Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s overall plan at Newcastle is to concentrate on youth, and bring in young players who are already good, but can get even better once they arrive on Tyneside.
Owner Mike Ashley with manager Chris Hughton
One advantage of that strategy is that Newcastle will not have to shell out big money for already developed top players, and of course in the past you can hardly accuse the club of being any good at that.
The club have spent about £10M on 9 new players this year, and contrast that to two of the Graeme Souness signings in 2005, of Jean-Alain Boumsong for £8.5M and Albert Luque for around £11M.
We’ll not even mention Michael Owen for £17M.
Chris Hughton seems a guy willing to work within Newcastle’s new strategy, and he knows he has to not only build up his first team squad, by getting bargains in the transfer market, but he also has a job to do to ensure the many top youngsters at the club get first team games through various loan spells.
Chris seems to be right behind Newcastle’s new strategy as he has said:
“When you look at the players we have signed, they all have their best years in front of them.”
“You have Dan Gosling at 20, Cheik Tiote at 24, James Perch at 24 and Hatem Ben Arfa at 23 and these young players can benefit from his experience in games and on the training ground.”
“But overall we are looking to the future with this group.” “In January we will reassess what we have, and I think I’ll get the backing of the owner again like last time if we need to strengthen the team at that stage.”
Mike Ashley had a disastrous first two years on Tyneside, when he seemed to do everything wrong, and had the Tyneside club in the second division of English football for the first time in 16 years.
But since Chris has taken over – a short 14 months ago – we have seen the Tyneside club on the rise.
The club seems to be on an upward track and that should be helped even more with the five new signings the club has made this summer, four of which still have to make their debut for the club.
We are encouraged also by the decent start this season, and quietly confident the team can do fairly well in this first season back in the Premier League.