The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Steve Bruce A Huge Admirer Of Newcastle’s New Signing

9:00 pm, Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 93 Comments

New signing Isaac Hayden had a decent season last term on loan at Hull City and he helped them to get promoted – and since he joined Newcastle yesterday he has talked about last season being a very good season for him.

It was a good experience for Geordie manager Steve Bruce too,  getting Hull promoted at the first attempt after they were relegated from the Premier League in May of 2015.

isaac hayden loan at hull

Isaac Hayden while on loan at Hull City

But Steve wasn’t able to sign Isaac on a permanent deal, which he initially wanted to do last January.

The Hull manager was again after the 21 year-old holding midfielder this summer, but Newcastle and Rafa Benitez beat the Yorkshire club to the player’s signature.

Isaac has said since he joined the Magpies that Rafa went down to London in mid-June and talk to the youngster for a full two hours.

After that – when they talked about Isaac’s strengths and weaknesses and about football tactics – Isaac said he knew he only wanted to play for Rafa Benitez – and Newcastle.

This is what Steve Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail on January 18th of this year, after Hull had just hammered Charlton 6-0 at home and Isaac had scored his very first senior goal of his career:

“I’ve already been onto Arsenal because I’d love to make it permanent if I could,” 

“I’d make it permanent tomorrow if that was possible. I desperately want to hang on to him.”

“In an ideal world he’d want to be playing every week but he’s started last weekend.

“He’s a very good young player, who’s progressing all the time.”

“He’s got his goal and he did very well. He’s energetic and full of beans and he’ll remember his first goal.”

“I wanted to freshen us up in midfield and he was one who took his chance well. It was very good to see.

Rafa has so far signed five good players in about 12 days and we are hoping that next one through the door will be Blackburn’s Grant Hanley within the next day or two.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Isaac Hayden · Newcastle News · Other News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

93 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SUTTY1978 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    Just going back to Ibe, he has less premier league goals and assists that Rolando Aarons and that’s in 3 times as many games. I’d much prefer to see Rolando playing for us than Ibe. If RA can stay fit he could have a cracking season for us in the Championship

  • 2 ZIPPIE57 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Mrs Doubtfire looses out to Rafa

  • 3 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    Looking forward to seeing Hayden. Technically very good (standard Arsenal upbringing) and adds additional size and physicality. He only started about 15 games last season for Hull, so he clearly needs to continue his development. Whether he will be a starter I guess will depend on what stays and goes, plus how Shelvey fits in. I’d imagine at the moment he would likely be fighting Colback, Shelvey and Tiote (if he stays) for a starting spot.

    Tiote will probably leave, but there is still Anita and Saivet as well.

  • 4 ZIPPIE57 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Saivet wont get a game i guess

  • 5 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    Big if on Aarons staying fit though. I do hope he does stay fit, and gets a good run of games. He still has a long way to go to match fans expectations, hopefully he will be given a chance if he struggles initially.

    I’d like someone else to give him competition/enable us to ease him in if necessary.

  • 6 loonie-toon // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    I agree sutty arrons good little player and good have a great season but still fink we need another there as e is pritty Injury prone I wonder if rafa looking to keep Thauvin as competion for left side

  • 7 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    I think you are probably right, but he has also never been given much of chance. He can play in a number of roles though, so could be very useful as a squad member.

  • 8 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:18 PM

    Forgot about Thauvin. Who is likely to bid for him? Maybe he deserves another chance, maybe he doesn’t. Not convinced by him, but he should be capable of delivering at this level.

  • 9 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    If Transfermarkt is reliable on positions played, he has a fairly even spread playing as a centre mid, attacking mid, right wing, left wing, number 10 and striker.

    Rafa could well see him as back up on both sides this year, as well as centrally. Offers a lot of options.

  • 10 ZIPPIE57 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Lilongwe deJong and Shelvey better mate

  • 11 loonie-toon // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Be daft not to give him a chance paid all that money for Thauvin n loaning to them again we might as well give them cash and let them keep him lol

  • 12 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Yup, agreed. He can play in more roles though, plus I am expecting De Jong to leave.

