With the transfer window now officially over, we now have the small matter of Tottenham to look forward to at St James’ Park on Saturday, but first, here’s an assessment of our summer.
It’s largely been yet another incredibly frustrating few months for Benitez, but here’s a few positives we can take from it all as we try to look ahead to the new Premier League season:
- Kenedy & Dubravka are back – albeit one is only a loan, but to have both back with us is a huge boost.
- Our centre-back options are now stronger. Lejeune may be injured, but Fernandez and Schar look like very solid buys.
- Rondon and Muto a definite upgrade Joselu and Gayle – two players who scored just 10 goals combined last season
- Ki Sung-Yeung a very handy signing – Looks very tidy player, bringing quality and much needed Premier League experience.
- Lascelles still here. We couldn’t afford to lose him, but at least we didn’t have an Andy Carroll-esque deadline day.
- Rafa still here. It may end up being his last season, but
- Plenty deadwood and want-away players now sold. Colback, Merino and Mitrovic didn’t want to be here..
- Our squad HAS improved. It’s marginal and it’s not good enough, but I’m hoping we’ll be better in a few key areas as a result.
Now to the negatives:
- -£20m net spend. How is this acceptable after the TV deals and the sales in excess of £40m? Where is the money Mike?
- In comparison, just look at how the likes of West Ham, Wolves and Fulham have spent. Polar opposites in terms of ambition and backing.
- Transfer record not broke yet AGAIN – Very few quality players will not come cheaper than £17m in this day and age.
- Rafa not allowed to sign top targets..AGAIN – I wonder how many of our seven signings were high on Rafa’s wish-list?
- No proven goalscorer not signed – Rondon and Muto could do well, but neither have got into double figures in last three seasons. A stat that says it all.
- No full-back competition signed – Yedlin needed a right-back who could threaten his place in the starting 11 and we were in desperate need of cover for Dummett. Our only senior full-back to compete with these two is Javier Manquillo. Worrying.
- No new No 10 – What happens if Perez gets injured? This is an area Rafa has wanted to strengthen for years now..
- Rafa dejected and a million miles away from signing a new deal. He’ll fight until the end but he will not be a happy man.
- Kenedy and Rondon only loans. The former could be priced out of a move if he impresses and the latter seems unlikely to sign even if he does well, with Ashley so reluctant to sign players nearing 30 on permanent deals.
- We had to sell to buy. Would’ve preferred to keep Gayle in circumstances, but seems we could only sign Rondon if Gayle went the other way. A pathetic way of doing business given funds should’ve been available to get Rondon on a permanent deal.
Don’t get me wrong folks, this hasn’t been a good summer, but I thought I’d summarise to give some reason to be cheerful ahead of the new season.
What have you made of our summer?