Defenders wanted: What are the options?

I'd spend £3m on this man...

An option for January?
With one move seemingly tied up with the news of Maiga’s medical it made me wonder how many players we would see through the door after his arrival.

I personally think that we need at least two defenders as well as Modibo Maiga to put us in a strong position for the back end of the season, but whether Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew see it that way it remains to be seen.

We’ve been linked with a number of defenders over the last few months and with our recent injury crisis I’m certain we’ll be dipping into the market to sign a defender. We’ll definitely get one in my opinion, two would be great business by Ashley but I can’t see it, if I’m honest.

Out of the players that we’ve been linked with I’ve pinpointed these five as the most likely to sign for the club, and realistically any of the five would improve our squad, while two of the five would be great business and would stand us in good stead for the end of this season and future seasons.

Nedum Onuoha – Nedum is a player who we were linked with both in the summer and over the past couple of days, since the injury of Steven Taylor. Onuoha has been frozen out at City since their big money signings, but I still see him as a very capable Premier League player. He can play at both right back and centre half which would give us much needed versatility across the back four. At the age of 25, Onuoha would be the right age for the current regime and would represent value for money.

The prices quoted for the former England under 21 international are between £3-4m pounds which I feel is a very good price in the current market. Onuoha has over 100 games of Premier League experience and would be a good player either to give competition to Danny Simpson, or to replace him when Steven Taylor returns at the heart of the defence. We’d have to look past the fact that he’s had a loan spell at Sunderland, but that’d be easy to do for me as I feel he’d improve our squad and first team massively.

Liam Ridgewell – A deal for Ridgewell was something that we tried to thrash out on the final day of the summer transfer window, but the £2 million deal to sign from Birmingham never came to fruition. Supposedly we’d moved on from Ridgewell, but the injury of Steven Taylor may have changed the mind of the Newcastle hierarchy. Ridgewell can play at both left back and centre half so he would also add depth to the Newcastle squad. At the age of 27 Ridgewell would be just a little bit older than the type of player that’s ideal, but his lower price would lower the risk.

Liam would probably be the cheapest deal for the club with a price of around £2 million being quoted for the defender, which is something which Mike Ashley will be very keen on. The former England under 21 international has also played over 100 Premier League games and wouldn’t be a bad signing for the club.

Erik Pieters – Another player who we nearly signed in the summer may be revisited, and that is PSV’s Erik Pieters. His transfer saga dragged on for around a month in the summer, with Newcastle failing to iron out the details of agent fees and other such minor problems, which meant despite being keen on Newcastle Pieters didn’t secure his move. The 23 year old Dutch international can play at both left back and centre back so he could keep his spot in the team, following the return to full fitness of Steven Taylor.

Erik would cost the club around £6-7 million and they’d have to swallow their pride and sort out the problems they had with his agent in order for the deal to go ahead. There’s no doubt he’s a real talent and he’d certainly be a mainstay in the team at either left back or centre half. I’d be extremely happy if a deal for Pieters could be reached, I’m not holding my breath though.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa –James Tomkins – James is a player who I hoped we’d sign last year when it seemed obvious that West Ham were going to go down. Tomkins can play both right back and centre half and the ex-England under 21 international would definitely be the kind of signing that the club was going to make at this current time.

It was reported that we’d had a £2.5 million bid for Tomkins knocked back a few days ago, I think that’s borderline taking the mick to be honest. He’s got a bit of Premier League experience and he’s looking a good player, there was no chance they’d sell him for that, hopefully our next bid is around £4 million and it seals the deal. With 78 appearances to his name already the 22 year old would slot in nicely alongside Coloccini and would provide good competition for Taylor upon his return. As you can tell, Tomkins is a player I’d like us to bring in this January.

They are the five players I feel we have a chance of signing this January. If I had to choose two of them one would definitely be Erik Pieters. His left sidedness gives him the edge over the others and it would mean we’d have a genuine left footed left back who could take Ryan Taylor’s place. Unfortunately it now seems that Erik Pieters will now not be allowed to leave PSV in January, even saying that, I still think we should test their resolve with a bid.

