Newcastle are combing the leagues of France, and to a lesser extent, Germany, for one very good reason.
Jay Rodriguez – worth nowhere near £6M
Newcastle can get some value in the transfer market in those two countries, and that’s much harder to do here in England.
And Graham Carr, the Newcastle Chief scout, whose star has risen rapidly at Newcastle, would love to see more local lads making the grade at Newcastle, so there is balance between players brought in from outside of England, and local English players.
This is what Graham said today to the local press, about having balance between English players and those brought in from the continent:
“I would love to see that here.” “Even when I played I ended up going to Northampton – I was the youngest in the team in 1965 when we finished second to Newcastle and went up to the First Division.”
“Back then every club had a Geordie fellow in their team.” “Or at least somebody from between Berwick and Middlesbrough. Clubs like Burnley had four or five.” “And it’s still a great breeding area.”
“And I would love to see more homegrown players come through.”
We remember the 1965 season well, when we were promoted, and I remember being at the home game against Northampton Town, when there were over 62,000 at the game, and Newcastle won that game as I recall, with Wynn Davies scoring first with a great header.
And there’s a good case to be made of English players being too expensive, with Southampton having just signed 22 year-old Burnley striker Jay Rodriquez for a fee of £6M, and they were quoted £7M for Celtic’s young English striker, 24 year-old Gary Hooper.
Neither of those two players is worth that much, no way, which is why Newcastle did not go after either of them – and that sounds good to us.
Graham says that Newcastle go after real value in the transfer market:
“It’s not a case of not doing that. I think it is difficult to do it now.” “If you go for a player at a lower league club there becomes no value.” “You end up paying more if you are a Liverpool or Newcastle.”
“Be honest, where would you get a Yohan Cabaye for £4M or £5M?” “Or where would you get a Cheick Tiote for £3.5M? It is about value.”
We wouldn’t be surprised if other Premier League clubs follow Newcastle’s lead in the transfer market, as Newcastle were able to challenge in the top six last season, without spending incredible amounts of money last summer in the transfer market as other clubs like Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea did – to name only three.
Wait until those clubs have to balance their financial books, which hopefully will be very soon, with the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules.
But of course you need somebody like Graham Carr, who has the distinct expertise of knowing a good player when he sees one.
That’s a very rare skill to have, which is why Mike Ashley tied down Graham to a long eight year deal on Tyneside last week.
Mike’s not daft.