Are there any diamonds in the rough of the Championship?

Adel to cut in the Premier League?
As the season draws to a close our attention can start to drift towards the summer, especially when you consider that we are just about safe.

Player signings will no doubt feature heavily over the coming months in what I anticipate to be a tough, long, drawn out summer transfer window. Why will it be tough? Simple – we have money, and other clubs know that so will look to exploit as many pennies out of us as they can. Combine that with the fact that we have an owner who drives a hard bargain (some would say too hard) and you have the recipe for said long, drawn out summer.

Newcastle will no doubt be looking high and low for new players in the summer, or at least I’d like to think they will be anyway. Some of them will be from abroad, some of them may be from the Premier League, but there could also be others that aren’t from the elite leagues and currently ply their trade in the second tier.

So with that in mind, is there anyone worth pursuing in the Championship? I’ve kept half an eye on that particular league this season, and I have to say that there are a few players who I would take a punt on. Let’s take a look at them.

Ashley Williams – The Swansea central defender is widely regarded as one of the best non-Premier League defenders in the English league system. We’ve been linked with him before, several times, which is why I’ve kept an eye on him. Strong, solid, dependable with the fair bit of pace – I’d say he’d be worth a punt.

Adel Taarabt – Quite simply a class act, although he can also be rather huffy. Still, the amount of goals and assists he has racked up this season surely can’t be ignored? He is entering the last twelve months of his contract so will be that bit cheaper to sign, although I still reckon it will take Β£5 million plus a makeweight in the form of Wayne Routledge to do a deal, especially as QPR are pretty much nailed on to be in the Premier League next season.

Danny Graham – How about another Gateshead lad up front? Graham has notched 25 goals in 40 appearances this season and has managed 39 goals in his two season Watford career to date – that’s a goal every two-and-a-bit games! At only 25-years-old he has a fair chunk of his career in front of him so would perhaps be worth a shot?

Shane Long – I really rate this lad and feel he is a similar player to Kevin Doyle. Both have similar goalscoring records and both run their backsides off for the team. The 24-year-old is enjoying his first season as a first choice striker at Reading, and it shows he is taking his chance when you consider he has knocked in 23 goals this term. I’d have him at Newcastle.

Those are four of my picks of players that have caught my eye in the Championship this season. There are probably more than just these to be honest, like Max Gradel, but these players immediately jump out at me and I think they could all do a job in the Premier League.

Worth a punt? Any suggestions?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

49 thoughts on “Are there any diamonds in the rough of the Championship?

  1. I’d have Taarabt & Long but dont know enough about the others to pass judgement…

    I wouldnt want them to be our only signings & they would need to be complimented by some other more expensive i.e. better signings to be happy

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  2. Witters – I agree, but I still think there is some quality available in the championship. Former toon player Bradley Orr is another player that has impressed me

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  3. Quite simply I wouldn’t have Taarabt. Well, I mean, I would, but the fact is we won’t get him, QPR wouldn’t sell him for less than 10mil as he is literally all the firepower they have and unless warnock is up for completely rebuilding his team over the summer I just can’t see him moving anywhere. To be honest, Tiote would be all over him alongside half the defensive midfielders in the league, and as we already have Arfa I don’t want another stroppy player on the pitch πŸ˜€

    Got a few Swansea fans for mates and they rate Williams so I’d probably pick him up as well. Gives us more options at the back and would then allow our young uns like Kadar to go out on loan without us having to re-sign Sol, god forbid..

    I’m actually in Uni at Reading so I hear enough about Long to know he’s good, and he’s been instrumental in Reading’s brilliant run so far so I’d give him a shot as well, a better replacement for loven in my opinion. Don’t know too much about Graham though…didn’t realise his record was so good like.

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  4. Griff says “hands off Williams, he’s not 4 sale”…so that’s a no go πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†
    Is Routledges contract not cancelled therefore we wouldn’t be able to use him as a makeweight would we?

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  5. I expect that we will be sexuring the services of our senior players; picking up a couple of free agents with premiership experience, one or two cheaper players from the championship, and buying two or three players for the continent. Eg 5 or 6 new players. I would expect the money to go on attacking players from the continent, eg Sigthorsson with maybe two from Gamerio, Gervinho, Arabi etc. The free agents and championship are providing depth in defence and width. So the only one from that list is Williams, and Swansea want to continue building, unlikely.

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  6. Long sounds promising, but with so many bodies needed the club needs to steer clear of surly gits like Taarabt. Besides – we have to remember we have Gosling and Benny coming in to a crowded midfield already.

    I think Premandup has the formula – splash some cash abroad and spend more prodently for the longer term at home. Several newbies for the academy and reserves, a couple of utility players and we’re there. Most of the Carroll money will have to be spent just keeping our current boys here, so don’t expect any 20m signings.

    Besides, I think the management has shown that you’re more likely to land a decent player by buying four Β£5m ‘potentials’ than one high-priced known entity who could easily fail to deliver.

