My one big concern with NUFC’s summer signings so far

After a  slow and sluggish start to our summer rebuild, Rafa Benitez has now assigned five new recruits to his Premier League project, and whilst more will undoubtedly arrive, I have one niggling concern with those we have brought in so far – their age/experience.

Mikel Merino, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo – three promising young players with potential to improve, but at 21, 22 and 23, they lack experience and the Premier League know-how our squad severely lacks.

Then there’s Florian Lejeune and Christian Atsu. At 26 and 25 respectively, the pair are at good ages, but it must be said that they too lack any real top flight experience, despite forgettable ‘stints’ at Manchester City and Chelsea.

For the record, I have been mightily impressed by Lejeune over pre-season, and am becoming increasingly confident that he will be a hit, but as we’ve learnt with the likes of Mapou Yanga Mbiwa and Jean Alain Boumsong, foreign imports do bring that element of risk.



Don’t get me wrong, I am all for signing players for the future and scouring the European market for bargain buys – there’s every chance the likes of Murphy, Lejeune and Merino turn out to be future stars at the club – but we need players for now, and it’s fair to say that not one of our five summer signings have any proven track record in the English top flight.

Premier League experience is undoubtedly lacking in our squad, with just five players with over 100 Premier League appearances (Diame, Krul, Colback, Clark and Shelvey), and it will be argued that only two of those are players you’d want starting against Spurs in the season opener.

To summarise, i’m quite content with some of our signings thus far, however I am hoping to see Benitez bring in some senior figures and players with some Premier League experience in the weeks to come – we can not afford to take a leap of faith next season in such a defining period for the club.

The addition of some experienced heads, Premier League know-how and proven quality would go down a treat – but given our limited resources and reliance on player sales, signing the above is easier said than done – especially in this day and age.

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About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan – he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

308 thoughts on “My one big concern with NUFC’s summer signings so far

  1. SHAM i agree i dont care who other clubs sign my point is they have money to spend,yes Hoots has just signed a unkown for 16 mil ad have just had a 8mil bid for striker knocked back,Hoots spending up o now is about 50 mil,yet we wont play 13mil for a proven striker

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  2. Ice

    13m for a striker who did ok in the PL last season. Does seem ok in the current transfer situation. But the signing would also be contrary to the club’s typical transfer policy, i.e. he’s nearly 29 and resale value would be very low. He doesn’t have much PL experience either.

    Plus…I don’t even think we’re his first choice. I reckon he wants to go back to Deportivo. But if he did come to us, I bet he’s asking for a long-term contract on big wages. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s asking for a 4 or 5 year contract and probably wages at the top, or above, our current structure.

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  3. Ice, I imagine Brighton has a very low salary outlay compared to us to be fair, so they can afford to put more of the TV money into purchases. Our superior gates money is a drop in the ocean compared to TV deals nowadays – and we are not a global merchandising machine. We have a lot of debt and dont have a billionaire that is able or willing to invest personal cash reserves into the playing side for the sheer thrill of it. So what do we do? Long gone are the days that we could claim to be a bigger club and have more money than others simply by virtue of gate receipts. The playing field is much more even and we have made a number of expensive mistakes that we cant move on. It’s a tough one but I understand why the club does not want to spend big on an average player for £20m that is not going to guarantee our survival and end up just crippling us financially even further. So long as they get the right personnel in by hook or crook by the end of the window then that’s fine by me. Just hope we can shift the likes of Colback and Lazaar at the same time..m

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  4. shamrock

    I’ve been saying the same thing for years while people keep tripping out the same line that we “should” be this or “could” be that based on our 50,000+ attendances.

    A club like Burnley or Watford currently has more money to spend that us by virtue of being in the PL for several seasons.

    We will currently have to pay HIGHER wages for players for several reasons:
    – newly promoted
    – not being in the traditional football hotbeds of London or the North West
    – virtually no hope of European football in the near future

    We’ve got to establish ourselves back in the PL to be a big draw to new players in comparison to these so called smaller clubs.

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  5. Lee Ryder reckons our “pot is probably dry” when it comes to the transfer kitty!

    Rafa has one hell of a job on his hands!

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  6. Stuart79:
    Also he reckons if the club got a good offer for Aarons they’d probably sell him.

    So would I. He has been permanently injured for years.

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  7. Lee Ryder puts out so many opinions that he’s bound to be right sometimes. But usually he’s wide of the mark.

    Firstly, I don’t believe our transfer kitty is dry, but I do think that they have been instructed to shift out players before signing any. Ashley isn’t the kind of man who will want to see players picking up tens of thousands a week for sitting in the reserves or being out on loan because they couldn’t be selected in the 25 man squad.

    Secondly, all of our players are for sale if a good enough offer comes in, that isn’t exactly news. Aarons hasn’t exactly set the world on fire for us, so if we shifted an over 21 player off the books and got good money for him, it would make sense. I’d love to see the guy prove himself, but how many players have we seen potential in before only for it to remain unfulfilled? That isn’t exactly unique to Newcastle either. How many Man Utd fans said that Januzaj would be the next Ronaldo? I also remember a Watford fan insisting that Gifton Noel-Williams would be the next England number 9.

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