Continental shopping.

Euro scouting trip.
It seems fairly certain that Newcastle United will be eyeing up talent from on the continent over the summer.

The impression is that you generally get more for your money whilst shopping overseas.

This isn’t a new phenomenon of course and is perhaps in some ways responsible for the large amount of foreign imports we have knocking around in the Premier League. For some unknown reason, despite being technically inferior for the most part, English players seem to attract a premium on their price when it comes to talking about transfers.

You could argue that the signings of Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheik Tiote prove this theory in a very practical way as we have seen the quality of these two players at first hand. Signed for a combined fee of around 25% of Andy Carroll’s ‘value’, you can clearly see that you can get more bang for your buck on the continent.

Of course buying from abroad is not going to guarantee that every transfer will work out, and heaven knows that we have had enough overseas dross in the black and white to prove that theory, but the benefit is that you can get more players through the door due to their lower cost. If one doesn’t work out then it’s no great shakes and we can get rid without the club losing too much cash.

The best way to make sure you get the right player is to do the correct research in the first place. With the noises coming out of the club about scouting missions and trips abroad I’d like to hope that the club, and Graham Carr inparticular, are doing their job correctly.

So where is the best place to have a look when scouting abroad? Is there any particular area, region or country that offers us more chance of striking success in the transfer market? Obviously, as said earlier, there is no guarantee of success, in any transfer, but I’d like to think that players from certain countries would be better suited to life in the Premier League.

Holland is one of my favourite countries for football outside of England. I think they have a lot of good technical players in their league and feel that it is vastly undervalued in terms of strength when compared to the so-called bigger leagues around Europe.

Clubs like PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord have some cracking players, but becuase of the financial state of the clubs they may be forced to sell some of their players, and obviously there are the likes of FC Twente and AZ Alkmaar who also have some high quality players that would surely jump at the chance of playing in the Premier League.

France is probably my favourite football league outside of England. The pace and strength, in my opinion, is comparable to that of the Premier League and it seems to be played at a much higher tempo than La Liga or Seria A for example.

Apparently we have quite a good reputation in France due to the coverage that our treatment of Hatem Ben Arfa has been getting which has shed some positive light on the club. Perhaps this could help us should we decide to venture into the French market? Another plus point is that the wages in France are reasonably low due to the stringent financial tests that each team have to go through in order to compete each season.

Germany is another country that has a lot of physical and technical players within it’s league. Being honest it’s not a league I bother with much with as it all seems very insular – you don’t hear of many German players moving abroad from the Bundesliga. Mind you we did sign Didi Hamann from Bayern Munich so it can’t be completely ruled out.

Honourable mentions for Spain and Belgium, who again have some cracking players in their league, aswell as some of the Eatser European leagues who seem to create good, strong, technical players with pace in abundance. However, I personally get the feeling that it will be France and Holland that we see most of our new recruits coming from.

what do you think?

72 thoughts on “Continental shopping.

  1. Agree, France and Holland will be our first port of call which is good because there the two leagues I know most about πŸ™‚

    Anyways am off, later mate.

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  2. A lot of good strikers come from the French league. Look at some of the Premier Leagues greatest strikers. Cantona retired from football whilst playing for little know team Nimes and afterwards moved to Leeds, Henry was originally from Monaco/ Clairefontaine and Drogba from Marsielle.

    Guess what the overall transfer fees were for these three? 35 million πŸ˜‰

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  3. Eurocentrism in football makes perfect sense to me. The only other continents worth bothering with are Africa and South America and the best Africans are in Europe already and the best South Americans want to be in Italy or Spain. To be fair you can pick up decent South Americans but they’re risky… Wigan did very well with Rodallege and Figourera, but Bousejour (who looked pure class at the world cup) hasn’t settled in to life at Brum whatsoever. Maybe we’ll see more of him next season… speaking of which, I’d take most of the Chile squad- they were absolute class!

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  4. And therein lies the reason for the difference in wages and transfer fees, the risk the player wont settle, whereas those already here are much more likely to settle, Torres aside.

    I think it is well worth the risk to try and get a couple of Chile’s players, but those worth looking at will be looked at by the big guys, esp with how well Hernandez has settled at manure. He looks an absolute steal at Β£6 million

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  5. correct me if I am wrong.. We only have one chief scout as well, which makes it hard to find talent in south america etc.. unless you use youtube video’s and we all know how that worked out last time…

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  6. We’ve already had a world cup winner French striker sign and play for us .
    Who’s the first to get it?
    He was shite. There’s a clue.

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  7. I think Hernandez would struggle at a lesser club than manure.. He seems a real poacher that relies on a lot of ball being delivered into the box.. For a lesser team, me thinks he would not look so good…

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  8. Well done cc.
    It was the clue that must have made it easy.
    He’s the only person I can’t find a wiki profile of.
    There’s even one for Morono- it just says clueless.

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  9. Whickham anyone?

    I think service is a massive part of what makes a striker. Hernandez gets alot, Torres gets none. Look at their form and make your own minds up.

