Shearer’s Right Foot explains why ex-Everton defender Sylvain Distin could be a shrewd signing this summer.
With the transfer window now open and Rafa Benitez declaring ‘good progress’ on the transfer front as he looks to assemble a team worthy of both securing promotion and building for a premier league future, Newcastle may not have to spend millions to achieve their goals.
Rafa seems to have seen enough in a number of Newcastle’s current squad in the final few weeks of the season to keep the bulk of the squad together. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see eight or nine of the players who were in the squad that thrashed Spurs on the final day of the season, to line up on the opening day in the Championship. Rafa remains defiant that he is under no pressure to sell any players, although some of the international footballers may express I desire to develop their careers elsewhere.
The positive news for Newcastle though is that they seem to be in quite a strong position considering they have just been relegated. Usually recently relegated clubs are forced to sell their best players, often at a reduced transfer fee, as the club is forced to balance the books and reshape their squad with players more accustomed to playing in a lower division. You get the feeling that Newcastle, under Benitez, are not so vulnerable.
Benitez appears to be in a position where he can move on the players he thinks he should for the overall growth of the club. There can be many variables for allowing certain players to leave. It may be that a bid may come in that really can’t be turned down, like the one for Andy Carroll for instance. Newcastle could well receive one of those for Gini or Sissoko, not many others could demand a mouth-watering fee. It might be that the player declares an intent to leave and Rafa won’t want players who don’t want to pull on the black & white stripes…it’s supposed to be a privilege. Then there are the players who he deems not to be in the long term plan, and that’s what Benitez has don’t forget.
But for all the players who may and may not leave this summer, most fans are interested and excited by the ones who may come in. And where Benitez has a huge network to call upon in terms of contacts all over Europe, he may not actually need to spend that much money.
Silvan Distin is out of contract this summer and could be just the kind of shrewd signing Benitez makes.
This may surprise some but consider this; With Taylor gone and Colo expected to follow, most fans would be delighted to see United start with a centre back pairing of Mbemba and Lascelles. That is a partnership which could flourish beautifully in the Championship and continue for years in the Premier League.
Signing Distin would give the two young Magpies a wonderful mentor and provide not only back up to the squad but experience, influence and advice to the young defenders. He’s played for the club before and, despite his years, he would easily cope physically in the second tier for a limited number of games.
For too long Newcastle’s recruitment has been inefficient. Hopefully under Rafa’s control, it will be far more effective.