The summer to-do list at NUFC as new owners enter mammoth few months

It’s been an incredible eight months on Tyneside, seeing us go from Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce and impending relegation to ambitious new owners, Eddie Howe and only narrowly missing out on a top 10 finish.

2022 has been a year to remember so far, and it looks set to go from strength to strength as we approach what promises to be a huge summer off the field at St James’ Park.

Here, we look at some of the issues that need to be addressed and key moves our new owners – alongside new sporting director Dan Ashworth – could and should make over the coming months.

1. Add quality in attack

If Callum Wilson stayed fit, I’m confident he’d score between 15 and 20 goals in a ever-improving Newcastle United side that will be looking to break into the top 10 and beyond this coming season.

However, in his two full seasons on Tyneside, he’s only played 44 Premier League games out of a possible 76. He’s reliable in front of goal when fit and an absolute handful too, but his battles with injuries mean we must sign at least one striker this summer.

Dwight Gayle needs to go and Chris Wood is likely to take up the sort of role Daryl Murphy took in the Championship from this point onwards, so signing a senior striker alongside the young and versatile Hugo Ekitike could be a vital move to add guaranteed goals to an attack that tends to look a little blunt without our current number nine.

A quality right winger capable of delivering big numbers could also transform our forward line and take us to the next level, with links to Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and Leeds’ Raphinha pointing to exactly what we need in that area of the pitch.

2. Shift deadwood and sell smart

There are too many players currently on our books who are either not good enough, way down the pecking order or long-serving pros who need to move on for everyone’s sake.

The likes of Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Jeff Hendrick and Dwight Gayle need to go, whilst it may be the right time for Isaac Hayden, Federico Fernandez and Karl Darlow to depart after all three have found game time hard to come by at stages of their career where they’ll want to be playing.

Not only would this raise funds – albeit not much – it would create space for new signings, bring the wage bill down and avoid awkward decisions for Eddie Howe when he comes to select his 25-man squad ahead of the new 2022/23 season.

We’ve rarely sold at the right time in recent years, so selling smartly will also be key, with the likes of Jamaal Lascelles and Freddie Woodman striking me as players who could be worth moving on this summer. Miguel Almiron is another, with some of the best soccer betting sites in the USA backing him to return to the MLS if there’s no takers in Italy, Spain or England.

On the flip side, selling Allan Saint-Maximin isn’t something I’m keen on unless someone arrives with silly money. This particular exit rumour isn’t one I’m enjoying as I feel he needs a full season under Howe and still has so much to offer, so hopefully some clarity can be offered on his future ASAP.

3. Secure sponsorship deals

It’s easily forgotten given how much this area of the club was neglected by Mike Ashley, but securing lucrative sponsorship deals will be key to our spending – both this summer and in future transfer windows to come.

Who knows who they’ll strike deals with – Saudi Golf have been mentioned after CEO Majed Al Sorour joined the board last month – however this could take our finances to the next level, enabling us to show ambition in the transfer market while staying within FFP regulations.

5. Sign a top centre-back

Dan Burn has been outstanding and Fabian Schar has been superb since Howe came in, but it’s been clear for several months now that we’re looking to bring in a quality centre-back.

Diego Carlos has gone to Aston Villa and it remains to be seen who’ll win the race for Sven Botman, who appears to be our top target in this department.

Whether we end up with the latter or have to look elsewhere, this is an area where fresh blood, athleticism and the ability to carry the ball out of the back would be much welcomed.

Not only would an injection of class help us play the Eddie Howe way, we may need more than one new centre-back if the likes of Fernandez, Clark and Lascelles move on.

6. Support Elliot Anderson’s development

It was always clear from U23 games I attended that Elliot Anderson had something special, but his loan spell at Bristol Rovers made so many sit up and take note of the 19-year-olds talent!

He is a special player who must be managed carefully over the coming months. Howe will almost certainly hand him a chance to impress over pre-season, so it’ll be very interesting to see what comes next.

If he’s loaned out again, we must find the right club at the right level, especially when too many of our youngsters have endured damaging and poorly thought out moves away in recent years.

If he stays, a path to regular game time must be clear, as it could harm him, not help him, to spend most of the season sat on the bench, albeit it at Premier League level.