If Pieters was a no-go I would then turn to James Tomkins. He’s a real talent and I’m sure he’d jump at the chance of first team football for a Premier League side. He’s streets ahead of Mike Williamson and he could be a real good centre half in the future. Tomkins wins his fair share of headers, but he’s also a cultured player, so if he was going to be with us for a long time he could fill Coloccini’s boots once he’s retired, but that’s a long way away yet.

The other one would be a toss-up between Nedum Onuoha and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Both are very similar and can play centre back and right back. Mapou is younger, but Nedum would be cheaper and has experience in the Premier League, but if I’m honest I’d be chuffed with either. I wouldn’t be upset with the signing of Liam Ridgewell, but I’d definitely prefer the other three.

Just imagine a back four of Pieters, Taylor, Coloccini and Santon, with either Tomkins, Onouha or Yanga-Mbiwa sitting on the bench. That’s strength in depth, and it’d give us a real chance to mix it in the top six.

Who would you choose?

Which two defenders would you choose?

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50 thoughts on “Defenders wanted: What are the options?

  1. Forget them all.

    It’s usually a player that hasn’t been on the radar that comes into the frame when discovered in Graham Carrs suitcase by customs! 😯


  2. I’d choose Pieters but i don’t think we’ve got a cat in hells chance of getting him. I’d like to think they were taking our defender crisis seriously and scouting some talent to bring in at the BEGINNING of the transfer window.

    The end of january is not soon enough.

    Hope we hold onto Tiote.

    Next seasons perfect team for me would be


    I’d cream in my pants if this happened 😉


  3. Not only can everyone on that dream team perform their roles correctly, Everyone outfield player on that team can put the ball in the back of the net if they need to.


  4. Forget ’em all!   Forget ’em all!
    The long and the short and the tall!
    Forget all the Players we are linked to today, 
    Forget all the players who want loads of pay,
    Forget em all! Forget em all!
    ‘Cos we’re saying goodbye to them all,
    As back to their clubs they with their agents they  crawl,
    No passion, nor care if NUFC fall, 
    Forget em all! Forget em all!
    Derek and Mike’s Market stall, 
    No bets on the stars, 
    Just stick to the rookies, 
    Or else all your dosh will go to the bookies!
      Forget ’em all.! Forget em all!  😛 😛

    Troy Stavers 2011


  5. Pieters is injured until Feb and free in the summer so I’d rule him out.

    Nedum Onuouha & Liam Ridgewell would defo improve us, Ridgewell more as defensive cover.

    Not too sure on Tomkins, wasnt keen on him last yr but perhaps he’s improved and is rated by Hammer fans, so its a possibility.

    sorting a deal with Simmo and Colo first would be better


  6. Apparently Mike Ashely is going to rename shearers Bar, the bud bar, as budwiser are going to be new sponsors, Im very supprised he hasnt renamed it already as it is club owned.


  7. If Demba keeps notching and stays at the Toon it might be called The Ba Bar!

    Now dat has a ring to it. The crowds will be flocking like sheep!

    The poem was canny but that was shit! 😛


  8. I’ve definitely got the best banter on this blog like. 😛

    Tho Thud gets me howling everytime I see his smug face on his smugatar! 😛

    Toonsy pays me. 😛


  9. @mark

    Talking of Grandad jokes. Were you aware of my grandad Les Kellet? Check him out on YouTube .
    A legend and I still wear his trunks to this day!

    Love you Pops! 😛


  10. @Troy

    Thud owns you everytime 😉 he’s the real hero.

    Apparently he does kickboxing too. we could organise a charity fight. Obviously Thud would have a blindfold & one arm tied behind his back to make it evenly balanced 😆


  11. Nobby – We are only 2 signings away from that team as well…that’s the exciting thing. Trouble is…does Mike think the same?

    No need to sell Tiote, we don’t need the money. What would Cabaye think having to ply his trade with another new partner? When does it stop?

    Stability is key to success, both manager and player wise.


  12. @troy

    Toonsy pays me..

    aye apparently some men like thonged guys in boots doing ‘extra services’.. do you still demand the same fee with a cast-arm, takes the gloss off the routine i’d imagine..


