Once again yesterday was another depressing day for NUFC as Leeds United signed German international defender Robin Koch for £13m and also announced the signing of Spanish star Rodrigo from Valencia for a club record transfer fee of £27.5m.
How have Leeds spent over £40m in a day after 16 years away from the Premier League, yet we “can’t compete” as COVID has halved our budget and left us scrapping for frees & loans?
Now you could say that Leeds were pretty confident of going up so had plans in place. But they still have to follow through on those plans and have they ever. They couldn’t get Ben White from Brighton over the line but wasted no time in switching to Koch.
I daresay that they aren’t finished yet either, with them now said to be in talks over a £30m deal for Argentine star Rodrigo De Paul – a player who could take their bank holiday weekend business up to the £70m mark!
Meanwhile two of our “reported” targets were playing for Arsenal in their Community Shield victory over Liverpool. The bizarre link to Rob Holding continues to gather pace but the Ainsley Maitland-Niles deal looks dead in the water.
The Telegraph say Arsenal’s £25m price tag has ‘put us off’ and ‘top target’ Callum Wilson is deemed too expensive, all while a newly promoted club plan to spend another £30m in a window where they’ve already spent £60m. You’d think we were the club who’d been away from Premier League and the huge money than comes with it for well over a decade, not them!
Anyone who watched the documentary on Leeds shown on Amazon Prime could see that the owners of that football club really cared and were prepared to put their money where their mouths were and they look to be reaping the benefit.
I would imagine that COVID has impacted us financially, but I’m fearing this “budget cut in half” talk is Ashley’s easy way of saving money he doesn’t want to spend on a club he wants out of. After all, would you invest in something you don’t want?
Or perhaps you would if you wanted to sell it at an acceptable price. The way things are going right now Ashley is going to be left with a Championship side going nowhere but down to try and get off his hands for far less than £300 – £350m.
Now all hope is not necessarily lost! Although it’s a big stretch to hope for too much we still have a chance of landing some surprises before the kick-off against West Ham. I say surprises as I think the links we’ve had are tenuous to say the least.
Marcao from Galatasaray? He may have started following NUFC on Instagram, but adding a SEVENTH senior centre-back to the squad for £15m would be absolutely mind boggling when we could’ve had Eze for a million or two more.
We continue to be linked with Ryan Fraser. A free agent that has not gone anywhere else as of yet, perhaps due to his big wage demands and hope that a top six club eventually turns up. This would be a very decent signing and certainly add quality to the squad, but how often are long links turned into reality. I’d be happy with this one but rather think it would have already been done if it were viable?
Which brings us to Moussa Marega. A 29-year-old in the last year of his contract with Porto and someone who could be available at a sub £15m price tag. He looks big, strong and has a fairly good scoring record. However, there are two things that concern me about him.
Firstly, he turns 30 next year so I have doubts about Ashley’s eagerness to pay up and secondly why have none of the big boys been interested in him earlier. He’s been linked with a Premier League move for several years, so why has nobody taken a chance on him?
Then we have Dimitrios Giannoulis. A reported £4m bid was made for the PAOK left-back and nothing was commented on. He then had a very decent game in the Champions League in midweek and suddenly his price tag was more like £6m. Are we interested at that price? We should be as it’s hardly much for a highly-rated 24-year-old international, but then I think back to our minuscule budget.
We’d better make our minds up quickly before he too gets priced out of our COVID-slashed budget, which, as I say, doesn’t seem to have affected Leeds United or for that matter Chelsea, Everton or Man City either!
So, yesterday was another depressing day for NUFC although we did manage a 2-1 win over Barnsley with Big Andy weighing in with another goal and the rejuvenated and “like a new signing” Jacob Murphy winning and slotting home a penalty.
Perhaps it’s not all bad!!!