Newsletter

Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!

Opinion

Massive mistake for Mike Ashley to block two key signings before 11pm Monday deadline

3 weeks ago
Share

It clearly looks like Mike Ashley has put the blocks on anymore players being signed in this transfer window.

The transfer window kicked off on Monday 27 July and we are now on day 70 of the summer window.

The window set to close on tomorrow (Monday 5 October) at 11pm.

Last month, The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, who is close to Steve Bruce, said that the NUFC Head Coach was still desperate to bring in another striker and centre-back.

Callum Wilson is looking very decent with four goals in the opening four Premier League matches but what is the plan B if he can’t play?

Whilst Newcastle have serious and ongoing problems now at the centre of defence that need addressing, as Steve Bruce had clearly identified as well. Choosing to move Florian Lejeune out on loan so he could bring in another centre-back of his choosing, but so far nothing doing.

On Friday, Steve Bruce was talking to Sky Sports and asked about how likely there would be further transfer business before the window closes on Monday (5 October):

“I don’t expect to be that busy. If something becomes available then of course we will act, but we went to work and made sure that our work was done, before the season started. The four or five players we brought in, were all brought in without this hectic scramble at the end.

“However, if a player, a good player, becomes available who can make a difference to us, on loan, then we will have a look at it. As we stand at the minute, I don’t expect to be busy. We still have to let a few people leave this building and we will see what develops.”

The NUFC Head Coach making clear that Newcastle United won’t be proactively going out to try and make a deal happen, for either the essential extra striker or central defender.

Fabian Schar was forced off against Burnley after falling on his shoulder, his first start since recovering from an operation on it, whilst Krafth has been having to play as an emergency centre-back in the League Cup and had to do so last night after Schar’s departure, he went into last night’s game after being touch and go with a hip injury.

Despite this, the message from Steve Bruce (Mike Ashley?) after Burnley remains the same:

“I don’t think I will be jumping into the market, unless something mouthwatering comes along, which really makes us want to.

“We hope that Dummett, Clark and Lascelles will all be back in training a week on Monday and so we have the international break to get them right.

“I will not know about Schar until we scan him.

“We hope he hasn’t disrupted his shoulder where he has just had surgery.”

Steve Bruce confirmed on Friday that one thing was 100% sure, that definitely no permanent deals would be made in the remainder of the transfer window.

That isn’t such a big deal I think as at this late stage it realistically would have been almost certainly loans anyway. A lot of bigger clubs leave it late before allowing certain decent quality players out on loan, so every chance that if Mike Ashley did allow it, a very decent striker and / or centre-back could be brought in at this late stage.

As things stand, these are the possibilities for Newcastle United’s 25 man official Premier League squad that they will have to name after the closure of the transfer window, with Under 21 players such as Matty Longstaff and Elliot Anderson additional to that senior 25 man squad.

GOALKEEPERS

Dubravka, Darlow, Gillespie

RIGHT-BACKS

Manquillo, Krafth, Yedlin

LEFT-BACKS

Dummett, Lazaar, Lewis

CENTRE-BACKS

Lascelles, Fernandez, Schar, Clark

WINGERS / ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

Ritchie, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Murphy, Aarons, Atsu, Fraser

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Saivet, Hendrick

STRIKERS

Joelinton, Gayle, Carroll, Wilson

I make that, as well as the three keepers, we have then 26 senior outfield players, with 22 outfield places to fill.

We have a lot of players but not enough quality ones, especially in certain positions.

Nobody at all who can credibly fill in for Callum Wilson or allow him to be rested if necessary.

Whilst at centre-back, thankfully Federico Fernandez is a rock, seemingly impervious to injury. However, Dummett hasn’t played Premier League football for nine months, Ciaran Clark hasn’t done so for eight months, both of them increasingly injury prone and struggling to get back to full fitness. As for Schar, there is no way surely Newcastle can be relying on him to stay injury free, as even if a scan shows no serious damage this time, shoulder injuries are notorious for having further issues, particularly playing at centre-back, plus of course Steve Bruce clearly doesn’t rate him, since new year’s day he has only played Schar when no alternative – three PL starts at centre-back and two PL starts in midfield.

As for Jamaal Lascelles, he now has a hamstring injury and has had other injury issues in recent seasons. We can’t simply rely on him and Fernandez being more or less ever present.

The thing is, whether you are super positive after the start to the season, or remain cautious, you should surely see the need for these two key further signings.

Whether it is to help protect against relegation, or to take advantage of the relatively promising set of results so far.

After the international break, it is a tough schedule of Man Utd, Everton, Southampton, Wolves and Chelsea. Get the couple of loan deals done on Monday and they could have almost two weeks integrating into the squad before the action restarts.

Personally though, I am very much looking further into the future.

The quarter-finals (fifth round) and semi-finals of the Carabao Cup are the week leading up to Christmas and the first week in January, so Newcastle United will only have the players they have in the current squad for those matches, plus anybody else signed by 11pm tomorrow night.

Newcastle have six Premier League matches between 12 December and 2 January, the fifth round Carabao Cup game will be fitted in between Fulham (currently scheduled Sat 19 December) at home and Man City away (currently scheduled Sat 26 December).

It would be devastating if Newcastle went into that quarter-final, or even worse the semi-final, having to play a seriously weakened team in both centre-forward and centre-back positions because of lack of options in that busy period.

In the first three rounds of the League Cup, Steve Bruce has fiddled through, making 10 changes against Blackburn, nine at Morecambe and then seven at Newport. Lucky in two of those matches to get away with the team he put out, I don’t think we would be so lucky to get through both quarters and semis, plus of course it will be FA Cup third round as well in early January.

Share

If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2020 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks