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Opinion

Why these 5 Newcastle United signings prove no need to panic…just yet

2 years ago
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Fans ended the season worrying about Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle United signings that would/wouldn’t be made this summer.

That position has now changed.

Fans still worrying about Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle United signings that will/won’t be made this summer AND also now stressing about this possible takeover.

This is now the 23rd day of the 2019 summer transfer window and no news on any Newcastle United signings.

Indeed, I think pretty everybody has now switched off from even thinking about anything happening, until the managerial and ownership issues are sorted first.

I share all the stresses and concerns but as far as the lack of signings, I’m pretty relaxed about it, at least for the moment anyway.

If Newcastle United get new owners and Rafa Benitez is convinced by them to sign an extension, then I think the transfer activity will definitely flow from there.

Even if it takes another couple of weeks to reach a point where the NUFC takeover is agreed in principle and the owners can start to formulate a plan and have Rafa making the key decisions, then we will be more than ok.

I’m not looking at a scenario of money no object signings as everybody has joked about, the likes of Mbappe and so on.

Instead, Newcastle in there trying to sign players that are realistic targets that are needed to progress the club now into the top eight.

Mike Ashley and his lackeys (with the help of pet/lazy journalists) have put out this PR nonsense constantly, making out that signing players these days is such a complicated business.

If you are doing mega deals for a Lionel Messi or Ronaldo then you can well imagine that it is a massive undertaking.

However, for your typical Premier League signing it comes down to just two things in the end game

Mike Ashley wants us all to think it is so different for Newcastle United compared to other clubs but it’s not.

It comes down to are you prepared to pay the transfer fee and wages?

When Newcastle aren’t signing the players that they need, Mike Ashley wants us to blame anybody apart from him.

Between February 2013 and summer 2014, Newcastle didn’t buy a single player. Mike Ashley specifically employed Joe Kinnear as director of football to cover the summer 2013 and January 2014 transfer windows and be blamed for no players bought. Fans and media supposed to believe it was JFK’s incompetence rather than a refusal of the club’s owner to sanction signings.

In recent years it has been Lee Charnley held out for ridicule to shield Mike Ashley, many fans bizarrely convinced that Charnley is a major obstacle to getting more ambitious signings into St James Park.

Simple fact is that agents set up all of the deals now and that is why they take such horrendous amounts of money out of the game. They put the deals together, either at a club’s request or presenting to them (the clubs) as potential signing(s), with then the only question being is that club, Newcastle or whoever, prepared to pay the transfer fee and wages. If you are then it gets you a seat at the table and if other clubs are also prepared to pay what it takes, it then depends on you convincing the players that yours is an ambitious club which is right for them.

It was actually Mike Ashley himself who exposed the fact that whether Newcastle United make major moves in the transfer market or not, is a choice by him, not down to bad luck or Kinnear/Charnley messing up.

When Newcastle United were in big relegation trouble in January 2013, they signed four players in the space of only 96 hours (21 January 2013 – 25 January 2013). Add in another who was signed on 4 January 2013, that made five Newcastle United signings in there weeks, three of then French internationals.

4 January 2013 – Mathieu Debuchy

21 January 2013 – Moussa Sissoko

22 January 2013 – Yoan Gouffran

22 January 2013 – Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

25 January 2013 – Massadio Haidara

The fear of relegation and losing Premier League revenues and more importantly, worldwide exposure of his retail empire, forced Mike Ashley to agree to allow the transfer fees and wages to be paid.

Five players bought and then not another for a year and a half…

It’s not rocket science is it?

So, if we have Rafa and new owners working in tandem I have every confidence the recruitment side of things won’t be a problem this summer.

Obviously, ideally we would be getting on with it earlier but the right signings can still be made and will be, if there is a change in personnel and mindset at the very top.

I have little doubt that Rafa Benitez has a very good idea of the market place at this moment in time and which players  he will want to sign, Salomon Rondon an obvious one for starters.

The odd potential target from his lists may be sold in the meantime but once the takeover is sorted (if indeed it is) he can quickly get deals set up.

We are now just waiting for the button to be pressed and that process to start.

The alternative of Mike Ashley still being here in August doesn’t bear thinking about.

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