Would this add up to be a successful summer transfer window for Newcastle United?
Mike Ashley has reportedly made a measly £10m budget available to spend in this 2021 summer transfer window.
The message seemingly is, Steve Bruce would likely to have to offload players to increase his funds to a more realistic level.
This could all be a signal of developments in the seemingly never-ending takeover saga…but history tells Newcastle fans that it is more than likely a repeat of the buy low, sell high mentality that has seen the club linger in and around the relegation zone for the best part of the last decade.
Certainly, Aston Villa’s imminent signing of Emiliano Buendia for a reported £33 million will only reaffirm the feeling that Newcastle United remain stagnant whilst their rivals improve around them.
Of course, there have been some occasions in the past few seasons when Mike Ashley has been willing to allow NUFC to spend, a then club record £20 million on Miguel Almiron in January 2019 before spending a combined £56.5 million on Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin in summer 2019.
In addition to this, Newcastle splashed £20 million on Callum Wilson last summer; his impact proving to be the difference between relegation and safety.
However, the impact of our (relatively) big money signings has been mixed.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson have certainly justified their price tags, whilst Miguel Almiron has proven to be a consistent, hardworking player who does, on occasion, show glimpses of the quality he has.
All three of these signings have had a positive impact on the club and have justified the money that Mike Ashley allowed to be spent on them.
However, unfortunately Joelinton will have done little to convince Mike Ashley that he should spend big on the potential of a player. The Brazilian has struggled on Tyneside, through little fault of his own, isolated up front in a defensive formation for the majority of his first season. He seemingly struggled to adapt to the Premier League.
He did start to score slightly more regularly towards the latter part of last season and looked a lot more comfortable when he had attacking support from other players.
However, both Mike Ashley and the Newcastle fans will have hoped for a better return from the striker.
This is of course as much down to the player as it is the manager. Callum Wilson, who returned 12 goals in 26 Premier League appearance s last season, also looked incredibly isolated when Steve Bruce set up in a 5-4-1 formation in the earlier stages of the season.
It is true that there has been mixed success of transfers at Newcastle in recent seasons, for example, Jamal Lewis is yet to show he is a £15m+ player. Whilst Andy Carroll was given another contract last summer and yet only got four Premier League starts in the 2020/21 campaign, Steve Bruce actually choosing to play no out and out striker at times in Wilson’s absence despite the availability of Gayle and Carroll.
With the lack of funds available, Bruce will again find himself delving into the loan market, hoping to find another player in this summer transfer window who can have the kind of impact that Joe Willock did late on last season. However, history tells us that successful loans are far outweighed by unsuccessful ones, whilst the likes of the Willock one was a real one-off.
One player who I think might leave Tyneside is Allan Saint-Maximin, particularly if Newcastle don’t show any ambition with incoming signings. The Frenchman was in blistering form before the conclusion of the season, with Mike Ashley reportedly putting a £70 million price tag on him.
Most, if not all, Newcastle fans will be desperate to hold on to him. Whilst Callum Wilson scored the most goals for the team last season, Saint-Maximin provides a driving force that no other player in our squad gives us. His blistering pace and risk-taking can be the difference between winning or losing.
One criticism that has been levelled at ASM is that he is inconsistent, but if you look at the latter stages of last season, his performances do a lot to refute this criticism.
It is certainly another big summer transfer window for Newcastle United as a club.
It is vital that we keep hold of Allan Saint-Maximin even if someone is willing to pay over the odds.
History tells us that even when players have been sold for big money, Mike Ashley rarely increases the transfer kitty by anything close to the selling price, with the NUFC owner justifying this by happily taking payment in instalments.
That £10m basic budget would not be nearly enough for Newcastle United to properly improve the squad, to then lose one or more key players as well could be catastrophic.
It looks likely that once again, Newcastle United will spend the summer transfer window looking for those bargains and looking in the loan market.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]