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Rio Ferdinand – Hate to agree with him but he has a point on direction of new Newcastle owners

4 days ago
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Rio Ferdinand has been discussing the Newcastle United takeover.

His mate and business associate Mike Ashley replaced by a consortium made up of the Saudi PIF with 80% of the ownership, then Amanda Staveley 10%, plus the Reuben brothers holding the remaining 10%.

Rio Ferdinand has said some remarkably ridiculous things about the situation at Newcastle United in recent years, with his attacks on the fans and defence of Mike Ashley, making him look such a fool.

However, whisper it quietly, but I think Rio Ferdinand has been speaking a fair bit of sense with how the new Newcastle United owners should now proceed.

We are of course talking about player recruitment, with Newcastle desperately needing better quality.

However, rather than looking for options overseas, Rio Ferdinand believes that mainly concentrating on players already in the Premier League should be the focus, looking to particularly English players.

Rio Ferdinand talking on his FIVE YouTube show – 11 October 2021:

“I would be going to try and make like a mad couple of signings, like huge, that I think would be gettable.

“I would be looking at people like Raheem Sterling, he is not playing regularly and I’d go ask him the question.

“I’d go and ask Declan Rice, ‘What’s going on?’

“Them two would be the first two on my list and I’d go all out to go and get them. 

“And then I would be trying to get people like Jesse Lingard, who is in and around the Man Utd squad.’

“It is unrealistic until you [go and] ask the question and I would be going out there to get answers from these types of players, then you work your way down your list.

“He [Kylian Mbappe] is just dreamland but there are people that would be on the periphery of the Man United squad, the Chelsea squad, the [Man] City squad…I would be looking at players like that, I would be all over those types of players.

“Then I would be wanting to unearth some young talents probably from around the world that you think would be able to mix and blend in to that.

“Do you know who I’d go out and get now as well? I would be going mad for young, English talent…The best young English talent.

“Max Aarons – the right-back at Norwich, Under-21 player.

“[Chelsea’s] Conor Gallagher, straight in there. Get him in there.

“They are two names straight away, young kids who I’d say they’re coming into Newcastle. I want young English talent.

“Newcastle are an English club and I would want a young core of English players.”

I definitely think that Rio Ferdinand is correct in talking about going for the best possible young English players.

He names the likes of Conor Gallagher and Max Aarons, I would add others such as (21 year old) Tariq Lamptey who tore Newcastle apart from right-back when playing for Brighton at St James Park last season.

The centre of midfield desperately needs better quality, for me 26 year old James Ward-Prowse would be a no-brainer to go for.

Whether you get them is another matter but obviously the big change now is that reasonable belief that transfer fees and wages will be achievable for most transfer targets now, with the new owners in place.

The likes of James Tarkowski at Burnley has been touted, Newcastle desperately need to step it up at the back with currently the worst defensive record in the Premier League. You would expect improvement once we have a decent manager in place BUT players are needed as well, if there is to be the hope of significant improvement as quickly as possible. The 28 year old centre-back looks a decent target, whilst to be honest, any number of central defenders and full backs / wing backs are out there that can massively improve the current situation.

As for the likes of Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard, they are another level of ambition at the moment, particularly the first two named. Amazingly Sterling is only 26 years old (it feels like he has been around forever) and as Rio Ferdinand says, he isn’t a regular now at Man City, starting just two of seven Premier League games this season and coming on as a sub in another five. You would be talking about a serious transfer fee still and huge wages, maybe a step too far at this particular time, but as Ferdinand says, you don’t know until you ask the question.

A 22 year old Declan Rice who has played every PL minute for West Ham this season, he’s much sought after and would arguably the least achievable of the trio. With Jesse Lingard, he turns 29 in December and has only played 45 minutes in brief PL sub appearances this season, he would surely be achievable if whoever the new NUFC manager is, sees Lingard as a player to go for.

Quite amusing that it is Rio Ferdinand going on about players such as Sterling and Rice because I think even with having these new owners, Newcastle fans would still be ridiculed if it was they who were pushing players such as them as potentially realistic January targets.

Regardless of what will or won’t happen with transfers, one thing is for sure. It is just nice to be able to dream a little bit of what could be possible, rather than dreading yet more lack of ambition with each upcoming transfer window, as was overwhelmingly the case with Mike Ashley.

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