Newcastle Hoping For Williamson As Sunderland Capture Kilgallon

As we reported last night that Newcastle’s £1M bid for Mike Williamson of Portsmouth has been accepted.

Mike Williamson – discussing terms at Newcastle

This morning Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has hailed the “Championship pedigree” of the Portsmouth defender, as he looks to have captured two decent defenders in January, and on a permanent basis.

This assumes Newcastle can agree personal terms with the player, which is no guarantee these days, but if terms can be agreed we expect the announcement that he has been signed to be made today.

Another one of Newcastle’s long term targets – Sheffield Wednesday’s 20 year-old Mark Beevers – was being considered according to the Newcastle Journal, but are said to have gone for Williamson after learning of former club Watford’s interest.

Beevers is having only a so-so season at Wednesday, but he would have still been a good acquisition for the club.

Hughton told The Journal last night he was keen for the Williamson deal to be completed as soon as possible  for the 26-year-old former Wycombe defender:

“There has been an offer made which has been accepted and at the moment we’re just working on the lad’s terms,”

“It’s a deal that I hope goes through as soon as possible. I’m not sure whether it’s finalised but it looks as if it is quite close at the moment.”

“He’s a player with good pedigree who is used to this division. He did very, very well at Watford and I have known about him for a while.”

“We were interested in him before he went to Portsmouth but his games have been limited there, so this is a good opportunity for the club and for the player too.”

“He’s a good age which gives him experience and he’ll be good competition in an area that we have always said we needed to strengthen.”

Quite honestly we would have been happier if Newcastle had agreed terms with Matthew Kilgallon, but the Tyneside club were keen on Williamson last August.  Kilgallon has this morning expressed his delight at signing for Sunderland for £1.75M – ouch.

It’s OK talking about Championship class players for this season, but when these moves are permanent, surely we are looking ahead to the summer and at least planning for the possibility of being back in the Premier League. If we are not then we are being stupid again.

It’s fine bringing in Championship-class players on loan who can get us out of this division, but we have to think more carefully when actually brining players into the squad.

The thing against Williamson is that he’s been unable to force himself into Portsmouth’s first team, so how good a Premier League player will he be?

Anyway, we have to give the lad a chance, and we hope the terrible state of affairs at the Portsmouth club has affected his form, – and of course it will be a new start for him on Tyneside.

On the positive side, the club have done two good deals for Simpson and Williamson, if indeed we can agree terms with Mike, who stands 6’4″ tall.

Before he moved to Portsmouth he was well thought of in the game, and certainly played well at Watford and Wycombe Wanderers.

Comments welcome.

3 comments so far

  • Sturla

    Jan 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #1

    I read somewhere that the reason he hasn’t played in for Pompey is that they needed to pay appearance fee of 1m extra to the 2m they payed for him.

    Ed, I don’t agree with you that buying Championship players is such a bad thing. If we reach the Premiership we can always sell Williamson again and maybe with a profit since he is still young and English. We need to be careful not to start to prepare for the Premier league when we haven’t reach it.

  • Sav

    Jan 22, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #2

    Rather see us buying U-21 prospects than 26 year-old Championship players. Unless he plays often, injury-free and surprisingly well, we’ll only lose heavily on selling Williamson in the summer by the time he and the agents and all, the rest have taken a slice.
    However, we have to hope CH has unearthed a gem in the rough which he and Calderwood are going to polish up. Fingers crossed.

  • DJG

    Jan 22, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #3

    ”The thing against Williamson is that he’s been unable to force himself into Portsmouth’s first team, so how good a Premier League player will he be?”

    Apparently Portsmouth paid Watford £2M for him, rising to £3m with appearances. So, being in financial meltdown, maybe Portsmouth simply couldnt afford to play him.

    Has scored 13 senior goals and played regularly for Wycombe and Watford. Plus when was the last time you saw a dodgy Portsmouth defender.


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