During the coming summer transfer window, we certainly hope we can make one or more signings like the Newcastle club made last year, when they signed Ivory Coast International Cheick Tiote for just £3.5M.
Cheick Tiote – while playing for the Ivory Coast
Cheick will line up in defensive midfield this afternoon for the Magpies at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City, for his 24 th appearance for Newcastle, in what has been an outstanding season for the former FC Twente player.
The news is that Chelsea came after the player on the last day of the transfer window last January, during the time Andy Carroll was being sold to Liverpool, but Cheick said he did not want to leave Newcastle for the big city, and that was good news for Newcastle fans when it broke a few weeks back.
And then only a few weeks ago he was rewarded with a mammoth new six and a half year contract, in an attempt to keep one of our best players on Tyneside, and the deal was widely reported to be worth £50K/week to the Ivorian.
Cheick is good friends with Chelsea’s Didier Drogba, who is said to be a mild and polite man off the field of play, and of course they are both Ivory Coast team colleagues.
This is what the 24 year-old had to say today about Didier:
“We talk all of the time, but he has never said come and join me at Chelsea,” “I have seen that Chelsea might be interested and that I could go there to join him there.”
“Why can’t he come here to join me at Newcastle!” “When I signed my new contract, he rang to congratulate me. He always gives me advice. He told me to keep working and not to get carried away with what has happened. It is good to talk to him.”
“He is someone I look up to like everyone else who plays for the Ivory Coast. He is such a big player, I am very honored that he wants to talk to me all of the time and help me. He wants the best for me.”
“He is a powerful figure back home. He is like a president. I am more well known now, but nothing like him – yet. He is a special man.”
Didier is a huge personality of course, and was named as one of the top 100 most influential people by Time magazine last year, just before the FIFA World Cup, and he’s been a terrific player during his career, although he turned 33 years old last week.
Cheick is already a huge favorite with Newcastle fans, and it could be that Chelsea may come after the player in the summer again, but we have to hope that he will again say he’s not interested in leaving Tyneside, and we also have to hope the bid is not too big, since Mike Ashley may be tempted to sell if that’s the case.
Tiote played in the home game against Stoke City earlier in the season, when Newcastle were all over the Potters in that first half and led 1-0 at the break.
But two late goals gave Stoke a surprise victory at St. James’ Park, which has hardly been a fortress for Newcastle this season, with 6 home defeats already, after the side went over a year without a single loss while playing in the Championship last season.
The good news is that Newcastle’s away form has been quite good all season long, and we’re hoping for something out of the game this afternoon at the Britannia Stadium.
Howay The Lads!!