Is our transfer policy in danger of becoming redundant, and have we been found out when it comes to our transfer market dealings?
We all know the drill by now. We scout players thoroughly and look for value and potential in any player we sign, whether that be potential for a player to improve or for his value to increase, or both. We value them and won’t go above what we think a player is worth. If the club wants more than that then we move on to the next carefully scouted potential acquisition.
We’ve acquired quite a fearsome reputation in this respect and it earned us many plaudits last season. We basically reinvented a squad with the cash from the sale of one player and spread it across the whole team improving it beyond recognition and beyond expectation. Basically we rewrote the book of how to improve a team and showed that it doesn’t always take Arab oil money to achieve an upturn in league positioning.
Could our reputation be hindering us this time around though? Graham Carr is now a well know scout thanks to all of the publicity he has received, arguably more publicity than any other scout at any other club has been adorned with. He has become symptomatic of our approach in the transfer market and, generally speaking, his judgement hasn’t been far wrong in terms of incoming players.
My worry is that other teams will have twigged this, not only teams we are looking to compete with who will will try and steal in on the back of our hard work, but also teams that we are trying to cut a deal with may suddenly look at their own valuation of a player and question it. Could it be a case of Newcastle being interested so there must be a reason to inflate the price?
At the end of the day it’s still very much early days in the transfer window and I’m nowhere near panicking yet, but the way that FC Twente have acted over Luuk de Jong, with his ever inflating transfer fee, has made me wonder about it all. Granted de Jong is not exactly in the “relatively unknown” bracket we seem to have been operating in, and neither is Mathieu Debuchy after impressing at EURO 2012, but even so the fees being mentioned are higher than what they were.
Time will tell of course, but I worry that the transfer policy that has served us so well could have come to the end of the line as other teams start to wise up to it.
P.S: A bit of an oddity has appeared. ESPN are listing two of our friendlies for live TV coverage, those being the clash with Monaco on Monday July 16th (6pm) and a clash with Fenerbahce on Saturday 21st July (again 6pm). The oddity occurs as these fixtures have yet to be confirmed by Newcastle United. So anyway, we might have some football to watch next week!