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Opinion

This Newcastle United 2020 Summer transfer window is going very much according to plan

1 month ago
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The 2020 summer transfer window, how do you think it is going?

This is day 23 of the window and we are now 25 days away from the Premier League 2020/21 season kicking off.

Urgency, getting ahead of the game, helping the manager / team get off to the best possible start, isn’t ever in Mike Ashley’s thinking.

A month ago, Steve Bruce asked on 24 July about the takeover and the 2020 summer transfer window:

“We need a resolution [to the takeover] one way or the other but all I can do, along with Lee Charnley, is to plan for what we need and work on that.

“A lot of previous planning has been disrupted because of what has happened in the world [with the impact of the virus].

“We have got one or two things in the fire right now [regarding transfers].

“Let’s hope we can pull them off but we have got competition.

“We need to improve the squad but also have to ensure we get value for money.”

Signing any or all of the three loan players on permanent deals?:

“We’ll have the conversations after the season finishes.

“The three of them have certainly helped us.

“We haven’t had a left back so we brought Danny [Rose] in.

“Bentaleb has come back very well.

“Lazaro hasn’t had the game time but I’ve been quietly pleased with him.”

Mike Ashley orders Lee Charnley to order Steve Bruce to go out and pretend Newcastle United are in any way going to try and do things properly this summer.

Talk of ‘one or two things in the fire’, trying to pull them off early, did anybody really believe what Steve Bruce was saying?

Whilst pretty much every other club has strengthened their team / squad already, Newcastle United sit idly by.

This Newcastle United 2020 Summer transfer window is going very much according to plan…for Mike Ashley.

Mike Ashley yet again refusing to allow any early first team signings to allow them as much time as possible to bed in, whilst as for exactly what level of players Newcastle are aiming for…you have to have deep concerns.

As a free agent Mark Gillespie arrived as the new third choice keeper weeks before the 2020 summer transfer window opened.

Since then we have had weeks now of ‘intrigue’ regarding Jeff Hendrick, the media are now saying Newcastle hope to possibly sign the midfielder within the next week. If we can’t swiftly sign a very average (nine PL goals and five assists in four seasons at Burnley) free transfer midfielder, who is arguably worse than the options NUFC already have, what hope for the signings that Newcastle United really need?

The Newcastle United squad were back at the training ground on Monday as preparations begin for the new season and a very much shortened pre-season and it wass surely imperative that Mike Ashley allowed significant investment in this squad.

Sadly it appears we are stuck with Steve Bruce whilst Mike Ashley remains, despite Bruce overseeing relegation form in the final half of the season, the third worst form in the Premier League as Newcastle won only four of their final 20 games of the 2019/20 season.

Steve Bruce had previously said that the club would be looking at ‘Bosmans’ and indeed six of the nine players signed since Bruce arrived, have either been free transfers or loans.

Of the last 21 senior players signed, a massive 13 of them have been either free transfers or loan deals.

I would be very surprised if the main business under Mike Ashley doesn’t prove to be more frees and or loan signings in the coming weeks, with the odd budget buy possibly thrown in.

This Newcastle United team and squad needs serious strengthening, especially when it comes to goalscoring and creativity. Positions where every club is always looking for quality players and where bargains are rare.

To make the situation even more pressing, we also have a number of players that are major doubts for the start of the season. I can’t see Lascelles or Schar being ready for the opening game, after their respective operations, Newcastle also ended the season with the likes of Lejeune, Dummett and Clark still out injured.

Mike Ashley has relied ever more on temporary sticking plasters of loans and frees to help get Newcastle United to survive in recent seasons.

The future of the club put on hold, as usual, with no long-term building of the team / squad.

Newcastle also have an ageing squad, so adding older average players on contracts that will run through into their thirties is simply storing up ever more problems for the future, whilst at the same time almost certainly not solving the very immediate numerous problems that confront NUFC now. The new season only three and a half weeks away.

This 2020 summer transfer window needed a massive overhaul of the squad due to lack of previous investment and the refusal to look beyond getting to the next season each summer.

So to be relying on a few more cheap / free sticking plasters in the coming weeks could / would prove disastrous.

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