  • 13 Laurent Robert 32 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    I absolutely love how much Rafa is on the ball and sharp with things. I knew he was excellent, but the more I hear, the more impressed I am.

    Looking forward to seeing how the team gets on. I like mild squad rotation btw. It keeps players fresh, gets them used to be in a squad and a lot more confortable whenever they are involved.

    the same players every week is the best, but only short term. A season has many games, therefore utilising players throughout the season is very beneficial. Even more so in the Championship.

    Rafa’s timing of when he makes the substitutions has generally been great – Plenty of time.

    Just all round hugely refreshing and uplifting to see.

  • 14 ZIPPIE57 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    deJong has been for me the biggest disappointment , class class act but made out of balsa wood

  • 15 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    We will definitely need to rotate and use subs this year. The Ronny was saying the other day that the club/Rafa wanted two 11’s that are good enough to win the Championship. A lot of work to do to achieve that, but as a squad we are miles ahead, even without Sissoko and Gini.

    On subs, there is an interesting book which has done all sorts of analysis into football, can’t remember the title now, but it gives some interesting data on subs. According to the book (taking data from the top flights in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany over the last 5 seasons) it shows that making a sub in the 57th or 62nd minutes has proven almost twice as effective as other times for changing a game with a substitution.

    Clearly it means very little to the individual substitution, but the difference is quite surprising. Not saying it means anything, just found it interesting and thought I’d share.

  • 16 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    DeJong has been unlucky. You can’t really account for collapsed lungs (although you are more likely to have a second if you have a first and don’t get it operated/treated in a particular way, so I’m told). Plus his eye injury was bad timing and completely impossible to account for.

    He could be a class act here, particularly in the Championship, but I’d cash in if given the option and replace him. Who with depends on who else leaves and arrives.

  • 17 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    Would anyone allow Henry to work with our squad to complete his coaching badges? Arsenal have released him as his TV work was getting in the way. Even vaguely part time he would offer incredible experience to help our young crop of forwards.

  • 18 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Allow/get Henry…

  • 19 Novocastrian66 // Jul 12, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    Cannot see Henry wanting to come this far north. Too far from his beloved London and Paris.

  • 20 geordie157 // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Agree on De Jong, if a offer of 5-6mill comes in then sell. I like him as a player, good quality on the ball and adds leadership to the side but can we get 20-25 games out of him….plus where does he fit into Rafa’s plans/formation.

    I do think Thauvin might come good, hoping he impresses in pre season and with him and Aarons we’d have good options on the left. I don’t really want to see Perez stuck out there.

  • 21 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Probably right, but I also didn’t expect a player at Atletico to swap another season at a Champions league club for the Championship. Shearer commutes for his TVduties, Henry could also. I’m just speculating, not heard any rumours about it, just saw the BBC article on it and it seemed like he could really bring on Perez, Arma and Gayle, whilst benefiting Mitro to a lesser extent.

    He needs a club to complete his badges, unless he decides to turn his attentions fully to TV work and give up ideas of coaching.

  • 22 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    This blog is way quieter since Ed’s purge. Did we really have that many people on here that were trolls/multiples?

    Where would you play Perez? Number 10? Out and out striker? Right side? It will be interesting to see where Rafa sees him. I think he is very talented, but not an out and out centre forward. I think he is a number 10 this season and back up across the entire attacking line. I think he could well become a good central midfielder longer term, provided he can develop better core strength, and improve his passing range.

  • 23 lochinvar // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    Don’t forget that all these ” fringe” players will be needed for our assault on two Cup wins and the Championship title.

    It’s called ambition

  • 24 Jail for Ashley // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    What on earth is happening here? Dave Watsons U18 won 3-0, three goals and a clean sheet. Who needs Rafa,?

