The Newcastle Journal have interviewed Spanish football expert Gerry Armstrong today, and he only has good things to say about our new signing Jonas Gutierrez.
Jonas Gutierrez – a coup for Newcastle
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Mallorca midfielder is now commentating on Spanish football for Sky Sports, and thinks Gutierrez was the best winger in La Liga last season.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp had been trying to sign the Argentine International since last year, but Newcastle beat him to it, and were successful in persuading the boy to join Newcastle, and apparently many clubs were trying to sign him – so we did something very right to sign Jonas.
Of course the last couple of players we signed from the Spanish League were winger Albert Luque and center-back Marcelino, both of whom turned out to be big money flops on Tyneside.
However, Armstrong thinks that Gutierrez â€“ who is believed to have bought out the last two years of his contract at Mallorca so he could move to England, will be a far more successful player at Newcastle, and seems cut out for the English game.
Armstrong told the Journal today:
â€œIt really is a major coup for Newcastle United and Kevin Keegan will be absolutely thrilled to get him because a lot of clubs were after him from La Liga and the Premier League,â€
â€œI know for certain that Harry Redknapp will be absolutely gutted Jonas has gone to Newcastle because he has spent the last seven or eight months trying to get him to sign for Portsmouth. A lot of clubs have been watching him, but Newcastle have pulled it off.”
â€œJonas is a great signing for Newcastle and the fans should be thrilled that he will be at St Jamesâ€™s Park next season. It is a real statement of ambition in the transfer market and it will help the club look forward after the troubles it has had recently.â€
Gutierrez has signed a five-year deal at Newcastle, and though the fee has been quoted to be Â£9M – Â£10M, if he bought out his contract, wouldn’t that make him a free agent?Â We’re not sure Newcastle paid anywhere near the Â£10M that was often quoted yesterday.
The winger should provide a productive supply line for Michael Owen and the rest of the Newcastle strikers, but we think that means one of Milner, N’Zogbia or Duff will leave before the end of August, and we would think Duff would be favorite to move on.
We now have 4 wingers, but we believe Keegan will sign at least one more before the transfer window ends – maybe Lennon from Tottenham, which would allow Duff to move on, maybe to Sunderland.Â Then we’d have Milner, N’Zogbia, Gurierrez and Lennon as the choice of wingers – not too bad at all.
â€œFor me, he was one of the best players in La Liga last season and the biggest single reason why Real Mallorca had such a good year.”
“Danny Guiza was the top goalscorer in Spanish football last season and he got his ammunition from Gutierrez, he created the goals for him. Iâ€™m sure Michael Owen will be looking forward to playing with him.”
â€œI donâ€™t think Kevin could have signed a better player for Newcastle from La Liga because he has all the attributes needed to be a success in the Premier League and Iâ€™m really interested to see how he does.”
â€œHe is tall for a winger, and heâ€™s quick and strong. He has wonderful energy levels and will work really hard for the team. He also knows how to defend and heâ€™s not scared to tuck in when he has to.”
“He is a great team player because that is something all the Real Mallorca players had to be.â€
Gutierrez may take some time to settle in the North East, so the fans will need to be patient, but he’ll get almost a full pre-season, which is good,Â and Argentine players have always proved they are really good players – look at Tevez and Mascherano.
Last season both of them were great, but even those two took some time to settle in.
Gutierrez will probably start training at Newcastle in a couple of weeks time, as he takes a well earned break after playing for Argentina in World Cup qualifying games during the summer.
â€œI know Newcastle have not had the best track record when it comes to signing players from Spain, but Gutierrez is Argentinean and he has a different style of play. Heâ€™s certainly not another Albert Luque.”
“Argentinians generally have a good history in English football, going back to Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa at Tottenham, and Iâ€™m confident Gutierrez will be a success at Newcastle.”
â€œObviously, it is always difficult moving to a different country, with a different language and it will take some adjustment which can take time, but I really do think he will adapt to English football because of the type of player he is. Newcastle have obviously done their homework.â€
The more we hear about Jonas the more we like him.
The only thing would be how long will he take to settle at the club, not too long hopefully, but he does seem a great buy for the club.