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Opinion

Newcastle United competing with Premier League rivals in transfer window? This is the reality

3 weeks ago
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Just over halfway through the transfer window for Newcastle United and the other 19 Premier League clubs.

A lot of talk about where NUFC are at when it comes to strengthening the team / squad, has enough been done?

How do you measure what your club has done in the transfer window, compared to rivals?

Well, the starting point I guess is how much each PL club has spent so far…

On Saturday (23 July), The Mag had an update on all 20 Premier League clubs, a breakdown club by club, of total money spent so far in this summer 2022 transfer window:

£119.7m Arsenal (Matt Turner £7.5m, Marquinhos £3m, Fabio Viera £34.2m, Gabriel Jesus £45m, Oleksandr Zinchenko £30m)

£105m Tottenham (Fraser Forster Free, Ivan Perisic Free, Yves Bissouma £25m, Richarlison £60m, Clement Lenglet Loan, Djed Spence £20m)

£96m Man City (Erling Haaland £51m, Stefan Ortega Moreno free, Kalvin Phillips £45m)

£91m Leeds (Brenden Aaronson £25m, Marc Roca £10m, Rasmus Kristensen £10m, Luis Sinisterra £21m, Tyler Adams £20m, Darko Gyabi £5m, Sonny Perkins free)

£83m Chelsea (Kalidou Koulibaly £33m, Raheem Sterling £50m)

£73.2m Liverpool (Fabio Carvalho £5m, Darwin Nunez £64m, Calvin Ramsay £4.2m)

£70m Man Utd (Tyrell Malacia £13m, Lisandro Martinez £57m, Christian Eriksen free)

£63.5m Nottingham Forest (Taiwo Awoniyi £17m, Dean Henderson loan, Moussa Niakhate £13m, Giulian Biancone £5m, Neco Williams £17m,Brandon Aguilera £1m, Wayne Hennessey £0.5m, Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo £10m)

£60m Newcastle United (Matt Targett £15m, Nick Pope £10m, Sven Botman £35m)

£52.5m West Ham (Nayef Aguerd £30m, Alphonse Areola £10.5m, Flynn Downes £12m)

£46m Aston Villa (Boubacar Kamara Free, Philippe Coutinho £17m, Robin Olsen £3m, Diego Carlos £26m)

£41.1m Southampton (Gavin Bazunu £12m, Mateusz Lis Free, Armel Bella-Kotchap £8.6m, Romeo Lavia £10.5m, Joe Aribo £10m)

£33m Brentford (Aaron Hickey £17m, Keane Lewis-Potter £16m, Thomas Strakosha free, Ben Mee free)

£27m Fulham (Joao Palhinha £17m, Andreas Pereira £10m)

£23m Crystal Palace (Malcolm Ebiowei £2m, Cheick Doucoure £23m)

£20.5m Wolves (Nathan Collins £20.5m)

£15.5m Brighton (Julio Enciso £9.5m, Simon Adingra £6m)

£0 Bournemouth (Ryan Fredericks Free, Joe Rothwell free)

£0 Everton (James Tarkowski Free)

£0 Leicester

Have a look now at how the final 2021/22 Premier League table looked:

Premier League Table 22 May 2022

So, my question would be, how are Newcastle United doing in this transfer window, when it comes to trying to make better progress than their current rivals?

Well, even though Newcastle United are currently ‘only’ ninth when it comes to their spending, with £60m committed so far. I think NUFC have strengthened more than the current direct rivals, certainly when it comes to spending anyway, if we are taking that as the measurement.

I assume that most people would accept that roughly speaking, the challenge ahead is to try and become the dominant team out of the rest, then the next stage is to try and take on the big / top six.

So working down the Premier League placings from last season, from say seventh down to sixteenth, you have spending so far in this transfer window of West Ham £46m, Leicester £0m, Brighton £15m, Wolves £20m, Newcastle United £60m, Palace £23m, Brentford £33m, Villa £46m, Southampton £41m, Everton £0m.

The two anomalies amongst the eight who have spent more than Newcastle so far, are Leeds (£91m) and Nottingham Forest (£63m). Leeds almost got relegated on the final day of last season and have lost their two star players, reinvesting those transfer fees on trying to even match last season’s just surviving relegation level. Whilst Forest got promotion largely thanks to half a dozen loan players, none of who became permanent signings, so they are have to spend a fair bit just to replace those players, never mind deal with the rise to the top tier.

The three clubs that finished directly above Newcastle, have only spent £36m between them this transfer window. Leicester are now in a position where they need to sell before they can buy, Wolves are also unable to match the spending they could do in earlier Premier League seasons, whilst Brighton are also not able to spend big.

These are the clubs in particular that Newcastle need to get past and even if you ignore the NUFC spend in January, the investment this summer that Eddie Howe has been allowed so far, vastly exceeds them and most others.

West Ham look set to exceed Newcastle’s spending with the signing of Scamacca but they are facing a massive challenge in the coming season. As well as the big / top six, they are the seventh with European commitments. For starters, by 13 November 2022, not only do they have to play 16 Premier League games, they also have to play six group matches in the Europa Conference League.

You also have to factor in that there is definitely a willingness to sign more players by Newcastle, for starters, the deal was on the table and agreed by FC Reims to sign Hugo Ekitike. I have no doubt that at least one attacking player, if not two, will still be signed.

It is step by step, certainly in terms of spending power, the top / big six are still ahead of Newcastle United, due to the extra revenues they can currently bring in, with European participation a big factor. Already in this transfer window, those six between them have spend well over half a billion pounds.

Newcastle United do stand every chance this coming season of getting above current rivals, finish ‘best of the rest’ if everything falls right.

Then like Leicester and West Ham have managed in recent seasons, get in and around that big / top six and with Newcastle United having the power of the financial power of the owners and also growing revenues via the fans and from elsewhere, it can be a more sustained challenge than the likes of Leicester and West Ham have managed.

It is of course what the big / top six are afraid of, they know Newcastle United are a threat, they have always known it if NUFC ever got their act together.

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