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1 month ago

In case you hadn’t noticed, we are now in yet another summer of transfer window action…

And, with all the anticipation of a visit to get an injection, we can now wait with much excitement as to who Newcastle United look to sign.

Sadly, with reality always a close companion in the era of Mike Ashley, we have to scale back any hopes of signing players that are either relevant to our problems, or of sufficient quality at Premier League level – as a consequence of our reportedly meagre transfer budget.

I’ve read reports of £10m-£20m being bandied about as the ball park figure of any total summer spending, so we can forget bringing in multiple replacements of any real quality and we can certainly count out signing the excellent Joe Willock.

My mind immediately turned to which players were now set to be released by Premier League clubs up and down the country, then I wished I hadn’t.

Now let me be clear, I’m not against signing freebies deemed not good enough by others, in fact you can sometimes pick up the odd bargain. Sadly in the main though, there are perfectly good reasons why they are being released in the first place…they are simply not good enough.

Alas, Newcastle United won’t be signing Sergio Aguero and / or former Mag, Gini Wijnaldum.

With that in mind I shuddered in horror at a few of the names that I came across being booted from their current clubs, some of which will be well known to a certain Steve Bruce. This suddenly made the idea of signing them all the more plausible.

The sight of Ahmed Elmohamady on such a list fills me with cold sweats at the mere thought of him being offered a deal (no matter how short) to team back up with Bruce. The thought process of replacing Andy Carroll with Elmohamady for free simply can’t be ruled out at this club.

Sadly, the list offers yet more waifs and strays of the football wasteland for Lee Charnley and Steve Bruce to plunder in search of filling out the squad and justifying getting them over the line and deeming the window a success.

Former mackem striker Connor Wickham is available and having played for Bruce at the great unwashed, would it be a shout for Bruce to give him a call to return to the north east? Similarly, part time footballer Jack Rodwell is also up for grabs and being a former red and white, he could also be one to fill out St James Park with former mackems. I partly jest but you can’t rule anything out with this club and this Head Coach.

On a serious note, if we are to seriously look at any players released by their clubs this summer (and I think we probably should in part), we could do no worse than look at Andros Townsend and former NUFC loan left back Patrick Van Aarnholt from Crystal Palace. Marco Van Ginkel from Chelsea would be a good squad player, if he’s fit and able. All three may not be your cup of tea but we really have few options at our disposal with a squad badly in need of reinforcements and a restrictive budget in the event of no takeover.

I nailed my colours to the mast last week when I said we should go for fellow free agent Claudio Ranieri to replace our dipstick in the dugout but this is wishful thinking.

Newcastle United will just as likely to end up sticking with Steve Bruce and have a motley crew of Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Conner Wickham and James McCarthy (both Crystal Palace), Jack Rodwell (Sheffield United), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) and Kieran Gibbs (West Brom) lining up for us next season…


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