One thing Newcastle lacked last season was good depth to the squad. We suffered far too many injury crises and players losing form during a catastrophic campaign.
Of course Alan Pardew used the club’s European run as an excuse on multiple occasions, claiming that his players felt the burn of playing on a Thursday evening and then again on the Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Most fans will see European competition as as a great thing for the club rather than a hindrance, but we did hear the fatigue card played a few times last season.
One thing that was good to see on Sunday was the strength of the Newcastle substitutes bench, with the exception of the Taylors and Jonas we were virtually at full strength. Competition for places is always healthy and it certainly keeps individuals on their toes. This is one thing you have to give Alan Pardew credit for this term, he hasn’t been afraid to leave big names out if their selection hasn’t benefited the team on the day. Hatem Ben Arfa is a prime example, we all know what the Frenchman can offer but defensively he doesn’t offer as much as Gouffran. Yoan will track back and get stuck in which has been vital against teams like Spurs and Chelsea.
It has been nice to see the competition in recent weeks and Alan Pardew will no doubt be hoping he can add to that even further during the January transfer window. Given the time of year the transfer gossip columns are hotting up a little bit as the tabloids start to link players with potential moves away from their current teams.
Newcastle have found themselves linked with Blackpool youngster Tom Ince, not just now but earlier in the year when the winger was tipped for a summer move. Nothing materialized back then but it would seem that the link has remained and if some of the rags are to be believed Ince could be on Newcastle’s wish list in the new year. I do stress that one of the places I saw this story was on The Sports Direct website!
Newcastle Manager, Pardew has previously spoken of his desire to bring more English players into the club following an influx of French stars. Ince would certainly fit United’s blueprint, being only 21 years of age and available at a good price there would certainly be a sell on value. Especially if Tom continues to develop on Tyneside. The winger is certainly an exciting prospect and has drummed up interest from rival clubs, the player even rejected a move to Cardiff previously.
Ince isn’t the only English winger linked with the club, Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha has also been touted as a potential arrival to Newcastle although it is only thought to be a loan deal proposed. Zaha arrived at Old Trafford for big money from Palace, but has thus far failed to force his way into David Moyes’ immediate plans. There has been rumors of a fall out between the player and his Manager, with there being internet gossip that Zaha had relations with Moyes’ daughter. This of course is all hear say and is probably false.
I personally feel Tom Ince is a good player with a bright future in the game, if we could get him to the club for less than £5 million I reckon it would be a great investment. We already have Ben Arfa, Gouffran, Jonas, Obertan, Ameobi and (seemingly) forgotten man Marveaux that can play in Ince’s position but I think the player can be versatile and could be a decent bit of business.
This is all hypothetical as like most I only believe these things when they are more official. What do you think? Would Ince be a good addition? What about Zaha?