7. Discover more Bruno’s

Last but certainly not least, it would be great to see the club use Bruno Guimaraes’ arrival as a blue print for future business.

By that I mean targeting young gems who have bundles of quality and bags of character who buy into this exciting new project at St James’ Park.

The Brazilian wants to become a ‘legend’ on Tyneside. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring in others who arrive with his passion, spark and determination to take the Premier League by storm in a black and white shirt!

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

223 thoughts on “The summer to-do list at NUFC as new owners enter mammoth few months

  1. I’m really pleased with the Pope signing – but I reckon that’s enough from Burnley now – Howe, Trippier, Wood & now Pope … Hendrick will think he might still have a chance!!.

    I think Tark is still a real possibility – I expect him to end up either with us, Everton or WHU.

    McNeil and Cornet has also been mentioned in the rumours – I think that’s all they are with those 2 though.

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  2. I’ve definitely had enough of the Ekitike nonsense now.

    I think it’s important the club put a final offer on the table with a deadline – if he or his agent can’t make their mind up by then, then we move on.

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  3. Sharpy: I have no idea who Ekitike even is except for a 5 minute youtube clip. I mentioned earlier about us signing another Hugo, Viana, who was supposed to be the next big thing and it never materialised. Sometimes it does like MBappe. Other times it doesnt.

    Joe Cole. A very good player but not the super-star he was meant to be.

    Jack Wilshere. One good game against Barca and he was also meant to be a super-star.

    Francis Jeffers.

    Jack Rodwell. Was supposed to be the next… Ended up the next waster, living on a big contract.

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  4. So, I have been watching a few Youtube NUFC channels and in general they are OK. You can tell they are all NUFC fans even if some of them mumble and stutter, I can get past that. There is something that I cannot quite take though…

    There is a channel called Toon Review. Mostly it is excellent and the host does some great rants, especially about Bruce.

    What I cannot stand though is that he talks about his daughter’s mental health problems on a public forum. A daughter who is 13. Can he not see that this might bring her more grief?

    Paul, you should shut up about this.

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  5. This guy appears to wear his heart on his sleeve, but should he also presume to wear his daughter’s heart on his sleeve – IN PUBLIC?

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  6. I would have been mortified if my dad had been talking about my mental health to 12,000 you tube subscribers and 700 live viewers when I was 13 at such a vulnerable age.

    I might not even view his channel ever again for this very reason.

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  7. People know who this guy is because he puts himself on youtube and social media and is 6-5 and 16 stone. He says people come up to him for selfies at the match.

    And yet.

    AND YET!

    He hangs his 13 year old out to dry. He should be ashamed.

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  8. That got me upset. I unsubscribed to Toon Review. But I will change the subject because I dont want to think about that ever again.

    I think Nick Pope is a good signing. Next up Diaby!

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  9. Eric, I wonder if he asked her if she was ok with him talking about her MH ? Would be better if he asked her to come on his podcast and talk herself really as it could help others in same position.

    Pleased to see Pope sign and glad we have walked away from the Ekitike situation, time these agents learned they can’t hold clubs to ransom . His agent is his cousin apparently.

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  10. Eric – I don’t know why but I get the feeling Ekitike is a younger French version of PEA – will occasionally prove his quality but largely live off hype.

    As for your fella & his daughter. I have a 13yr old & can honestly say that MH is a real thing even at such a young age. I’m happy to say that’s not the case with my son, and rarely would I be as bold as this, but I would say that’s entirely down to my wife & I.
    Kids don’t really get taught resilience anymore & maybe this is sweeping statement but too many people are too busy to properly parent – they are too busy with work & their own lives.

    That said, do I think the right place to talk about childrens MH is on a NUFC channel – definitely not … nor is it on an NUFC blog but I just did so 🤷🏼‍♂️😂😂😂

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  11. Sharpry. There is one person on here that is a true hero. She has more balls than all of us.

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  12. I still think we can finish top 6 even if Arsenal get their own personal Jesus. They finished 8th with peak Aubamayang so they are not that great of a team. he scored 22 goals in ’19. and ’20.

