Are Newcastle Fans Right to be Disappointed by the Club’s Transfer Dealings this Summer?

Posted on September 12th, 2017 | No Comments |

Rafa Benitez & NUFC Fans.
Rafa Benitez wasn’t able to hide his frustration at the end of August as Newcastle failed to land a number of their primary targets in the transfer window this summer. The Magpies were one of a number of top-flight clubs who voted for the window to be closed prior to the start of the season from next year with the Spanish boss clearly exasperated by the club’s failure to close a number of potential deals.

New Additions to the Squad

The Toon did complete a number of transactions, with several new faces arriving at St. James’ Park, including Norwich winger Jacob Murphy for £13 million, Borussia Dortmund’s Mikel Merino, and former Stoke play-maker Joselu. Eibar defender Florian Lejeune was one of the more eye-catching additions to the side but there were doubts about whether the Paris-born 26-year-old would opt to move to the North East amid interest from other clubs. Javier Manquillo also joins for £6 million to bolster the Newcastle squad ahead of a tough season back in the top flight.

Finally, Christian Atsu re-joined from Chelsea after a successful loan spell at the club last season where he netted five times, and the Ghanaian admitted he needs to push himself this season in order to retain his place in the side. Many fans are asking whether these additions will be enough to see their side through the first half of the season and wondering if there is enough quality in the squad. Joselu scored six times in 24 appearances on loan at Deportivo last season whilst Murphy is lively, unpredictable but still raw. Lejeune has been injured so far but should adapt to his new surroundings quickly whilst Merino has impressed during his three appearances in a Newcastle shirt so far. Newcastle’s lack of squad depth was exposed in their recent 3-2 extra time loss at the hands of Nottingham Forest in the 2nd round of the Carabao Cup; although, with such a thin squad, it is probably advised to simply concentrate on Premier League survival.

The Ones Who Got Away

Harry Maguire joined Leicester City for a fee of £17 million and has already chalked up a goal and an assist for his new club. He was believed to be a long-term target for the North East club but the Foxes moved in quickly and secured the services of the 24-year-old. Gylfi Sigurdsson was another man on the move, joining Everton in August with Rafa Benitez believed to be an admirer of the Icelandic international.

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Tom Cairney, who scored 13 goals in 52 appearances for Fulham, opted to sign a new deal in West London despite interest from a number of Premier League clubs, of which Newcastle were believed to be one. Meanwhile, Manchester United’s Michael Carrick was linked with a return to his native North East but remains on the books at Old Trafford for now. At the beginning of pre-season, fans were expecting Newcastle to splash the cash in order to avoid another relegation back to the Championship and the likes of Joe Hart, Kieran Gibbs, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were all names linked with a move to St James’ Park but whether any negotiations took place remains uncertain. Deals can often take several months to materialise, as detailed by super-agent Jon Smith in a recent interview with Betway. Smith explains how initial interest can be registered up to four months in advance of the deals being completed. These delays can often be due to negotiations surrounding agent commission, ironing out details such contract length and issues with overseas travel. Players also receive bonuses for playing a set number of minutes in a match and this is just one of many meticulous elements of a deal that has to be considered before a Premier League transfer can be announced by either player or club.

Have Newcastle Done Enough?

Fans and pundits both felt as though the club could have done more to secure new additions before the end of August but Rafa Benitez must work with the tools he has been given. They scored 85 times in the Championship last season, averaging under two goals per game and that will need to improve. Whilst Mikel Merino should sufficiently shield a defence that contains Florian Lejeune, it’s further up the pitch where the Toon may fall short. They did beat West Ham 3-0 at the end of August and Benitez will be heartened to see new recruit Joselu break his duck for the season and score his first Premier League goal since the 19th of March 2016. The club have a terrific history and cannot afford to drop back into the second tier. The 3-0 victory over West Ham should give them plenty to build upon and the recent performances of Mikel Merino, who completed 67% of passes and won 54% of his duels, have caught the eye. January will be hugely significant and Newcastle must begin their business early in the window to avoid another frustrating month in the transfer market. For now, they may just have done enough to keep the fans happy.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 66 articles on this blog.

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