  • 25 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    I see Nick Powell has joined Wigan. Hopefully he has recovered fully from his injuries. Very talented kid, but his injury problems (and probably moving to Man U at the wrong time) have set him back. Hopefully he can get back onto his previous path, and get back to a good level of football. I’d have liked him here before his injury woes, but as a squad player he would have been a free and interesting no lose punt.

    I’m sure we are aiming bigger and better though, so good luck to the lad.

  • 26 Belfast // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Aye there was always only about 20 of us really Lilongwe lol

    And the 20th bloke had 50 other accounts on the go 🙂

  • 27 Belfast // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    What’s the odds of De Jong passing a medical anywhere else ? Anybody know ?

    Seems unlikely to me.

  • 28 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    With Bruce’s endorsement of Hayden, you can be sure that Rafa’ll sleep well tonight.

  • 29 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    It does seem that way! I do miss my other 49 accounts though, nobody for me to talk to!

    On De Jong, I think we send his brother to do the medical, surely that is what happened when Siem joined us….

  • 30 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Eh?? What is going on? Tried to reply to JFA 3 times now, but it doesn’t go through each time, yet I managed to post to Belfast in between?? Apologies if they are all there and I just keep repeating the same stuff.

    Last attempt…. Maybe it was Scu***thorpe that stopped it….

    It was only their U18’s. Mackenzie Heaney got an assist though, it will be interesting to see what Rafa does with him. Keep him in the youths, or loan him out. Big talent that hopefully Rafa can develop and nurture to maximise the clear potential.

  • 31 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    With no sign of Jib for a few hours, I think we can assume that he’s keeping his head down to allow for the time it takes to get to Spain….

  • 32 firebug666 // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    I read the other day that de Jong wants to stay at Newcastle. so maybe we will get to see what he has to offer us in the fizzy pop.

    This might be a way for him to get his mojo back ready for next season in the prem.

  • 33 jimmysmith // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    The usual misreporting and subjectivity swirling around. Will be interesting to see how this Sissoko melodrama pans out. It’s understandable he wants to move on, just as it’s understandable we might want to keep him or get the most for him.

    It is unsettling that he performed so much better for France than us, but it’s also undeniable that Newcastle had been a shambles for a long time before Rafa arrived and by no means an inspirational place to play football.

    One problem of course with selling your better players when you go down is that you only ever make the difference on the player you bring in to replace them, and ultimately that player will most likely also need to be replaced with better should you go back up, so you really make little or even ultimately lose out, and you of course weaken the side, and so weaken your short term prospects.

    The best option for us is surely that our better players remain, and the squad is strengthened around them, and that Rafa wring the best out of every other player in the squad.

  • 34 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Yup, guessing it was the oppositions team name as that one went through….

  • 35 jimmysmith // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    every player.

  • 36 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    I am one of Sissoko’s biggest critics (in my opinion). But Sissoko had a great game in the final. He showed all of his best attributes. For £35 million I think most teams would want someone who can impact and change games more, but I don’t deny he also has his strengths. He can be effective when he plays to them – he is a water carrier that takes the ball forward for other, more gifted players to create chances.

    His performances in the final and semi just back up my thoughts that he performs in big games that suit him and put him in the shop window. People talk of his performances under Rafa, but in the key games against Villa, Sunderland, Palace and Norwich he was his usual ineffectual self. Big games/shop window games he performs, it is huge attitude flaw, and one that wouldn’t lead to him being a key player for us in the Championship.

    I think that for the money that his Euro performances may bring in, we can improve the balance of the squad and bring in players that can have a greater impact within the side.

    He wants out, and that doesn’t make for a cohesive squad/dressing room. I think he should be allowed to leave, and I hope he has a good career once he does. I bear no ill will to him, other than thinking we would be better off without him.

  • 37 loonie-toon // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Blog has been dead out ant it lol

  • 38 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:36 PM


    Speaking of substitutions, what about Bobby Robson throwing three on against Sheffield Wednesday. They didn’t know what hit ’em.