    We have very little in the way of productivity from the wings, and we need 3 wingers IMHO if we are to continue 4-4-2, or a different type of player if there are alternative formations he has in mind.

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  10. Bull Shit no.9

    I always knew all your information came from wikipedia.
    You can just tell by your craic that it’s all second hand.

    RE: thread.

    There is no 100% foolproof formula though is there? Signing anyone for a large fee is always going to be a risk. Raffo mentioned Torres – good example. Here is a proven Premier League goalscorer who just hasn’t settled for some reason. Still early days I know but that’s another problem with bringing players from abroad on large fees and wages, the pressure is there instantly to perform and if the pressure is building, you are in a strange country with none of your family and friends around you for support, heads can drop and it’s difficult to build them back up.

    It’s usually ok if you have fellow countrymen in the playing squad and coaching staff and they can help them out.

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  11. Ha. I knew morono would bite. πŸ˜‰
    Do you think Torres’ problems have come about since he stopped dying his hair blond?
    He’s maybe lost his confidence in his looks. ?

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  12. we are apparently looking at a couple of belgian lads ( dont know who they are).
    I agree with Toonsy – best bet is the French league – its the closest i feel to the premiership (not geographically). incidentally – it does take class playerstime to settle anywhere – look at that lad Benzema – he was mint last night the little bits that i saw.

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  13. Or even Jose and Collo closer to home. It is a very real gamble, but the lower the wages/transfer fee then the more acceptable the risk I suspect.

    Cheers Moreno – I do speak sense sometimes, though you may have to act as a character witness for our lass!! πŸ˜†

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  14. So you gonna enlighten us Sh1tstabber Number 9 on how you’d run Newcastle as per my comment on the last thread? You seem to have an awful lot to say…

    Thought not…it’s much easier & lazier to post comments that are deliberately cynical & intended to wind people up!

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  15. lol witters – I would like to know his source! At least my info is genuine, as Toonsy and any other facebook chums can testify to

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  16. There’s a great Spanish left back unsettled at the moment.
    He knows the premier league inside out.
    In fact he knows the Toon inside out.
    Only young and one the best left backs in the country.
    We should put all our efforts and concentration to sign him.
    Any heard of Jose Enrique?

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  17. BRISVEGAS cheers mate know it quite well have relatives in Upper Coomera near the gold coast,also brother at boyne island about a hour drive from rockhamton half a hour from gladstone you know it?

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  18. I will say that if you think that isnt being done then your a plum. He hasnt said anything other than he will wait until we are safe, which we are not, and then discuss terms. Same as Joey and Nolan et al. Fair enough in my book. Theres no harm looking at your options. I am having 2 interviews next week which will improve me and my quality of life. Why shouldnt footballers do the same?

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  19. I don’t think Torres has failed to settle…he’s been sh1te ever since the world cup. Fair enough he might not have scored so far but Ancelotti’s management of him has been poor. Did anyone watch manure chelski? I was probably the only one in the pub supporting chelsea but when he took off torres at half time and replaced him with drogba when he already had 3midfielders on yellows, and one was bound to get a red and did, and Anelka had a chance where Van Der Sar came miles out and couldn’t round him…don’t get why they didn’t leave him on? Still it will be very interesting to follow Chelsea now,3 “world class” strikers and sturridge who’s looked awesome doesn’t want to “step down” to Bolton permanently πŸ˜›

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  20. I know the Gold Coast but I haven’t been Rockhampton way. It’s about 1000 K to the north. Flew to Townsville for a month once – that’s about another 1000 K further on (and there’s still about another 1000 to go to get to the top of the state. I’ve been about 1000 K inland too, and that only takes me a third of the way across the state as well. Big place. I mostly know NSW coast. Only been in Brisbane for 6 years.

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  21. Newkie,

    Don’t think it’s going to be Ancelotti’s problem for much longer anyway. If you can’t latch on to a through ball from Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets etc etc etc for Spain, then there’s something wrong.

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  22. Nah Raffo,

    Haven’t you heard? We are trying to drive out all our players so there are none left πŸ˜‰

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  23. Batts – No I wouldnt at all!!

    Moreno/Newkie – Did you read what I wrote about Torres yesterday? Chelseas style of play doesnt suit him. Liverpool played their midfield deeper to create the space for him in behind. Chelsea and Man City dont do that and that could be down to the Italian managers and Italian style of play.

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  24. raffo, aye good observation.

    Robbie Fowler was saying he has lost that half a yard of pace which made him so dangerous. He reckons he is now about the same speed as everyone else where as he used to be quicker.

    I just reckon he isn’t making enough intelligent runs, you don’t need to be blisteringly quick if you time your run right.

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  25. BRISVEGAS,thanks mate,lived in N.S.W for a year,then moved up to boyne for over 2 yrs,my lad played soccer as yous call it for Queensland state under 13s at 9yrs old scored hat trick in his first game,would have went on to play for aussie but got done in next game (knee) oh well such is life

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  26. Ice – we call it football now, since the A-league started. Tried to re-brand the sport: old soccer, new football.