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  13. And Man U? They look mid-table. They are relying on a 38 year old Ronaldo. How can they be mid-table after spending all that money? McFred? I would take any of our midfielders over them!

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  14. My guess is man U are going to spend 100 million on a vastly overrated Declan Rice. Their new Roy Keane except he doesnt have the creative players along side. Happy Days.

    We will finish above Man U this year.

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  15. If Lille have indeed agreed to more or less our original price then it demonstrates Dan Ashworth’s worth. I don’t believe Ekitike is dead, and it would not surprise me if we pulled off Eriksen as well. At which point we still have a decent pot of money left for a statement signing and one or two others.
    Demeril, Diaby, Sangare and Scamarra are still on my list.

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  16. I don’t ever see Chiesa leaving Italy. He’s a brilliant player & id love him at Newcastle, but he feels like one of those Italians who are destined to stay in Italy his whole career.

    My marquee option would be James Maddison if we could get him out of Leicester – unlikely I know but he’d be my pick.

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  17. An old thread just popped up and I posted this in response to it
    Looking at Form
    I agree that City and Liverpool with take the top 2 spots,
    From 1st Feb to the end of the season we gained 34 pts from 17 games a ratio bettered only by the top 2
    What we have to do is maintain that. Having Wilson and Tripper back should help
    Pope and Botman assuming he arrives will strengthen our defence and we know we will be strengthened elsewhere.
    Yes others will strengthen as well, but they have to catch us.
    Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal are on a par with us, in what order they will finish 3rd to 6th I have no idea,
    We are not in a fight for a top 1o0 finish, we are not fighting for 7th. we are one of 4 teams chasing 3rd. NB in that same period Utd got 20 pts from 16 games.

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  18. It is interesting that Luke Edwards has forgotten that he said we would only spend 60 mil this window. I reckon we will start at Targett 15, Pope 12, Botman 35 and Ekitike 30. That’s 93 million. Then, in August we will buy either Paqueta or Diaby for 50 million as all of the other clubs will be spent up.

    Total of 140-150 million which is what I have said all along.

    I also think we will sell Miggy to Fulham or Villa.

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  19. This would be a good team, assuming we play all of our new signings in a 4-2-3-1.

    Pope

    Tripps Botman BDB Targett

    Bruno Big Joe

    Diaby Paqueta ASM

    Wilson

    We would have Fraser, Dubs, Schar, Little Joe and Ekitike on the bench.

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  20. Eric – maybe in about 2 or 3 windows time will we have Diaby, Paqueta & Ekitike.

    We might have to bide our time convincing so of these players as well I think. So far we’ve had a good half season – it offers no guarantees of stability or success to some of these players we are after – players who have been or are looking to play CL football.

    If we are top half come January, then it would be less of a hard sell. If we have a top half finish – less again next summer.

    But as we are right now, there is still a lot of uncertainty – potential, but uncertainty all the same.

    I think that’s why it was so important to get Ashworth in early.

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  21. Sharpy: oil prices have doubled. We are owned by the biggest oil exporter in the world. We can buy who we want NOW. Diaby, Paqueta. ANYBODY.

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  22. I really dont understand how people dont get this:

    I went out in January and a gallon of gas/petrol cost $3. I filled the tank last week and it was $6 a gallon. The Saudis have lots of oil in the ground and it just doubled in price.

    We can afford whomever we want. Including Bodman. Diaby. Chiesla. ANYBODY!!!

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  23. Think about it!!!

    We were bought in October when Gas/Petrol was $3 a gallon. Now it is $6 a gallon. We can buy whoever we want no matter what Luke Edwards says!!! 60 million? Fck off you moron.

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  24. You know I have been saying our owners have been conning Luke Edwards for 6 months. You will see I am right.

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  25. Eric – you missed my point entirely mate.

    I’m not talking about being able to afford the players. I’m talking about whether we are a big enough for these player versus either where they are now, or which other clubs are looking at them …. We will be, I have no doubt of that – but this transfer window?!.

    We all on here know about Newcastle, but does someone like Diaby for example – or is he just looking at a club that have been in and out of relegation battles over the last 10 years, got bought out, have had half a good season and may or may not take off from here. I say may not coz look at Everton – not every but out or heavily invested in team turn it into success.