  • 39 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    To bring the best out of every player in the squad, we need a cohesive squad that works well together. A team over individuals. Sissoko needs to change his attitude for that to be the case with him still here.

    He isn’t the only one from last year that is/was a problem, but he is the one who is most public about wanting to move on, without having performed for us to a level that makes it realistic. I mentioned Cabaye this morning, after going public about wanting to move to a bigger club, he put in half a season of goals, assists and big performances which earned him the move. Sissoko hasn’t, which is one of my main gripes with him.

  • 40 geordie157 // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:40 PM


    Yes agree, Perez I see as a no.10, he’s got good movement and as he develops I can see him being dangerous from outside of the box.

  • 41 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Blog had another purge like?

    Shame about missing out on Ibe imo could be a cracking player. Aarons is still around but he’s rarely fit, we can’t rely on him. If Sissoko or Gini goes we will replace them though unfortunately Ibes transfer happened too soon for us I reckon

  • 42 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Bobby loved his three changes, and it worked on a number of occasions. Not sure he did it that game though did he, although I may be wrong? I still had my season ticket then, what a night, and what a difference a change of approach made.

    I don’t dislike Gullit as much as most fans. He didn’t have the players to suit his style, and didn’t have the ability as a coach back then to adapt. Who knows if he does now. He didn’t suit our key players and he was never going to win the battle after having Shearer and Ferguson on the bench against Sunderland.

  • 43 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    No, not another one. Just haven’t really been on enough to notice how quiet it has got.

  • 44 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    I think Ibe was waiting for us or someone else to come in and bid for him. There was a fairly lengthy delay following the bid being accepted and him finally joining.

    I don’t think we were interested, but agree he is a player that has a lot of potential.

  • 45 jimmysmith // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Lil, Rafa clearly rates him, the one person best placed to judge his value to the side and so his worth, and would seem to want him to stay, barring a huge offer. That should carry some real weight I think when we consider the overall quality of the player, and his character. This idea that he’s a bad influence in the dressing room for example is just rumour, which is probably about as good as you’ll get in football. But why then did Rafa make him captain and give him a more central role. I’m happy to watch and listen to Rafa as a barometer to what might be really going on, and count on nothing.

  • 46 firebug666 // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    Sissoko has done himself no favours like, he performances for the most part were poor at best. he may want his big move but clubs are not as enthusiastic about him as the press appear to be with West Brom being the only club to enquire about him.

  • 47 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Ah right I get ya, tbh I think it’s quiet because there’s not much going on atm wait until the season starts and we go undefeated haha

    I agree that Ibe was waiting for someone else, is probably still hoping unless I missed him being officially announced? As for us being interested I honestly think we would be daft not to be considering our starting wingers/no 10 will all likely be gone before Windows close and Ibe completely fits the bill as a replacement BUT that’s just my opinion I’ve got full faith in what ever Rafa has planned

  • 48 Munster Mag // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Lil, I have been an ardent critic of Sissoko here, labelling him a fraud on this site a long time ago, early in his career. I have never felt the need to change that stance. I think our valuation at 35mill is lauhable, given that he cant pass consistently, cross consistently, or tackle. I would take 25mill all day long and get him out of town asap.

  • 49 jimmysmith // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    If he were “a fraud”, don’t you think Rafa might have spotted it. It is most unlikely he is that at all.

  • 50 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    Alternatively, Rafa was trying to ensure he got as much for him as possible, and still is. He was only captain for half of Rafa’s games anyway, and only really performed at a high level in one or two of the 10.

    It could well be as you suggest, but I doubt Sissoko would have wanted to stay even if we had stayed up, and Rafa probably knew that so it is also plausible that giving him the captaincy was a last ditch attempt to coax the best from him, which only worked in the big games.

    I agree the bad influence stuff is just supposition on my, and other peoples part, but it can hardly be inspiring to other players when a senior member of the team is constantly talking about being a Champions league player, wanting out, and yet still not performing regularly for us.

