It’s often said that the spine of the team – the players operating through the middle of the park, is the heart of the team and a good measure of how good a team is.
It’s interesting that Steve McClaren’s first three signings for Newcastle are a central midfielder – Georginio Wijnaldum, followed by a center-forward – Aleksandar Mitrovic, followed by a center-back finally signed today – Chancel Mbemba.
Chancel Mbemba – signed today from Anderlecht
The one other part of the spine is the goalkeeper.
Our goalkeeper Tim Krul had a poor second half of last season, but so did most of our players, and Tim seems keen on staying on Tyneside after 10 years – now that he finally persuaded Gini to signb after years of trying.
It seems Tim is very keen to get back to his best form and he’s looked good in pre-season.
Here’s the ins and outs in the transfer market Newcastle have made so far this summer.
|Transfer Fees Out||£56.6M|
|Remy Cabella||Season loan||Marseille|
|Sammy Ameobi||Season Loan||Cardiff|
|Adam Armstrong||6 month loan||Coventry|
|Freddie Woodman||6 month loan||Crawley|
|Haris Vuckic||Season Loan||Wigan|
|Shane Ferguson||6 month loan||Milwall|
|Ryan Taylor||Released||Hull City|
|Jak Alnwick||Released||Port Vale|
|Adam Campbell||Released||Notts County|
|Remie Streete||Released||Port Vale|
|Transfer Fees In||£4.0M|
|Sammy Ameobi||Season Loan||Cardiff|
|Adam Armstrong||6 Month Loan||Coventry|
|Freddie Woodman||6 Month Loan||Crawley|
Those are good moves by the club to send Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman out for six month loan so they can get first team games, and good it’s been done before August rolls around.
And with Sammy Ameobi being given a two year deal in the summer, he has a chance if he really shines for Cardiff City next season to still have a career back at Newcastle.
But the likelihood is that he’s played his last game in Newcastle’s colors.
Those three players we have brought in are all very good signings – so who else do we need?
Our weakness last season was a difficulty in scoring goals and we also conceded too many goals – so another top center-back and another striker are needed.
We are going after Charlie Austin of QPR and he would be a good buy, and there are several top center-backs we have been linked with this summer and we should be able to sign one of them.
We’ve been linked with Joel Matip of Schalke, Joel Veltman of Ajax, Aymen Abdennour of Monaco, Douglas of Dynamo Moscow and Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi.
Charlie and a top center-back may cost at least £25M together.
And then another midfielder like Florian Thauvin of Marseilles could be signed, and if the news is to be believed we have just had a £12M offer for him turned down.
If we can get three new players through the door – it will cost us about £37M and maybe more – so there’s a likelihood that we could spend over £70M this summer – and that would be a huge amount for this Newcastle to spend.
Why do I not believe we will spend £70M this summer?
If we can three more good players through the door, then this will have been a good summer transfer window for Newcastle United.
And if all that happens then Mike Ashley will have kept his word and given big money to the Newcastle Board to spend, as he had promised on May 24th.
It would then be hard to argue that Mike hasn’t kept his word – you could try – it’s just the facts would be against you.
But all those good signings will guarantee nothing, and Steve McClaren and the players – urged on by the fans – will have to start getting some good results in both the Premier League and both cups.
If that happens then we must have decent chance of having a good season coming up.
What do you think?