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  26. To pick up your point though.

    Regardless how rich our owners are, there is still FFP.

    Now I know that’s to Ashley spending nowt, that we have plenty of spending capabilities over the next 3 or 4 seasons – but it still isn’t limitless.

    That’s why it’s so important to grow the clubs earnings – get the right sponsorship deals in place & make us more of a global brand.

    Staying loyal to castore & fun88 will set that back at least a season.
    Also, whether we like it or not, being Saudi owned will put a lot of sponsors off.
    I’m sure we will in time, and having seen how our new chairman has grown LIV golf, I have no doubt it will happen.
    But to see the fruits of that, it will still take 3 or 4 seasons I think.

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  27. There seems to be a pattern developing with our transfers. Neither Targett or Pope are very high profile. Botman and Ekitike have been chased for a long time.
    What happens beyond them is what is interesting. Some want ultra high profile players like Paqueta and Diaby, but getting both would surprise me. I think we are more serious about Eriksen than we are given credit for. A free agent high profile and with media goodwill would not impact on our budget. If successful then I think we might move for Diaby but whether he would sign or not is questionable. I think Marcus Edwards at £15-20m would be more in keeping and it would enable an extra 2 or 3 £25 -30 m players like Scamacca, Sangare and Demiral.
    Eriksen and 4 good players or Paqueta and Diaby?

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  28. Prem – I’m always in favour of quality over quantity mate. Howe has coached most of our current squad into being ‘decent’ players.

    I go back to Everton who seemed more focused on recruiting good players without bringing in a great deal of quality.

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  29. I can’t believe I’m still having to say this – but there are STILL the same issues with this site!!!

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  30. Sharpy17:
    I can’t believe I’m still having to say this – but there are STILL the same issues with this site!!!

    So you all know, we have told the company that run the site on several occasions to sort this – me and the owner included – and they said last week that it was being dealt with as an urgent matter, but still nothing.

    We haven’t been particularly impressed with the way they’ve handled this, amongst others things, so we are actually moving to a new company soon.

    It’s been very busy on that side of the blog (an area I have very little to do with), but this may explain the delay – as frustrating as that is.

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  31. I think has improved slightly. My details are stored on my browser and now I only need to enter them at the beginning of a session, not every time I refresh a page.

    Sharpy, re P&D I’m not suggesting a drop in quality, I’m suggesting that 2 players that would cost £125m swopped out for a free agent and one costing £20m frees up £100m to strengthen areas we need. A proven striker, a CDM and a RCB are all positions that we know we need to strengthen. I think we end up with a stronger team and Squad.

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  32. Olly Hawkins: So you all know, we have told the company that run the site on several occasions to sort this – me and the owner included – and they said last week that it was being dealt with as an urgent matter, but still nothing.

    We haven’t been particularly impressed with the way they’ve handled this, amongst others things, so we are actually moving to a new company soon.

    It’s been very busy on that side of the blog (an area I have very little to do with), but this may explain the delay – as frustrating as that is.

    Thanks a lot for the update Olly, mate. Nobody on here lays any blame on you at all. Just hope we can get it sorted soon as it very frustrating… have a good day mate and hope you’re enjoying married life!

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  33. Cheers Olly 👍🏻.

    You know our frustrations aren’t directed at you mate. I know the site means a lot to you & all the work you put into it, so I know it must frustrate you too.

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  34. Prem – I understand what you’re saying mate, I’m just not sold on Eriksen. He’s a good player but he’s 31 now I think and not the player to build a team around.
    I’m also not sold on this Marcus Edwards lad. He’s doing decent at one of the top teams in a not so top league – but if he were a player for a top 6 PL team, why did Spurs let him go?!.

    On the flip side, I think Paqueta and Diaby are players you build a top 6 team around & both seem good enough.

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  35. You could well be right, I’m looking at the other positions and thinking they are not going to be strengthened if we blow £125m on two players

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  36. Prem – if we only had £125m to spend and no more – then I think your suggestion is right. But the truth is we will have that amount for the next 3 or 4 windows – even with FFP.

