There’s no doubt that Newcastle have disappointed their fans so far in this summer’s transfer window, although there’s still time to bring in some good players.
But it’s clear that Newcastle have dropped down the ladder in terms of how big a club we are these days, and the drawing power we now have for top players.
We seem to struggle even against clubs like Swansea, Southampton and West Ham, who are smaller clubs than Newcastle, but are more ambitious and more willing to spend money in the transfer market, and subsequently have signed some very good players over the last year or so.
Olivier Kemen – Spurs and Liverpool after him
While once we were a top five club back in the days of the great Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle are now a bottom half of the table club in the Premier League.
That’s not an opinion, it’s where we have finished six times in the last eight seasons under Mike Ashley – and for one season we were in the Championship.
Newcastle have only been in the top ten twice and one of those was 10th position the season before last.[table "31" not found /]
Newcastle will not only have a big test this season to see if we can attract some top talent to the club, but we could also have problems keeping some of our best players at the club.
And that’s not just senior players like Sissoko, Janmaat, Krul and Cisse, but also some of our top youngsters.
There is news today in the French daily L’Equipe that 18 year-old Oliver Kemen – the French U19 captain – is on the radar screen of both Liverpool and Tottenham.
Newcastle were after 18 year-old Dele Alli of MK Dons in January, and we were (very) strong favorites to sign the top young midfielder, but almost at the last moment in came Tottenham and signed him from under our noses.
It’s not clear what Newcastle were doing in January that allowed Spurs to come in and beat us to Dele, but we were probably dithering around on the £5M fee, to see if we could reduce by a few hundred thousand.
Tottenham had no such problems and came in and got their man very quickly – they were decisive and paid what the MK Dons wanted for Alli without hesitation.
Now one of our best young players, 18 year-old Olivier Kemen, who we snapped up two years ago from Metz when the youngster was only 16, is now in the sights of two of the top six clubs in England.
It will be interesting to see if Newcastle can hold onto a player who could have an excellent future ahead of him in football – hopefully at Newcastle.
Since he joined us two years ago Olivier has played 26 times for the Newcastle U21 side with 3 goals and 2 assists.