    Brisbane’s a nice place for 8 months of the year temps rarely drop below 16 during the day. It’s intolerable in summer though. Hate it when the temps get over 30. Its ok for a week or so, but it pisses me off after 4 months of it.

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  27. And thats where the issue of confidance comes in. But he isnt going to get that back if the teams playing in a totally alien way than he is used to. You could argue that the Spanish and Real and Barca teams all play in the similar way. He would be a great buy for Real.

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  28. Moreno

    Yeah, Hoots for Chelski!
    But in all seriousness, exactly about the Spain passing..still not a big deal for them as they have David villa to fill his shoes anyway. Not quite sure what’s caused his current malaise but I guess he’ll be back…maybe we can pick him up on the cheap next summer when we’re in Europe? …. *cough*

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  29. NewkieBrown

    Tino Asprilla has just told Swedish press that Torres to Newcastle is ‘already a done deal’

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  30. Moreno – :mrgreen:

    Who needs torres when we have Leon best who’s scored only three less goals and less than half of playing time πŸ˜€

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  31. @twitters
    I have expressed my views over many months on this blog.
    Clearly I’m anti Ashley but it looks like we are stuck with him until he claws back his investment. That should not be the case. He bought into the club that is an institution. Thousands of peoples lives revolve around its success and failure.
    We all know he is willing to sell at the right price, as he recently stipulated that any serious investor must buy a Β£50k box for 5 yrs before consideration will be given.
    I only ask of the man that he offers the club at a reasonable price. We know he took the piss out of the now Man City owners. I don’t know whether there will be potential buyers for the club who have the financial clout to take us to the next level but Ashley won’t allow that opportunity to happen.
    He should cut his losses and at least try.
    I’ve been going to SJP since 1979 and we are now going through the same phase of mediocrity caused through an owner who doesn’t have the financial clout or the vision that Sir John Hall had.
    As long as he’s in charge, I see the rot of complacency setting in with the fans who are already turning their backs on the club. They’ve got nothing to get excited about. It won’t happen overnight but it will on season on season.
    Our crowds are what set us apart from other clubs and within 3 to 4 yrs we will be down to the mid 30k like Sunderland.
    I still wonder where yous get your optimism from with Ashley cos everything about his business empire and the way he has handled himself since taking over is trash.
    All I wish is he tries his damn best to sell the club at a price that’s not taking the piss , as in the past and if no one takes up the offer I will shut my whinging gob.
    By the way, this was sent on an iPhone so I can’t check over the grammar .

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  32. Yes but there cant be 20 teams challenging for the title every year. It makes me laugh how 3rd spot for Chelsea and the 1/4 finals of the Champ league and its a failure of a season.

    What if all 20 teams had billionaires as owners, what then? We are going through structural change. All things go through ebs and flows and it is our time to be in a little trough. We got relegated but still had massive attendances. Give it a year and I suspect with a stable league position, stable team, and no debt and a self sufficient club there will be a load of people wanting to buy us. The only issue would then be we would be at a cross roads. Would the new owners continue down the path investing a little more whilst keeping the books in check, or go down the Man City / Chelski road where if either of their owners gets bored they are simply screwed. I know which I want, and if people leaving means I get to have a season ticket then thats fine by me

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  33. Batty yes he’s awsome isn’t he,and the first frencman ever to speak the Qeen’s language fluenly without an accent!It may sound laughable,but I think our scouts should look to Bulgaria.Our first division is packed with second hand Africans and Brazilians,but a handful of them could actually hold Premier League standard,and they would come for peanuts out of sheer happiness. πŸ˜€

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  34. “I see the rot of complacency setting in with the fans who are already turning their backs on the club”

    Bobby

    we get 50k or just under every home game, sell out every away game, I don’t know any of my mates who havn’t renewed their season tickets.

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  35. Germans talents FTW. πŸ˜† 😈

    just look at Julian Draxler,he is only 17,and already playing champion league and the league. πŸ™„

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  36. There are a bunch of really good young Germans who could all make it big in the Premier League…but the Germans donΒ¨t seem to like coming to the UK for some reason.. πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Dortmund are gonna win the Bundesliga with an average age of around 23…great team, with a great, and totally radged manager…Real Madrid are already sniffing around several of there players…Mainz also have a team of young guys….in fact a lot of German teams take a chance on young players…

    At Newcastle, we just talk a lot of hot air when it comes to our young players, if they are good enough they are old enough….get them in…suppose the management and coaching staffs know when the bairns are ready… πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    I personally think our best bet for new signings are the French, and perhaps the Dutch and Belgian leagues……Should also be possible to pick up some good squad players from the fizzy pop league ?

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  37. A young centre back from Schalke just scored an immense goal against Inter yesterday…anybody see it ? Brilliant for a young centre half !!….Germany have an amazing wealth of young talent, we could do with taking a leaf out of there book They are all model professionals too, polite, elequent and invariably courteous. Not too young talented professionals getting lip tatoos in the Bundesliga…. πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™„

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