One striker who’s been linked with a move to Newcastle United for a few years now is Jean-Philippe Mateta.
L’Equipe reported that we’d made a £20m bid for the 23-year-old in June 2019, Sky Sports then claimed a month later that he was a player we were keen to sign AFTER the arrival of Joelinton and SportBild revealed in October that year that we’d also had a £25m bid knocked back by Mainz.
Fast forward 18 months, he’s just completed a move to Crystal Palace – and it’s structured in a way that would’ve suited us down the ground.
Not only is he 23 – an age that fits perfectly into Mike Ashley’s buying policy – the Eagles have landed him on an 18-month loan deal which includes an option to buy him in the summer of 2022 for an alleged £13m.
Add to that the fact he’s bagged 10 goals in 17 games this season, is a 6ft 2′ former French U-21 international who also has a turn of pace, it feels like an ideal opportunity missed – especially when we were said to be offering big money for him the summer before last.
We have arguably the best striker in the bottom half in Callum Wilson, but with Bruce ‘doing it his way’ now, and in that playing two up top away at Arsenal, Mateta could’ve been the idea foil for a striker who’s been isolated and frustrated in recent weeks.
Who knows, we may have had a look but lost out to the London-based club, however the lack of movement 20 days into what should be an important transfer window for the club is concerning.
Crystal Palace won’t go down and won’t threaten the top 10, yet they’ve been decisive here.
Meanwhile at Newcastle, we should at least back the manager with a few much needed additions if we aren’t going to bother sacking him – because something MUST change if we are to stay up!