  13. tell you what Troy, youre the spitt of Grandpa Les. I dont think he’d approve of your leather briefs tho. Old school briefs for me anyday.

    lol the comedy kick on the ref was priceless 😆


  14. Evilfranky – I suspect we already know the answer to that 🙁

    Interstingly I’m convinced that Tiote will be going nowhere. I just can’t see where he would fit in anywhere else but we’ll see. My mate still claims its a done deal to Chelsea but as I was explaining to him I just can’t see him getting a game there 😕


  15. @toonsy

    RE:tiote, hope youre right m8, we cud be getting ourselves into a flap about nowt..

    who’s your mate, Troy 🙄 or was it someone with an ounce of credit 😆


  16. Lets get ready to ruuuuuuumble! 😛

    Fighting out of the North East of England, we have two fighters Representing the
    First, in the red corner, a boxer and black belt in brazil Ian ju jitsu, he brings to the cage this evening wearing grandad Les Kellets elasticated trunks and wrestling boots!
    Troooooooooy Big Pants Staaaaaavers!!!!
    In the blue corner, a university student with a degree in smugness !
    He brings to the cage this evening his smugatar and checked shirt. 😛
    The Smugatar Thud!
    Ladies and gentlemen let’s get it on !


  17. @toonsy

    I will show my arse in Fenwicks window if Tiote is not a done deal. And I don’t make these threats lightly!! 😛


  18. Toonsy – Well hope your right mate. It’s infuriating coming into transfer windows dreading what the outcome is going to be, rather than being excited at strengthening and pushing on. We EASILY have the money to bring in Miaga and Pieters along with another CB, just don’t think Uncle Mike sees it the same way.

    The next couple of transfer windows will say a lot about the ambitions of this current regime. I don’t see the point in going to games knowing that all the owner wants is midtable every year…that’s not what football is about.


  19. @evilF
    You say;
    knowing that all the owner wants is midtable every year…that’s not what football is about.

    It is for some clubs. As we all know it’s an achievement just to remain in the Premier league. And that is football and fair enough.
    But, for NUFC, it should never be the case. We should now be aiming for the Europa league this season and there should be nothing to stop us.
    We have a window and if the scouts have done their job then players should be lined up.


  20. @troy @28 lol I’d pay to see that.

    Aye m8, priceless footage, I have saved to watch tonight. That sort of stuff should be repeated on itv4 after 9. would be perfect!

    comedy genius 😆


  21. As always, Mike will sell if he can get over the odds and less than he has to pay for a replacement. Sadly, that’s the way he thinks. More sadly, if you rip away all that makes supporting the club worthwhile and just look at results… he’s right.

    I think CB is the priority now, so of the five players I want the ones who are specialist CBs, not those who can ‘play across the back four’. It’s a specialist job, as we saw at Norwich.


  22. Troy – Yeah fair enough, there are clubs that don’t have the financial infrastructure to come into the Premier League and go for it. In those cases constant midtable and good cup runs are a good season for them…Birmingham a couple of season ago (eventually winning the LC). I’ll reword my post slightly and state that constant midtable for a club the size of ours isn’t what football is about. That sounds arrogant and deluded but it’s the truth, don’t think anyone can really say otherwise. There is a reason why over the last 18 years we have already nearly won the title, experienced the Champions League on more than one occasion, UEFA Cup multiple times, FA Cup finals etc…the financial structure has been there due to the size of the fan base even if some of it was debt.


  23. Troy@12…..Yeah I’d read, who’d have thought you could get such a serious injury assembling cardboard boxes!! 😉


  24. @mark

    We think about it shearers bar is club owned, by mike ashley, so why hasn’t he changed the name yet.

    Because he was waiting for a sponsor to come along that sponsor being budwiser


  25. I think we will see Barnetta and pieters in the summer on bosmans,so for me onuoha who played well with saylor in the under 21’s,Mbiwa right age looks decent and a cheeky loan for Taiwo.Hope MA proves us wrong and support Pards.


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