There have been five senior players that have left since last season, from a squad that everybody thought was too small, to mount an attack on the upper reaches of the Premier League.
Kevin Keegan – Newcastle squad too small – will try to keep Smith
And this has been shown to be true this pre-season, because a number of minor injuries have left the clubâ€™s youngsters filling in the gaps.
We have had Oba Martins, Mark Viduka, Michael Owen, Abdoulaye Faye, Habib Beye, Andy Carroll and Kazenga LuaLua out injured this pre-season.
We mention this because Kevin has said he doesn’t want to part with any more of his players, with the possible exception of Shola Ameobi.
However, it doesn’t look like Alan Smith is really good enough for the team, and Everton are starting to make some noises for him, but we think Kevin will not want to sell, unless the board agrees to bring in another striker before the end of the month.
Smith could again be the only fit senior striker for tonightâ€™s game with PSV at St. James’ Park, with Keegan unwilling to take any chances whatsoever in these pre-season games, simply because his squad is so small.
However, Alan had little impact since he joined the club from Manchester United for Â£6M last summer, and he’s also on some very high wages.
His wages are quoted at around Â£60K/week, and that may prove difficult for Everton to match, and Smith may not be willing to move at all, if he has to take a cut in wages.
Everton are reportedly preparing a Â£1.5M bid for Smith, who has started all Newcastleâ€™s pre-season games.
That figure almost certainly will be rejected out of hand, and it’s a bit of an insult, but if Moyes increased his bid by Â£1M or more, Newcastle could be tempted to take it – and in the circumstances it could be a decent deal for both clubs, although a better one for Everton no doubt.
Newcastle are under some pressure to cut the wage bill and now a year into his Newcastle career, Smith still has to repay the clubâ€™s investment in him, with even one senior goal.
However, we have nothing against the lad personally, and he is very popular in the dressing room, but we pay money for players to deliver on the football pitch, and Smith just hasn’t done that.
However, we think it will take Â£3.5M or more, to tempt Newcastle to sell, and we think Kevin, in the present circumstances, will be unwilling to let Smith go – but maybe in January – if we can get a replacement in by then.