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Newcastle United fans upset as transfer-linked players sign for rivals?

4 weeks ago

Newcastle United fans are still waiting for the first signing of this time between seasons.

I say ‘between seasons’ rather than transfer window because the Premier League transfer window doesn’t officially open until 10 June.

However, despite the window not officially open until eleven days time, various Premier League clubs have already announced their first summer signings, with official registration and paperwork to be completed after the opening of the window.

The stand out club is Aston Villa, in terms of swift business.

As well as the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho who had been at Villa on loan in the second half of last season, Steven Gerrard has also brought in Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara.

All three players having been previously linked to Newcastle United, to greater or lesser extents.

This has brought a fair amount of hilarity from Aston Villa supporters, claiming their club able to make signings that Newcastle wanted to make but couldn’t. Something which is then extended January signing Lucas Digne, who Newcastle United were also heavily linked with in the last transfer window, you could even also throw in Danny Ings who Villa signed last summer – yet another one who has been claimed to be an NUFC target in a number of previous windows.

The media have also loved this, casting doubt on just how ambitious and competitive ‘the richest club in the world’ are actually going to be able / willing to be in reality.

To have these three / four / five Newcastle United targets all sign for Aston Villa instead, does look very newsworthy on the surface…

However, if Newcastle United fans got upset every time a player previously linked to NUFC ended up at a rival club, then you’d be lucky to ever stop the tears.

The reality is, with probably a majority of all notable Premier League signings having previously been linked to NUFC, as Newcastle United fans we are more often than not going to have seen them mentioned before.

This is of course especially so since the October 2021 takeover, which meant the media were now willing to run stories naming any player they wanted to, claiming that due to the Saudi PIF financial power and indeed that of the Reubens – the UK’s richest family, any signing could potentially made. Whilst Newcastle United fans joked about Mbappe, plenty of the media wrote pieces claiming NUFC were seriously interested / intending to try and sign real elite players such as him, only months after taking over.

These latest signings of Boubacar Kamara and especially Diego Carlos, have actually prompt some Newcastle United fans to ‘wonder what is going on’, if Eddie Howe were trying to sign the central defender in January…why have allowed Aston Villa to sign him without competition, now that Sevilla decided to let him go?

Like the rest of you, I have no idea of what actually went on with Diego Carlos or indeed any other possible Newcastle target BUT what I do know, is that the transfer market is a moving target. What the situation is at one point, in one window, can then quickly become something very different by the time the next window comes around.

Maybe Eddie Howe / Newcastle United were one (maybe more than once) interested in signing one or more of Ings, Digne, Carlos, Coutinho and Kamara but they DID sign Targett (hopefully loan deal will be made permanent), Burn, Guimaraes, Trippier and Wood.

Back in January, I have no doubt that something like 99% of Newcastle United fans would have chosen Carlos over Burn if asked.  After having watched Dan Burn now, in his 16 starts Newcastle have picked up 31 points, whilst the defence has become unrecognisable to the mess that developed under Steve Bruce. Only £13m, Dan Burn has ley to this, in only two of his 16 NUFC games has more than one goal been conceded, whilst the Geordie defender has helped produce six clean sheets in those sixteen matches. Outstanding.

If I had the chance now to go back and choose whether I’d have wanted Burn or Carlos…one thing I know for sure, it wouldn’t be 99% of Newcastle United fans wanting the Brazilian ahead of the Geordie.

During the upcoming season, Kieran Trippier will turn 32, Federico Fernandez 33, Martin Dubravka 34, Karl Darlow 32, Mark Gillespie 31, Dan Burn 31, Fabian Schar 31, Paul Dummett 31, Jamaal Lascelles 29, that is a lot of…experience.

Diego Carlos turns 30 during this 2022/23 Premier League season, so maybe not the biggest surprise that Eddie Howe and Newcastle United weren’t pitching still for the Brazilian this summer. Coutinho turns 30 in 13 days time, I doubt very much if he was ever a serious target for Newcastle but certainly adding yet another player in his 30s isn’t I’m guessing the way Newcastle United intend to go.

I certainly see most of Newcastle’s business this summer being aimed at players with at least some of their best years ahead, with possibly the odd older player such as for example Tarkowski on a free as an exception.

Aston Villa are an interesting comparison in terms of not only their transfer business…but also how the media cover the actions of the two clubs. Fair to say that Steven Gerrard has made more ‘obvious’ signings than Eddie Howe since the pair got their respective jobs…especially taking into account the respective signings, a bit of a shock for the journalists when they have then watched since the January transfer window closed, Eddie Howe pick up 34 points and Steven Gerrard only 19!

When the January transfer window closed, Aston Villa were 11 points ahead of Newcastle United, the final league table showed a 15 points turn around and NUFC three places and four points ahead of Villa.

Who knows what this next season will bring BUT so far I have absolutely been happy with the transfer window approach of Eddie Howe and the new Newcastle United owners.

Whilst the wages for the likes of Digne, Coutinho, Kamara and Carlos must easily outstrip in total those made by Eddie Howe so far, that if course doesn’t get a mention in the media.

Nor does the fact that last season Newcastle United and Aston Villa spent almost exactly the same amount of money in the 2021/22 season. Newcastle with £118m spent over the course of last season (all figures via Transfermarkt), whilst Aston Villa it was £117m.

You have to laugh at just how ridiculous the journalists have been, just because the new NUFC owners were forced to act in January due to Ashley’s neglect making Newcastle near certainties for relegation, somehow it is ‘cheating’ to spend money mid-season as opposed to those like Villa who spent most of theirs in summer 2021.

The hysteria surrounding Newcastle United now spending some money becomes all the more pathetic, when you then compare the previous two seasons (2019/20 and 2020/21) spending with Aston Villa. Villa spending £235m over the course of two years, whilst Mike Ashley restricted NUFC to £101m in the same period.

We now have Aston Villa already committing to a serious amount of money on transfer fees and wages for three more signings ahead of next season, yet no media outrage about buying success and so on.

Just wait until Eddie Howe convinces Mbappe to sign…


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