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Bad news is no chance of Joe Willock staying on – Good news is Andy Carroll might stay…

7 months ago

The 2021 Newcastle United summer transfer window was officially declared open yesterday.

As fans each happily sang along to their own version of the Blaydon Races, celebrating the 159 year anniversary of the 9th June 1862, Newcastle United were bursting into action on the transfer front.

The crack NUFC recruitment effort consisting of Lee Charnley sitting on the bog, reading through the lists of players unwanted by other clubs and now available on free transfers.

Dreaming of landing the next Jeff Hendrick.

Only 25 days until the Newcastle United squad return for pre-season preparations, only nine weeks until the new season starts, yet only tumbleweed blowing down Barrack Road when it comes to action on the transfer front.

Surely even the most unrelentingly positive Newcastle United fan must have realised by now that Joe Willock won’t be playing again for NUFC, at least not whilst Mike Ashley is still here?

If Newcastle United didn’t even bother having a buying price clause included in the loan deal, which would have been around the £10m / £12m mark, you would have to be pretty deluded to think Mike Ashley will now agree to a £25m / £30m bid AND for Joe Willock to be playing for Newcastle next season.

If you simply dismiss this as uncalled for negativity, then I don’t really know what to say to convince.


Mike Ashley agreeing to pay £30m, £20m more than he could have landed the player for if inserting a clause only four months ago, simply not happening.

Mike Ashley agreeing to a bid of £30m (or £20m…£15m…) for any player this summer, simply not happening.

Mike Ashley convincing Joe Willock that this is the ambitious go ahead club he should be definitely joining this summer, simply not happening.

Mike Ashley willing to outbid all other interested Premier League clubs on Willock’s transfer fee and wages, simply not happening.

Bottom line is, Joe Willock was with Newcastle United for four months and in that time absolutely no move was made to turn it into a permanent deal.

As Willock scored his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th goal from midfield in only 11 starts and three sub appearances, Mike Ashley and his minions not taking Joe Willock to one side at any time and saying we really want you here, we will build a team around you, Dubravka, Wilson and ASM etc, what do we need to do to keep you here…?

That is when you are in the most powerful position, that is when you have the edge on anybody else, that is when you would try and persuade Joe Willock his future is at St James Park, when he is smashing in goals, smashing records and absolutely loving it.

Honestly, the local media seriously reporting as though it is some kind of clever strategy that will end up with Willock eventually signing, reporting along the lines of…’Newcastle United are committed to try and sign the Arsenal midfielder and will test their resolve, Mike Ashley ready to make major bid when Joe Willock returns from holiday…’ etc etc etc.

Yes, I can see how this cunning (imaginary) plan might work, instead of making your best offer to Joe Willock and Arsenal and throwing everything at getting a deal done in May, before he scores even more goals and then leaves, instead you are going to wait until he goes back home to London, any positives he associates with Newcastle United quickly fading, then his agent fielding countless offers from other, ambitious, clubs.

However, just when I was losing all hope for the weeks ahead, I shouted out: ‘Alexa – Please sum up this 2021 Newcastle United summer transfer window…’

The heartening reply I received was: ‘Bad news is no chance of Joe Willock staying on – Good news is Andy Carroll might stay…’

That of course didn’t happen – my exchange with Alexa, as of course any plan by Mike Ashley to buy Joe Willock hasn’t happened and won’t happen.

However, the Chronicle did bring us that big uplifting news, rather than Andy Carroll sent on his way, Mike Ashley has actually offered Andy Carroll yet another contract, with the Geordie striker asked to consider it whilst on holiday.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Absolutely no attempt to try and buy a 21 year old English midfielder who has just smashed all kinds of records, scoring in all of his last seven games for Newcastle United, from midfield.

Then offering a third contract (of this spell) to a 32 year old striker who by the time the 2021/22 season kicks off, will have scored one Premier League goal in the last 40 months. A forward who Steve Bruce constantly refused to play last season, only four starts, none in the last four months and only 19 minutes off the bench in those final four months of the season, Bruce even preferring to play with no strikers at all in some of the final matches with Wilson out – rather than play Andy Carroll and / or Dwight Gayle.

Even by Mike Ashley standards, if Andy Carroll stays on with a new deal and no effort whatsoever made to sign Joe Willock, can we honestly get any lower?

A squad that currently has only one goalscorer in Callum Wilson, to then go and keep Carroll would surely mean no serious intention of even trying to bring in a striker this summer who could share the goal burden with Wilson.

I can just see the headlines now ahead of the Premier League kicking off in August.

‘Newcastle United unlucky in transfer window so far BUT Joelinton and Andy Carroll flying in training…’

Nothing else for it…’Alexa, how do I break my addiction to Newcastle United????’


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