  • 51 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    Big Sam to be England manager? Jesus wept dinosaurs shaking hands while the comet hurls towards their heads

  • 52 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:58 PM


    Here’s a youtube video of the 8-0 – complete with action, substitutions and Shearer’s five. Speed’s header was a cracker too.

    A couple of cans should help pass the time while watching it. 😐

  • 53 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:58 PM

    25 mill for a footballer u don’t think can play football isn’t laughable but 35 is? Uve boggled my mind

  • 54 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:58 PM


  • 55 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Wait no I was right first time…long day lads sorry

  • 56 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:02 PM


    You’re not wrong about the three substitutions. Apologies for my fast degenerating brain cells!

  • 57 JP...from The Rock // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Still chuffed that my local team of Gibraltar the Lincoln Red Imps has beaten Celtic 1-0! Hahaha not good debut for Brendan Rodgers LOL. It’s on Sky Sports News now. Loving it.

  • 58 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    We need to get as much as we can for him to either reinvest, or save until a later date. Be that £35million or £25million I don’t know. I can’t see too many of the Prem elite (Chelsea, Man City, Man U, or Arsenal) being interested. Spurs and Liverpool have been linked with both Gini and Sissoko, so I reckon that part of that is the media just guessing at our players leaving. In Europe, PSG could afford him, will depend who they lose as to whether they would want him. Juve seems the most logical to me if they sell Pogba.

    Who are you considering our starting wingers and no.10? Ritchie will be a starter. I presume the other two you are referring to are Sissoko and Gini. Yeah, I expect them to leave. Ibe would have been a potentially good replacement. I would prefer Brady to replace Gini and Loftus Cheek replacing Sissoko, but I do appreciate that their clubs, and the players may not be as interested as I feel we should be.

  • 59 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:04 PM

  • 60 giimps // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Not many players will want to admit they want to leave as they will not get their loyalty bonus, other than Moussa and Gini, but Moussa already has a deal in place with Mcwally…..oh wait…..doh!!!!

  • 61 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Saw that! Incredible result, even if it is unlikely they will hold onto it in the second leg.

    We have always been pretty poor since I met my previous girlfriend. She always queried why I supported a rubbish team. I’d often show her the highlights of Sheff Wed, Man U, Sunderland 5-1 and Barca. Maybe that’s why she moved back to South America!

  • 62 WWSBRD // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Townsend mate, Ritchie is only here because he left

    Aye I’d have Brady not that fussed by Chelsea lad personally but they are the level we should be looking at imo which Ibe is in that bracket

  • 63 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:15 PM


    Lol….. Seems your previous was a bit of a bad influence.

    Where’d she go to in South America? Nicaragua?


  • 64 lesh // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:19 PM


    I was in Luckies bar and watched the ManU 5-1.

    Watched the Barcelona game (with Tino’s dubious penalty) and often rewatched the video I’d recorded.

    Oh happy days but maybe we’re on the verge of a rerun under Rafa?

  • 65 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Ha, no she was Guayanese, and has headed back to Guyana, but we met in Malawi. One of our good friends here was a Man City fan though, and she just couldn’t get her head round why I would support a team that doesn’t do well, whilst he supported a Man City side that were challenging for honours.

    I actually think Ritchie will offer more to the side than Townsend. He is a far better crosser of the ball, which will suit Mitro, Gayle and Arma. He puts in a shift regularly, and has is a good striker of the ball. Townsend did very well whilst here – far better than I expected, and I will hold my hands up on getting that one very wrong – but he was playing for an England spot, and to remain in the Prem. Whether he would perform at a similar level next season is unknown, but debatable.

    I think Loftus Cheek would be a fantastic signing personally, but he would cost a lot. He will need to move if Conte brings in midfielders though, as he needs to start playing regularly to kick on, and we could offer him that and still a big stage/crowd for him.

    I think both he and Brady are unlikely, and quite probably not even on Rafa’s radar, but I think both would give us better balance within the squad than we currently have, and would be sensible replacements for Gini and Sissoko.

