Once we heard yesterday that Joey Barton was undergoing a medical we thought that was excellent news – because you only have a medical when you are going to sign for the club.
The fact that Joey had agreed to meet with West Ham was a little puzzling but the good news that broke last night was that Joey had agreed to move to Newcastle over West Ham – and will be Sam Allardyceâ€™s first signing at Newcastle â€“ albeit a controversial one.
West Ham and even Middlesbrough were interested in Barton but smart Sam ensured he wrapped up the deal at Newcastle before the other clubs even had a chance of talking to Joey. The $5.5M deal is for five years with Barton being offered around $50,000 a week â€“ about $10,000 a week less than West Ham were reported to be offering. Thatâ€™s good for Joey – that he is coming for the challenge and doesnâ€™t just go to the highest bidder.
Barton is still on bail pending investigations into the altercation with City team-mate Ousmane Dabo last month – and Newcastle have wisely added a clause to the deal to protect the club if Barton is still charged by police
Bartonâ€™s agent Willie McKay said last night:
â€œThe move is very close. Joey has agreed terms and passed his medical.
“Now we are waiting for the paperwork to be finished.â€
But when you look at the Opta stats â€“ which Sam and his backroom team seem to study â€“ you can see why Sam like Barton. We would think anybody now at the club who has poor stats â€“ beware â€“ although most will be given a chance under Sam.
We are sure that Bartonâ€™s signing will trigger a flurry of signings for Newcastle and that Scott Parker will move to West Ham â€“ unless he rejects the move outright.
Players we expect to be moved in at some speed now are:
- Mark Viduka
- Tal Ben Haim
- David Rosehnal
- Derek Boateng
- Leighton Baines
There are still other players linked to Newcastle but we think the first three above are all but definite – and Derek Boateng and Leighton Baines are very strong candidates to move to Tyneside.
You cannot accuse Allardyce of standing still and he has managed to create both a momentum and an excitement about Newcastle – that will only attract players to the club.
His persuasive and motivational qualities are on display for all to see â€“ and we believe that if thereâ€™s competition for a player â€“ as in the Barton case – Newcastle with Allardyce in charge will win a lot more than they lose.
Although Barton is a risk signing we think most Newcastle fans are pleased with the way Sam is moving quickly for new players.
Certainly this is an exciting time for fans right now – and augers well for next season and beyond.
Roll on August.
Comments always welcome.