    I think the players in our squad proved in the second half of the season that we aren’t as weak as some may have thought.

    We could ‘make do’ and strengthen sensibly over the next 3-4 windows.

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  37. Prem – if we blow another £125m???? We’ve already signed 3 first teamers. How many do you think we need? I’d be really happy with Paqueta and Diaby.

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  38. I don’t think we stand much chance of signing Paqueta this window – not unless it’s for a crazy transfer fee.

    Lyon will not want to sell another one of their top players – not having sold Bruno – and certainly not to the same team the very next window.

    Maybe next summer, but I’d be amazed this summer – unless it was for a £50m plus fee.

    I’m not sure he’s that urgent a signing for that amount of money – not as urgent as a RF or CF.

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  39. They are thinking about banning ALL contraception over here. That is a bit mad. Are we to be living in fcn Ireland or somewhere?

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  40. They have just abandoned the concept of ownership in the US, If you do not own your own body then you can own nothing. You may have a constitution, but it is now meaningless.
    All it takes is for every woman to go on strike, at work, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, just stop. The use will collapse within a couple of weeks.

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  41. Prem:

    It is mental. They plan to take all contraception rights away,. It is fcn fcn fcn madness.

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  42. Eric – a day or 2 before they passed a bill for firearms to be worn in public as well – there are still funerals from the last school shooting happen.
    Then this!!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for or against abortion – but I’m 100% pro choice.

    If these decisions were being made in Russia or China or Afghanistan I’m not sure I’d be overly surprised.

    But when you’ve got a Country that gives more rights to gun carries than women – you know you’re [email protected]!!.

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  43. On a lighter note – great to see Channing Tatum turn up for his medical. Outstanding work by the club to fend off bigger clubs & get their man.

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  44. The USA is turning into Gilliead from the handmaids tale !Margaret Atwood must of seen this coming.

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  45. Imagine if a bunch of old women decided what men could or couldn’t do with their bodies. It’s disgusting what they are doing over there.

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  46. Doing up this house and garden is a bigger project than rebuilding the Toon I reckon, it’s proper never ending like.
    Catio build in the garden at the moment, keep having a peek online to see if we’ve landed anymore players but slow progress, bit like my property.

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  47. I am not even sure if I care if we sign Ekitike. I have seen 5 minutes of him on Youtube and he is even scrawnier than I was when I was 19 and i was pretty scrawny.

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  48. Eric – I’m not. I want players who want to sign for us, not who are prepared to sit back and let their agents feather their own nests and priorities their own interests over than of their clients.
    Let’s be right, Newcastle will be paying his agent a fee – and it will be a fair and competitive one – as will the one we are paying Botmans agent.

    That’s the off the field stuff. One field, I’m not sure he’s built for the PL. He has pace to burn, but is already suffering injuries which will effect that in the long run. I’m not sure he is physically strong enough beyond that.
    We’ve already been down ‘the next big thing’ route in France with Cabella & Thauvin – look how that turned out.

    Of the others mentioned in the list just put up – I like Scamacca but am not sure he leaves Italy.

    I think if fit Wilson is not just first choice but one of the first names on the team sheet.

    So I don’t see DCL wanting to come and play second fiddle – especially when he’s already the main man at Everton.

    For me the most obvious to fill that role is Broja. He would still get game time with us & at only 20 could spend the next couple of seasons learning from Wilson whilst gradually taking that first time spot from him.

    The other advantage is he already knows the league & is English speaking.

    We would face strong competition I think – he would be perfect for WHU and Brighton too I think.

    But he would be my pick I reckon.

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  49. What a unit Botman is by the way!!.

    I knew he was a big lad, but there is footage of him getting out the car at SJP yesterday & he’s built like a rugby player!!.

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  50. I remember years back watching a piece on the next superstar French players – they were Benzema and Ben Arfa. Benzema obviously went on to fulfill his potential but the piece raved more about Ben Arfa & his trickery – I’m not entirely sure he went on to be the player they predicted.

    It may transpire that this was Ekitikes big chance, it may be that he goes from strength to strength & never looks back – time will tell.