  • 66 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    I was at both of those.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! We all got carried away with Leon Best and Alan Pardew on twitter at one stage (#Letsgetcarriedaway). One step at a time, even if the future does seem brighter in spite of relegation.

  • 67 JP...from The Rock // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Lil- Amazing for us, it really is a historical result over here. We might pull off the biggest upset ever if we do manage to hold on to our lead back in their place.

  • 68 jimmysmith // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    Yeah, I’m just looking at the possibilities. I don’t know anything for certain and am well aware of it. In fact I’m inclined to recoil from strong opinion. This idea that Sissoko only puts in when he’s in the shop window for example, ok, but the truth is in the epl you are always in the shop window. More likely he is a big game player, who plays well surrounded by better players playing well. That by definition probably is an elite player. He has genuine attributes, and some flaws, but has shown he can perform at the very highest level.

  • 69 Our Toon // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    Loftus Cheek is a good shout but he has an attitude problem if Mourinho is to be believed, a player that doesn’t work hard enough.

  • 70 Our Toon // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Is said the other day that theirs 2 ways of looking at sissoko’s performances over the euros.

    Is it the fact he has better players around him with more movement which makes him look better than in a static nufc team with less quality.

    Or is he one of those players that really ups his games for his national team as he has a lot of pride and enjoys wearing the blue shirt.

    Think it’s probably both, if you look at the misfits we had playing, they should no heart whatsoever….England that is!!

  • 71 Our Toon // Jul 12, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    Showed not should

  • 72 Sazzer // Jul 13, 2016 at 12:32 AM

    I would be suprise if Conte will let go of Loftus-Cheek and if he did then I would expect tough competition from a host of Premier League sides. However, not against trying to get him to replace Sissoko.

    I think we have greater chance of getting Chalobah in if one of our current DM leaves.

  • 73 Sazzer // Jul 13, 2016 at 12:51 AM

    Chelsea have plenty of potentially great players that are worth having look at as soon Conte have made his mind up on which players he’s prepared to let go.

    Isaac Hayden proves that Rafa looking for the possibility to sign such players.

  • 74 manxpie // Jul 13, 2016 at 1:32 AM

    ourtoon tbh sisko’s best bits of the euro’s were him doing everything by him self i.e powerful forward running
    thats it nothing to do with better players around him
    thats wats funny really if only fergie was still at man u we’d get 60 mill for him

  • 75 The overrated Frenchman // Jul 13, 2016 at 2:46 AM

    Surely Sissoko has to go now – isn’t it just a matter of to where, and for how much? Rafa is playing the game of brinkmanship I’d suggest, making sure his departure is very much on the club’s terms, and not the player’s. A disgruntled Sissoko in the Championship next season could only be a recipe for discontent and acrimony from all sides, and hardly good for the team. I hope it is sorted sooner rather than later. It’s an unwanted distraction. Time to move on.

  • 76 lochinvar // Jul 13, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    Now we know why Sissoko’s price went up.
    In fact make it a round £40m and Manure can make a bid.
    Perhaps Rafa could reject it as he doesn’t think they’re a big enough club for the player – who won’t want to go there because they’re not in the Champions League are they Moussa ?

    Man United boss Mourinho will turn his attention to Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko, 26, should he fail to land Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. (Le 10 Sport – in French)

  • 77 G // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    Didnt realise Ed had done the blog housekeeping again, thought the arguments had dried up a bit. If Jose wants Sissoko I would let him go for about 20m, with add ons for Euro qualification, cup win etc. I really cant see how we could lose.

  • 78 Tsunki // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:22 AM

    Who fell victim to Eds Axe? Ian and Rob? Welshie? I think Jib is on his way to Spain so he will probably be back on.

  • 79 Al Yalayis Lad // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    I reckon Thauvin in the fizzyy pop Lge could come good, look what it is for Collo, made him a much better player for us, would be happy to keep him.

