Sam Allardyce still hopes to make another three signings before the end of August as Newcastle United made the crucial transfer breakthrough yesterday.
To be clear theseÂ three signings are following the two NewcastleÂ wrapped upÂ yesterday – Smith and Cacapa – so that leaves one we don’tÂ know aboutÂ since we expect Drago and Enrique are all but 100% certain to come to Newcastle.
Who will that last player be?Â Â Â The favorite could beÂ Papa Diop from Fulham unless Sam springs another surprise like he did with Jose Enrique last night.
Papa Bouba Diop - will he be Sam’s ninth and final signing?
Both new signings, Smith and Cacapa are expected to make their Newcastle debuts against Sampdoria at St James’ Park tomorrow. Cacapa as it turns out trained all last week at the Benton training ground (where were all our spies who didn’t spot him?) and by his own admission Claudio has wanted to sign for the club for some time now. There’sÂ an excellent interview with him today on the official Newcastle web site. We wonder if Claudio could become a candidate for Newcastle captain this season?
Sam Allardyce, who admitted last week he was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of new signings has made the breakthrough he wanted with 21 year-old left-back Jose Enrique due on Tyneside next week to finalize a five-year-contract. Wonder if Enrique can make it over for the game tomorrow against Sampdoria – he could then get a feeling for what a great club he has signed for – if he doesn’t know that already. Claudio Cacapa had some interesting things to say about the game last week (in the interview above) against Juventus – all very complimentary to Newcastle and the fans.
Certainly expect both Sam and Chris to be recieved tomorrow at St. james’ with a lot more satisfaction and enthusiasm from the Newcastle faithful after pulling off four deals within 24 hours. It will be interesting to read Mort’s comments in the match program. They deserve big credit for what they have achieved this last week and have lifted the gloom on Tyneside.
After crucial talks with chairman Chris Mort last Monday Allardyce hinted he could be about to make some signing breakthroughs. This what Sam said at the time:
â€œIâ€™m still about three players away. Donâ€™t forget Iâ€™ve always wanted four, so if Kieron goes out and Alan comes in, I havenâ€™t got one extra. Iâ€™ve just got a replacement for one, so I still need four. I was good at maths at school.â€
â€œIf Claudio comes in thatâ€™s one of them and three to go. The availability of quality players is limited, the prices are huge, so weâ€™ll have to keep competing as best we can at that level to bring them in. “
“In the end, if I spend big money on two rather than medium money on three, if thatâ€™s the opportunity I get, I might do that. But at the moment strength in depth is lacking.â€
Sam was willing to talk today with Luke Edwards of the Journal about the transfer successes of yesterday:
â€œItâ€™s been a good 24 hours with Alan and Claudio signing. They are two crucial players. “
“might be surprised Iâ€™ve gone for Alan Smith but when you get a quality player of his caliber available in the market, I just couldnâ€™t turn my back on it.â€
â€œHeâ€™ll be tremendous for the club, heâ€™ll prove that over the next four or five years and heâ€™s a very versatile player. His only reason for leaving Old Trafford was a lack of games.”
“He wants to play football, not be paid well and not play. Thatâ€™s one of the reasons why I signed him.â€
It’s obvious from what Smith and Sam have both said that they have a mutual admiration and certainly Alan’s very positive statements about Sam and the club should get him a huge reception tomorrow when he is introduced – probably as a substitute.
Jose Enrique, who is regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in Europe, is reported to be ready for a Â£4M deal and a five year contract as was revealed to top off an extraordinary day for the club. One of our reader in Spain (MadridRob) had the following comment on Jose:
Just to say i live in Madrid and followed La Liga just as closely as the premier league this year.
Enrique is a pretty good player, he was solid in a pretty average Villareal CFf team last season and he and Forlan were the big players this term (after Riquelme left).
I am not going to say he was incredible, he simply wasn’t, but he was solid in a weakened team. Good sign, much potential, fingers crossed!
As a recap Sam has brought in the following players to the club:
Viduka, Barton, Rozehnal, Geremi, Smith and Cacapa in that order with Drago and Enrique the next ones to sign.
That will be eight players with a likelihood that Sam will complete his transfers with the signing of Papa Diop from Fulham for around Â£3M. If Sam is to shock us with a new player we would put two names forward as possible candidates – Riquelme and Deco. Maybe Newcastle can get one of these because we still need that playmaker who can open up defenses for our powerful strikers. We’ll probably see what transpires fairly quickly.
Sam must then decide which other youngsters – apart from Tim Krul who is off to Falkirk on a six months loan deal – will be sent out on loan this season to gain the valuable playing experience they need.
Things are certainly starting to look up at the club – first league game in seven days – can’t wait.
Comments very welcome.