    If it doesn’t fit right with the lad then I don’t blame him for not coming. But if it’s down to greedy of the player or his agent then I’m pleased the deal didn’t come off.

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  51. So Chelsea have gone first with £55m for Raphina – decent player & had a good season in a struggling team last year.
    But £55m is top end for him I think. I’m not sure he’s worth much more than that.
    I thought they were going for a free Dembele from Barca – obviously not.

    Maybe we could still be going for Dembele?? – not too many clubs will be able to afford him.

    If not, is there one of the Chelsea boys now available?! – Pulisic, Ziyech, Hudson Obi?? All players struggling for game time at Chelsea already – not too sure.

    I’d probably prefer to stick with Diaby or Sarr personally.

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  52. Can’t imagine we would sanction Dembele’s wages. Have to give him a lump sum and trim down the weekly amount to fit the club structure.

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  53. Anyway, good to see Botman announced.
    LCB Botman & Burn
    RCB Schar & Lascelles
    although of course all can play either side.
    Would still like a RCB like Demiral as an upgrade on our club captain

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  54. Prem – I’m not sure we are done at CB mate. There’s a few sniffing round Lascelles and if a decent offer comes in we might well cash in.

    I don’t see him getting much game time if the others stay fit, so his value will go down from here I reckon – upgrade now if the monies good I say.

    On Dembele, I agree mate. His wages are putting everyone off – but he’s now without a club & receiving no wages. It depends on the lad & his agent – but I expect they’ll want more than our wage structure will allow.

    Diaby would be the one for me. He’s the one I hope we go all out for now.

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  55. I’m happy with defence as it stands. CB’s are OK and with young Kell Watts coming through, another 6’4″ LCB we have 5 available. Upgrading Lascelles is fine if we have a buyer.
    The only question is who backs up Targett, Lewis or Manquillo?

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  56. Prem – I’d like to upgrade Lascelles but agree there is no urgency to that one.
    I also agree about young Kell. BDB is 30 plus ish, so Kell can spend another season developing – whether that be on loan or training with DB & SB.
    Personally I’d prefer he went back out on loan – he helped Wigan get promoted to the Championship – if he could do another season with them at that level I think that would be perfect.

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  57. Manquillo, Dummett, BDB and even Trippier can all play left back. I dont think we need cover there when we already have Targett and Lewis. . Tripps, Manq and Krafth can all play right back.

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  58. Resigning Dummett was a really strange one imo.
    Injuries have hampered his whole career, not just last season – nothing personal against the lad. He’s been a good servant to the club – but going forward, I don’t see him playing much of a part at all.

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  59. how do people feel about Hudson-Odoi been out 4 months with injury but back now,if Chelsea do sign Raphinha. they might let him go

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  60. Ice – I really can’t decided on him. Again the kid has so much potential but as a bit part player for Chelsea – has he ever looked that much better than Fraser?!.

    I do think with regular game time & some consistency, he could be very good – IF his heart is still in the game.

    Players like him & Loftus Cheek always look a little despondent – probably coz they know regardless how they play, they will be dropped for the next game.

    If we took him I’d go for a loan with an option to buy if we could work that out – I’d consider the same for Loftus Cheek as well actually.

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  61. Who are left with money and places to fill? It is pretty much us in the PL so we can go after who we want with virtually no competition

    Liverpool and Man City. Their squads are full.

    Spurs and Chelsea. They appear to have done most of their business and needed defenders and midfielders anyway.

    Arsenal? They dont like to spend so are now pretty much done.

    Villa. They’ve shot their load.

    Man U? Who knows?

    That leaves every door open for us. Ekitike could be the next Messi or the next Cabella. I dont care if we miss out on him because there are so many others out there who we can get.

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  62. Sharpy17:
    Ice – I really can’t decided on him.Again the kid has so much potential but as a bit part player for Chelsea – has he ever looked that much better than Fraser?!.

    I do think with regular game time & some consistency, he could be very good – IF his heart is still in the game.

    Players like him & Loftus Cheek always look a little despondent – probably coz they know regardless how they play, they will be dropped for the next game.

    If we took him I’d go for a loan with an option to buy if we could work that out – I’d consider the same for Loftus Cheek as well actually.

    very true mate

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