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  7. Anybody jay…..don’t want him, imo he’s a buy if we want to stay at the level we are(which is better than hoped for) but would he take us forward? not for me, similar strike record to Shola and similar injury record. If we’re going to play a lone striker or even 2 up front, I’d want a new striker to be at least a 1 in 3 goal scorer, that’s not Doyle for me.

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  8. Well there are people like Nugent and Borini are free agents this summer and are good strikers. I like Simeon Jackson from Norwich as well and he shouldnt be expensive. Then there are wingers like Scott Sinclair and as mentioned Max Gradel, wingers with really good pace and goalscoring as well. Any of those mentioned by Toonsy I would find worth a punt as well, so there are plenty of options in the championship. But of course I would probably prefer names like Gervinho and Gameiro and such, but we shouldnt be afraid to look at championship players.

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  9. Well from what Pardew has been saying were going to keep Ameobi, Best and Lovenkrands, get rid of kuqi and Xisco and loan Ranger out and as much as I like Long I can only see us going for strikers from the French/Dutch/German leagues.

    I would take a punt on Ashley Williams though, he would be good cover for pretty much every position along the back line.

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  10. Internet are reporting that Jose Enrique has terminated his tenancy at his current property! Queue speculation! πŸ™„

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  11. Ice, yeah πŸ˜†

    But I think the difference is Williams has played well over the past few year and the Swansea fans will be sad to see him go whereas the Forest couldn’t get rid of Perch quick enough πŸ˜‰

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  12. Nathandio – I am also more and more convinced he will leave, sadly. I dont think he has looked like his old self the last couple of games and doesnt seem to have the ol fire in the belly anymore.

    But hey, maybe he’s getting a new contract and is just moving to a bigger place?? πŸ™‚

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  13. DAN4TOON ive often wondered if perch was a pick of hoots or call as he worked with him,ethier way hes crap imo

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  14. I agree that our new striker is likely to be one of the foreign, expensive purchases. As Dan says – got enough CCC ones!

    Cracking goal from Loven on Sat, mind. πŸ˜›

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  15. Wasnt it Calderwood who whispered Hoots in the ear to buy Perchy?`Wouldnt count him out anyway yet. I remember Enrique being quite poor in his first season. Although he didnt pick up a record number of yellow cards. πŸ˜•

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  16. My guess would have been Calderwood, surely he couldn’t of bought him because he had a good season. The only good game I remember him having was against us when Jose scored.

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  17. As well as having Carr scouting the globe for good players, Pardew himself has bought a few good ones in his time at Reading and Westham, he’s not afraid to tell people that either πŸ˜†

    So hopefully when Pardew and Carr but their heads together we should be looking at a good summer!

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  18. CH would still have to take the blame(if thats the right word), shouldn’t be taking his word for it, should have checked him out thoroughly first…..even more so if you are working on a very tight budget!

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  19. NewkieBrown – how about Tiote and Macsharano as our two holding midfielders? 😯 impenetrable

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  20. Looking at Newsnow and its saturated with quotes from Ameobi about aiming for a Champions league place, he would be better advised to put some performances in on the pitch before shouting his mouth off.

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  21. bobby – thought that as well. He really really shouldnt be even mentioning chl.

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  22. Aye yeah and macsherano as well…though I don’t really know how much Pardew knew about them when they were coming in? lets hope he wasn’t just leeching off others success.

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  23. Our season amongst them last year gave me a new apreciation for the quality in that league. Think all the players mentioned would do a job.
    I think the champ is the 7th best league in Europe.

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  24. I remember pardew getting slaughtered at wham becuase he was picking players like Harewood and Mullins over Tevez and Mascherano… πŸ™„ πŸ˜†

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  25. Luke Chambers would be somebody i’d have over Ashley Williams if we’re looking for a championship centre back.

    And Guy Moussi is on a free and he’d be able to play second fiddle to tiote in defensive mid

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  26. I agree with your choices toonsy but I’d chuck Nicky Maynard into the mixer as well he’s been really consistent for Bristol city and he’d be well worth a punt .
    We need to get a good blend of decent money signings and then some lower league signings .
    It worked for us first time round under keegan

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  27. It’s the usual bull from the looks of it Jobey because it mentions Villa and Westham as well. Same old same old.

    Wouldn’t mind Moussi though, but that might be because he’s a monster!

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  28. Williams would be a great acquisition – he’s hard as nails and quite pacy as well – plus we’ll get him for nowt. Even if Swansea get promotion I think he’ll come anyway. Didnt someone on here say a little while ago that the word was out that we’d already secured someone on a free? – we’ve been sniffing around him long enough so he could be the man. By the way – i dont think that Long is any better than Airey or Ranger – and there isnt a cats chance that we’d pay Β£10m for him.
    The other free tfr that we’re getting is Larsson – that’ll keep ed happy anyway – he hasnt written a blog on the bugger for 2 days πŸ™„

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  29. Jobey07 – About Barton to Liverpool. What are they on about? Trying to steal every player we’ve got?( or are they trying to say we have a better team than them?? πŸ™‚ )
    Plus isnt Barton an evertonian?

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