    I also think Saviet could be the big surprise for us all next season, once he gets his chance and a few games under his belt, who knows? he is a very physical player and could be well suited to this Lge


  • 80 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    Big Sam 6/4 favourite to be new England Manager

  • 81 Al Yalayis Lad // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:29 AM


    We would have all taken $15m for Sissoko 4 months ago, so agree, 20m and I would be happy, move him on and get somebody else in who wants to play for us


  • 82 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    You could be right – to be honest never seen enough of Saviet to pass comment

  • 83 firebug666 // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    Rafa building team spirit sounds good, he split the player into groups and then gave them puzzles to solve.

    so the groups are working together whilst also competing against each other.

    Sounds a hell of a lot better than a BBQ round at Coloccini’s LMAO!

  • 84 Termijn // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:41 AM

    I think people make Sissoko a bit of a scapegoat for the teams poor performances. He’s one of our big name players so often takes the majority of the attention (along with gini) when we play poorly. Id also argue Pardew/Carver/McLaren didnt exactly play the way to get the best out of him and with Rafa he noticeably improved. Sure if someone bids silly money for him 30m+ sell him but the amount of fans that would pack his bags for around 15m is astonishing.

  • 85 OneAlanShearer // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:42 AM

    Aarons – part to play
    Anita – part to play if he stays,
    Armstrong- probably get loaned out
    Colback – 1st xi,
    Darlow – probably 2nd or 3rd choice keeper, de Jong – probably go
    Dummett – 1st xi
    Elliot- probably 2nd 3rd choice when fit , Gamez – first xi,
    Gayle – first choice striker probably no.9 alongside mitro
    Gouffran – likely to go,
    Hayden probably replace tiote,
    Janmaat probably go
    Lascelles – will play but if Hanley signed likely 3rd choice,
    Mbabu will get games but not first xi Mbemba – first xi
    Mitrovic – first xi even if crouch signed
    Perez – will play a lot but likely to battle aarons or gayle for place,
    Ritchie – first xi,
    Saivet – will be gone,
    Sels – maybe first choice keeper if Krul goes
    Shelvey – may be first xi but work rate needed to improve last season,
    Sterry – probably ride the bench,
    Thauvin- will go
    Tiote – will probably go but much improved under rafa
    Wijnaldum – will go hopefully for big money

    If crouch and Hanley come in I still think we could see 3 or 4 more come in depending on who leaves. I’d like to see an attacking midfielder, striker and another full back.

  • 86 OneAlanShearer // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    As it stands I think we have 7 or 8 definite starters so still room in the first xi and squad.

  • 87 Average_Contents // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Unlucky Mrs doubtfire. Cheer up stevey bruuuuce.

  • 88 Ron Knee // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Profiles of six possible England managers:

  • 89 Ian Toon // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    What a despicable cheap comment. If there were a causal link you would be justified in such a claim. I recently saw you personally acknowledged multiple posting and the other dullards have admitted to Raj and the heralding Sack Lambias as well. You used to be a decent funny guy.

    Just play your own game. I am clean. Ed has frequently told me just to ignore.

  • 90 OneAlanShearer // Jul 13, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    I reckon sissoko will go for about 25 million. Wijnaldum for about 15.

    We will need a could of quality attacking players when they do.

  • 91 welshgeordie9 // Jul 13, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    Ian Toon

    Well said mate.

  • 92 Ibizatoon // Jul 13, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    Good morning blog!

    Have the most wonderful of days, each and every one of you x

  • 93 Bobbybee // Jul 13, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    These last few days have been shocking. I just wish there was something else other than Sissoko. 😉 Wake me up when something happens. Only Rafa knows and he’s said his bit. Driving the price up or genuinely keeping him? I wish I knew because it’s doing my head in 😉 A thousand possibilities with 999 wrong. It’s more cruel towards us than Sissoko even. Somebody will make a stupid offer and only then will we know…

previous post: Newcastle In New Move For Defender

next post: Benitez Switches Things Around – Keeps Doing Everything Right