In terms of spending money, our outlay over the summer far surpassed what I personally expected to see invested into the first team.
In the region of £50 million was spent on incoming transfers with NUFC recouping very little by not cashing in on any of their supposed ‘big hitters’ within the squad. Whether it is enough was a different question.
So with 12 games, or just under a third of the season gone, I’m going to have a look at what our new signings have done for us and if they’ve made the impact that we’d hoped. For the purposes of clarity I’m not going to include Ivan Toney who has impressed at reserve and U21 level and will instead focus purely on the four main acquisitions – Aleksandar Mitrovic, Georginio Wijnaldum, Florian Thauvin and Chancel Mbemba.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has made a solid start to life at Newcastle and appears to have settled down somewhat from his baptism of fire. In terms of goalscoring it’s just two goals in ten Premier League appearances (eights starts – one of which he was sent off after 16 minutes – and two as a sub) and it’s also worth noting that hes sat out three games through suspension, which was his own fault in fairness.
But it’s his contribution to the team that is most promising. He has given us a focal point, someone to hold play up and bring others into play, a presence in the box and he unsettles defenders creating space and therefore opportunities for others. I think there is still more to come too from a player who at just 21 still has a lot to learn.
My rating: 7/10
Next up is Georginio Wijnaldum who will no doubt be courting some interest from some big clubs should he continue. He is our top goalscorer although a four goal haul against Norwich has bolstered that tally and he’s also laid on another two goals for his teammates.
This is not a bad return for just 12 Premier League appearances in a new league. He’s also hit the target with more attempts than anyone else in the team with 66% of his shots either resulting in a goal or forcing a save from the opposition goalkeeper.
My rating: 8/10
Chancel Mbemba has been an effective addition to the defence and I like him a lot. He very nearly gifted Bournemouth a goal on Saturday after slipping up but even the greats have done that on occasion. Just ask Steve Gerrard.
If you look at the stats from WhoScored.com (whom are really good to be fair) you’ll see that Mbemba pretty much walks all over Coloccini in terms of tackles, interceptions and clearances – which is basically what a defender needs to do. And at just 21 (allegedly) he’ll get better.
My rating: 7/10
Finally we move on to Florian Thauvin – or the scapegoat as he has become. Seemingly written off by a swathe of fans the 23-year-old has already drawn criticism from some quarters despite only playing 305 minutes of Premier League football from three starts and four sub appearances.
I’m not writing the lad off. It’s a big ask to come to the Premier League and perform immediately however I do see why people have issues with his game. I just don’t think we’re playing to his strengths at the moment, in the same way we didn’t for Remy Cabella or Hatem Ben Arfa. To play in front of Daryl Janmaat (aka AWOL) you have to have a notion of defending as it’s likely you’re going to need to cover while Janmaat is up field and I think that is part of his problem. Time will tell of course but there is definitely room for improvement.
My rating: 5/10
So those are my thoughts on the main chunk of our summer transfers. Do you agree or disagree? Have I missed something obvious, remembering this is just my take on things? Do you feel that you could put your money where your mouth is and use this Bet 365 code to have a flutter towards where you now think we may finish the season?
Feel free to discuss and debate below.