Being perfectly honest this was something I expected as the club set about trying to strengthen the squad. It’s pretty well known that the European market offers better value for money compared to the UK market and is probably the main reason why most of our scouting has been conducted over there.
However, as with all transfers of course, there is an element of risk involved, especially if you sign too many overseas players in such a short space of time. It’s great that Newcastle are seemingly trying to strengthen and look to be active in the transfer market, but I don’t want us to become reliant on the European market for our transfer dealings.
It’s worth remembering that not every overseas player will settle in straight away. Of course by ensuring that we have them in as early as possible and with careful scouting and evaluation of each player at least some of the risk can be negated, but you can never be certain that a foreign import will take to life in a new country with a new way of life and a new style of football immediately.
We’ve seen it happen before, recently in fact. Jose Enrique took time to settle before blossoming into the full-back that we all know and love whilst Fabricio Coloccini had people comparing him to a clown before his hairstyle turned into a cult symbol amongst the Toon Army thanks to his performances this season.
Signing a lot of overseas players will also shift the balance away from the English side of things, not that I really care as long results improve of course. This last season we had a decidedly domestic look about our setup, but with more continental signings that balance could shift away from the English players who generally know what life and football is like in England. Obviously.
Now as it stands we can afford a few foreign imports into our squad as we currently have a rather large pool of “home grown” players. It’s about getting the balance right though and maintaining the link between keeping the ethos of the club intact and adding the technical quality that continental players generally bring to the party. The guts and glory of seasoned Premier League players with the glitz and glamour of the continent combined if you like.
If the club can do that then we’ll have a good squad next season! « And the winner of the NUFC Blog Player of the Season award is…. | Fancy a bit of Berbatov? »