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Opinion

Newcastle United owners spending £300m on signings in 2022 isn’t viable

3 weeks ago
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A busy time, to say the least, for the new Newcastle United owners.

Just over nine months ago taking over what was pretty much a shell of a football club.

It said ‘Premier League’ on the tin but after so much neglect and refusal to properly invest, on and off the pitch, for a decade and a half. It meant a never ending list of work and improvements to be tackled.

Whilst, largely behind the scenes, they have been tackling the infrastructure and business side of the club that needs massive work (Darren Eales now appointed to head it up) doing. The football side of course has also been getting the same treatment (Eddie Howe appointed to head that up, with then Dan Ashworth brought in to have a foot in both camps as Sporting Director – the business and football side of the club).

The most visible sign of progress with regard to the Newcastle United owners and the football side, is of course via the transfer market.

Four permanent signings in January that saw around £100m committed in total, with Bruno (£41.65m incl add-ons), Chris Wood (£25m release clause) and then Burn and Trippier (around £25m the pair in terms of guaranteed transfer fees and then reportedly significant add-ons, especially with Trippier, mostly dependent on NUFC avoiding relegation las season).

This summer window so far, around another £60m committed by the new Newcastle United owners, £15m (including his loan fee) for Matt Targett, £10m for Nick Pope and £35m Sven Botman.

Eddie Howe has gone public in saying he would like to add a couple of more attacking signings this window and hopefully this will still happen. Though as the head coach says himself, it is a tough market with not loads of players (especially quality attackers) available and valuations very much on the high side from potential selling clubs.

I have seen some fans questioning why Newcastle don’t just go out and buy Paqueta and Diaby, which would give us a pretty stunning first eleven. I agree…it would give NUFC a get your blood pumping exciting looking side.

However, these players just don’t come cheap. You would be looking at massively smashing the club’s current transfer record (Bruno’s £41.65m), twice. Plus, they would come in on wages that were significantly above what the current you earner is getting (reportedly Trippier on £110,000 a week).

Paqueta and Diaby would have the wow factor BUT that would take net spending on transfers towards £300m in 2022, which simply isn’t viable.

Even if the Newcastle United owners were happy to commit to this kind of spending within ten months of taking over, there would be huge implications for FFP (financial fair play) and mean far less flexibility for future transfer windows.

Bayer Leverkusen are said to be sticking to their £60m+ valuation (and release clause) for Diaby, whilst Lucas Paqueta would for sure be that similar kind of valuation in this market. I see people wanting to believe this daft rumour that Paqueta could be bought for £34m, how does that logic work???

Lucas Paqueta has played 30+ times for Brazil, is a first choice attacking midfielder for his country, is only aged 24, yet Lyon wouldn’t expect in this inflated transfer market to be able to get more than £34m for arguably their best player???

I think it sounds as though there might be say £40m or so left in the NUFC transfer budget this summer, so not impossible I think that including one on an initial loan deal, Eddie Howe could bring in two attacking players. Just not at that level of Paqueta and / or Diaby just yet.

That would still represent a net spend on transfers of around £200m in 2022 for the new Newcastle United owners and that is…simply incredible, compared to what has gone before. The simple fact is that a team and squad had to be largely rebuilt, including an entire new defence. If the new owners had arrived to find a team and squad that had been looked after and had proper investment the past four or five years and the right people making decisions on transfers, then it may have been a case of just needing to add maybe three or four signings like Trippier, Bruno, Paqueta and Diaby, to really put us up there challenging for top six. The fact we got two of those four in (as well as the others), is superb, especially at very fair prices considering their quality.

I think we can muddle through with Shelvey, Longstaff and Willock fighting for the third midfield spot and Fraser, Almiron and Murphy the same on the right. Then so much depends on keeping other key players fit and available throughout. You can then get away with having the odd player who has to play at his maximum every week just to not look out of place.

Thing is with buying another striker as well, it would have to be somebody who could also play with Wilson, as well as instead of. Not many of that level about in reality.

If you said to me no more signings this summer 2022 window BUT Paqueta guaranteed in January, I would snap your hand off. If when we get to January 2023 it is a case of NUFC up there in the top six or seven, then every chance that the Newcastle United owners would be tempted to back a big signing such as Paqueta to help attack that second half of the season. You never know what is around the corner and Lyon for example may be up for selling then (or another club with a similar level player), plus potentially as well the chance for Newcastle to finally subsidise some of their spending, as in January you could may well have other PL clubs, especially those worried about potential relegation trouble, paying decent transfer fees for players such as one or two of maybe Willock, Shelvey, Almiron, Fraser etc. Money coming in to help offset a big signing such as Lucas Paqueta, or Moussa Diaby and so on.

Then look to bring in a big striker signing next summer, amongst whatever other transfer activity.

I think that kind of progression in less than two years would be mental and definitely fighting for top six.

So much has already been done in two transfer windows, just imagine the possibilities when they have had four and then six windows to operate in, especially with by then far more revenue coming into the club with Newcastle United becoming far more successful on and off the pitch, especially with sponsorship deals that will be achievable.

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