Newcastle have signed four players so far this season.
Craig Gardner – could have been good buy for Newcastle
But Sunderland signed four players last week, one transfer each in successive days, as it turned out.
First in was 18 year-old Connor Whickham from Ipswich, the 18 year-old England U21 International striker, for an initial £8M up front, and that fee could rise to £12M, if Connor comes through well on Wearside.
Next through the door was 20 year-old South Korean striker Ji Dong-won, who Newcastle have been linked with this year, and while no fee was mentioned, it couldn’t have been more than £1M.
Next in was Birmingham City central midfielder Craig Gardner, for around £6M, again a player who has been linked with Newcastle this summer.
We are told that Alan Pardew may be after Manchester United’s Darron Gibson for £5M, but we think Craig would have been better value for the money.
And last through the door yesterday was free agent Sebastian Larsson, again of Birmingham City, who Newcastle were close to signing in January, until The Blues decided they wanted to keep the 25 year-old through the end of the season.
Why Newcastle were willing to pay £1M for Larsson in January for the Swedish International, but were not interested in the player as a free agent this summer, we have no idea.
So Sunderland got four players through the door in four days last week for around £14M in total, which could rise to £18M depending how Connor Whickham does.
Of those four Sunderland players, we would have liked to have seen Newcastle bring in Larsson and Gardner, and forgotten about Darron Gibson.
And of course Gardner could have been a good replacement for Kevin Nolan, since Craig scored a good 10 goals for Birmingham last season in 36 appearances, and could have replaced some of Kevin’s goal-scoring ability in the Newcatsle central midfield.
And Connor Whickham is an exciting prospect, although whether he can come through and be the big player he aspires to – is still uncertain.
Newcastle on the other hand have brought in Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux and 18 year old Mehdi Abeid so far this summer, and the last three are free agents, and Yohan cost around £4.5M from Lille.
Newcastle are also after PSG’s Mevlut Erdinc for around £6.5M, Swansea’s Neil Taylor for £1M, and maybe former winger Charles N’Zogbia for around £9M, with Sunderland are also said to be interested in the French International.
But the Magpies do seem to be just a little reticent to pay out big transfer fees this summer, even though they are flush with the £35M Andy Carroll cash.
It would be difficult to say which club has had done better so far in the transfer market – what do you think?