Now that we’ve entered the last month of the transfer season it’s time to take stock on what our current squad looks like.
Â Argentine signing Jonas Gutierrez -Â looking forward to seeing him play
We’ve signed 3 players this season in Jonas Gutierrez, Danny Guthrie and Sebastien Bassong and we’ve let about six players move on in Stephen Carr, David Rozehnal, Lamine Diatta, Peter Ramage, Emre and James Troisi. The players that left were all apparently sanctioned by manager Kevin Keegan.
So here’s the squad we currently have:
Goalkeepers:Â Given, Harper, Krul, ForsterÂ (4)
Defenders: Beye, Faye, Edgar, Taylor, Cacapa, Enrique Bassong (7)
Midfielders: Geremi, Milner, Gutierrez, Butt, Barton, Guthrie, N’Zogbia, Duff (8)
Strikers:Â Smith, Owen, Martins, Viduka, Carroll (5)
We also have youngsters LuLua, Kadar and Tozer, who are very good but we’ll not include them here, although but we expect Kazenga LuaLua to get some outings this season, and the two 18 year-old defenders to be shipped out on loan.
Let’s go through the team and what we need:
Goalkeepers – great, no problem and we expect Forster or Krul to be loaned out for the season – but we’re very strong here and would expect either Forster or Krul to be loaned out for the season – probably Forster.
Defenders: weakest part of the team, as usual and it would seem at the very least we need a center-back and left back. If we can get Coloccini and a first class left back we should be OK, since a lot of our defenders improved dramatically last season under the coaching of Keegan and his new team.
If Kevin is serious about saying yesterday that he only needs two new players, we think he’s thinking of a center-back and left-back.
MidfieldersÂ – not too bad given that we still have Duff and N’Zogbia, but the question marks over Barton, and that he may be suspended for a significant number of games should worry Keegan. We look quite good in this area, but another top class central creative midfield player is what we need.
Such a pity we couldn’t get Argentine Pablo Aimar.
As you know, we like Gokhan Inler of Switzerland, and 83% of over 500 readers in our vote, think he would be a good buy at Â£5M. So one more creative midfielder should do it.
Strikers: We’re in good shape here too, and we think young Andy Carroll will be pushing through this season – or should we say we hope Carroll will be pushing through this season.
But one worry is Mark Viduka, and the big man makes a difference but he’s always injured, so while Andy can fill in for him, we’d still like Newcastle to sign another big striker.
We like 20 year-old Eren Derdiyok, the 6’3″ striker, who would love to play with Owen. He’s good and will only get better, and he looks classy already and fits the profile of a good up and coming player.
So Kevin is right to say we’re not in too bad shape with the squad, but we still need a center-back, left back, central midfielder and big striker.
How about Coloccini (Deportivo – Â£10M), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan – Â£4M), Gokhan Inler (Udinese – Â£5M), and Eren Derdiyok (FC Basel – Â£4M).
Those figures are just our best estimates, so it would be around Â£23M for them all – but remember we have brought in aroundÂ Â£7M this summer (Rozehanl Â£3M, Emre Â£4M) and paid out very little (Guthrie Â£1.5M, Gutierrez Â£2M?, Bassong Â£1.5M).
If those figures are correct then we have brought in a net of Â£2M inÂ transfers so far this summer, and reduced the wage bill significantly since a number of high wage earners have gone.
If we bring in the 4 players above we’d have spent around Â£20M this summer, not too bad at all and good value for money.
Well, that’s what we think – what do you think – let us know.
Comments very welcome – but please keep them civil.