This week, it emerged that Andy Carroll could be staying at St James Park for one more season. Although the 32 year old was ‘officially’ released according to the Premier League’s retained lists, it turns out that he and Newcastle are actually negotiating a new deal. This would be similar to his current one, which is based on incentives.
With that said, it’s a far cry away from his £90,000 per week that was reported whilst at West Ham, but is still money being spent. This money is on a player who played 18 games last season, most being from the bench…with a goal return of just one.
So, what does the potential re-signing of Andy Carroll mean for the club? In short, it means business as usual and a sign there’s not much in the spending pot to justify letting him leave on a free and signing a replacement for a fee.
Our tedious transfer model – signing players with potential on small fees – has meant that for the most part, Mike Ashley can keep Newcastle in the Premier League for a while, whilst often flirting with relegation in the process. Since his takeover, Newcastle have been relegated twice which also proves the fragile nature of his business model.
Whilst many fans are resigned to another summer of low spending, is there another way to ensure a safer, more prosperous Premier League campaign next season?
One answer to this is through creative scouting which is designed to look further afield, with lower fees. Allan Saint-Maximin was an example of this and is probably one of the greatest ever signings to come from the Ashley era. Sadly, Andy Carroll’s extension represents the penny-pinching side of his reign. That’s no dig at Carroll either, who was a good player in his day. Instead, Saint-Maximin was purchased at a great age who is now fulfilling his potential, and re-sale value in the future too
Perhaps the best way to achieve this change is gradual. Of course, there are some benefits of signing known, British talent. The likes of Callum Wilson have generally been a success. Although Wilson cost £20 million, he also scored 12 league goals and helped Newcastle reach 12th in the process. However, it shouldn’t always be these sorts of signings that go on at Newcastle.
Perhaps this summer we’ll look to find some diamonds in the from around Europe, aiming to replicate the sort of deal that saw us being Yohan Cabaye for just shy of £5m a decade ago. Bruce has liked to buy British since he arrived, but Willock’s likely price tag proves you pay a premium for Premier League talent.
You could argue that a combination of signing established players and more unknown foreigners would be a winning formula for Newcastle. The reason for this is that it wouldn’t break the bank and would be relatively risk-free due to the cheaper nature of players from abroad. More importantly, this model could also be adapted by Mike Ashley as it wouldn’t dent profits. With this said, it’s a very realistic proposition.
This brings us to the current window. Whilst the signing of Joe Willock for £30 million would delight Newcastle fans, it would also be nice to see a big money transfer like that complimented with foreign players at good value with real potential. If this could be achieved then Newcastle could cement their Premier League status and begin to look up at the table, rather than behind them.