Some may call this transfer window one of the worst in recent years with the Joey Barton saga coming to a head and the sale of our former captain Kevin Nolan to West Ham. However the business that has been conducted shows how the club could be trying to run itself as Mike Ashley suggests.
The signing of Yohan Cabaye was confirmed by the player himself after his last game for Lille. Many were surprised at how Newcastle were able to sign a player who had been previously linked with the likes of Arsenal and other big Champions League clubs, but a loophole was exploited in Cabaye’s contract at Lille that would allow us to pay in the region of £4 million for his services. During this time news was announced that Kevin Nolan was off to join Big Sam at Championship outfit West Ham. The fee apparently agreed between the two clubs was said to be around the £4 million mark and above.
Effectively the money that West Ham paid us for his Nolan may have then been used in order to pay Lille for Cabaye. That is a good way to conduct our business, use the money of the outgoing players in order to bring new ones in. It meant that the club were actually replacing Nolan straight away with a player who is much younger and looks set to be a very exciting prospect for the coming season.
There was further evidence of this perhaps with Wayne Routledge’s move to Swansea and Gabriel Obertan’s move from Manchester Unted to the Toon. Pardew commented that he had been in contact with Sir Alex for a while over the availability of the Clarefontaine graduate and stated that when Routledge was sold they knew it was now possible for Obertan to make his way over to the North-East.
In my opinion this was a very shrewd piece of business by the club. We were getting rid of one the players who frustrated many fans with his ability and crosses and, for just £1 million more than received from Swansea, we have been able to bring in someone who is of a higher quality.
The club does seem to be running itself with the evidence of these signings and I think even the free signings we have brought in add to the squad, although that may not be what some fans may be happy with. Many would like us to see us bring in a lot more players than we have.
Whilst watching Sky Sports News yesterday showing Obertan at Newcastle, the guy who handles the transfer TV thing, showed that there was only one or two clubs who had brought in more players than us. That speaks volumes for the way that Alan Pardew has been working during this transfer period. He has snapped up players who have been out of contract for absolutely nothing so that they add depth to our squad and he has also brought players in as soon as someone has left.
It has been a frustrating period for our manager in some ways; two of our top striking targets did not want to come to the club which must have knocked him back but I’m sure he will be working very hard to bring a striker in before the end of the window.
If the club is using this policy then it does work in some cases and in some cases it might not work. We have been replacing players who are surplus to requirements with players who are of a better quality so that the squad makeup is better than it is before. You can also argue that Dan Gosling and Hatem Ben Arfa will be like new signings when they play for us as we saw so little of them last year and they too have the chance to make an impact this year.
I have nothing against this policy, it makes sense to get rid of players who we don’t want and replace them with players who are hungry for action and are actually of a higher quality. It may leave the club in the best position financially as it means we aren’t over spending on players who are flops.
Do you think this a good policy or would you like to see something different?