 28 in five weeks time.

The fact is that whilst Newcastle fans talk about what will or won’t happen with Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez this summer, there is absolutely nothing to stop Ashley agreeing a deal to buy Rondon with West Brom NOW, then it would just be formally put through when the transfer window opens.

You don’t know whether to laugh or cry at a totally unnecessary scenario this summer, which looks very likely, whereby both Rafa and Rondon would end up walking away.

John Percy at The Telegraph:

“Big news from Wolves.

“Raúl Jiménez is close to signing permanently from Benfica in a club record move worth up to £30m.

“Fee/terms almost agreed, with confirmation of the deal expected soon.”

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