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This exclusive on January Newcastle United signings makes zero sense

1 month ago
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There has been an ‘exclusive’ about Newcastle United signings in January.

All a bit dubious really.

We must easily be the club that has most nonsense pushed out from Ashley’s people when you can’t sign players, then so little/slow action when you can sign them!

The ‘exclusive’ on Sunday morning is from the Chronicle and they claim ‘Exclusive: Newcastle step up search for wingers as Steve Bruce given green light for January additions.’

The article states:

‘Steve Bruce has the backing of his board in terms of funds providing the deal is right for the club. Bruce wants wingers with pace and power and has been told that money is available for the right type of players as far as age and potential future sell on value is concerned. Newcastle United scouts are looking closely at the wide areas ahead of the January window – and head coach Steve Bruce will be backed in January if he needs to bring in new blood…he will hold sit down talks with everybody, including head of recruitment Steve Nickson, in the coming weeks.’

The piece claims that the need for Newcastle United signings on the wings has been brought into focus by the injuries to Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin.

However, targeting wingers as signings surely makes no sense.

If Newcastle are to continue playing with three centre-backs then it makes the winger argument redundant.

NUFC are playing with wing-backs and will surely continue to play this system because centre-back is our strongest position. Lascelles, Schar and Dummett have been three of Newcastle’s best players and with Lejeune also to come back, we need as many of them on the pitch as possible because they are better in their position than most of our other players are in theirs.

For me, the big problem is that Newcastle were desperate for better quality wing-backs in the summer and instead, brought in players who are no better, or indeed worse than what we had. We needed wing-backs who would be significantly better and be automatic first choice but instead Mike Ashley tried to do it on the cheap.

Price tag doesn’t always point to level of quality (Dubravka, Schar etc) but for £5m I think we can see what we have got in Emil Krafth. Not the worst player Newcastle have ever had but he is no better than Yedlin and Manquillo and really poor defensively, at fault once again yesterday for Liverpool’s vital equaliser. I saw one of the local journalist talking about Krafth as a regular for Sweden but he’s not, he is a squad player and has only started two competitive games in the past 22 months.

On the other side, Willems scored that great goal but  as with Krafth, he is a liability at the back far too often, Liverpool getting in behind him a number of times, with a great last ditch Dummett block saving his blushes on one occasion. If you are a striker then you can get away with contributing little, if you score a brilliant goal. However, this NUFC system is very reliant on quality in the wing-back positions and loan signing Willems isn’t good enough either.

The idea of targeting wing positions in January also makes no sense because the £30m or so that wasn’t spent in the summer, needs to be focused on getting the striker/goalscorer that should have been bought in the summer. If Carroll was going to be signed then it had to be as well as Joelinton AND another striker, they knew Gayle was knackered and Carroll was as well, plus even if Carroll does get fit he will be used as an impact sub and not as somebody who can be relied on to start games.

I also think that Newcastle desperately need a central midfield player/playmaker who can carry the ball, after a striker that should be the next priority, not a winger.

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