Mike Ashley and the NUFC board deserve credit for French haulings
When Adam le Fondre smashed home his second goal of the game at a bitter St.James’ Park, a cold, hard realisation reverberated all the way from the Milburn Stand to the desks of Newcastle United’s hierarchy. NUFC were sinking, and well and truly mired in a relegation battle for the second time in four years. Something needed to be done about it, the same mistakes made in 2009 could not be repeated in 2013. Newcastle United needed new players, and by the quantity or else, Pardew and his questionable tactics could find the northeast outfit dumped into the nPower Championship, and miss out on that lucrative pot of gold that is set to kick in, when the Premier Leagues closes in the summer.
The final whistle sounded around a hostile St.James’ Park. A chorus of boos rang out to add to Pardew’s already numb feeling after losing to a side two places below them in the Premier League. Three days later, long-term target Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa completed a £6.6m move from French league champions Montpellier, to Tyneside.
Shortly after completing the swoop for the ball playing centre back, NUFC lined up three more French targets to add to the capture of Mapou and Mathieu. Massadio Haidara and Yoan Gouffran both joined a couple of days after for a combined fee in the region of £3.8m.
A new striker had been signed, and a promising left-back who could challenge Davide Santon for the LB role.
Llambias and Charnley were not finished though and spurned on by their recent successes in the market, they made a cheeky enquiry for Moussa Sissoko of Toulouse, who, alike Mbiwa, was a target for next summers window. After discussions, the understanding with the NUFC board was that the box to box midfielder – who fits Newcastle’s blueprint impeccably – was available for about £2.2m.
To cut a long story short, Sissoko was desperate to join NUFC and after agreeing a fee, completing a medical, and signing a 6.5 year contract – the Frenchman was officially a Magpie.
As of today, Newcastle United have spent about £18.5m. Now while people will claim Demba Ba’s money brings that net spend figure down to £11m, that is incorrect. NUFC gained very little from the Ba deal, in fact, their cash from the deal was as little as £4m, which did actually pay for Gouffran and Sissoko if you want to look at it in a positive light.
Now while it is understood St.James’ Park will have no more incomings, there will be plenty of call between now and the end of the window. Ideally Llambias wants a powerful CF to replace Ba, and Wilfried Bony is on the shortlist. Less powerful, but a natural goalscorer nonetheless; Ricky van Wolfswinkel is also a long-term target for the club, dating back to Chris Hughton’s era on Tyneside.
Personally, I can see one more player arriving if the price is right. Plenty of players will be offered to Alan Pardew between now and February 1st, and if one of their targets is the subject of a call, then the situation will be reassessed. Being honest, it is quite likely one of their targets will be mooted with a move, but if the terms on which he arrives do not suit the Newcastle hierarchy, then he will be looked at in the summer when values will have more than likely depreciated a bit.
All in all Newcastle United deserve credit for the swiftness they have shown in the transfer market. Five signings of very highly rated -players represents a very positive window and we may do some more business for Florian Thauvin if Bastia fancy lowering their valuation.
Some of these players should have been signed last summer, but there’s absolutely no chance we would have landed them for this kind of money, and perhaps we might have been beaten to their signature by the likes of Arsenal/Liverpool who have been long-term admirers of similar players.
Hopefully now we can boot on a get three points at Villa Park. Our season starts here.
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