After a boring month in June, July is always one of the most interesting months to be a Newcastle United fan. Either the club makes great deals or they don’t. However, the club has signed Florian Lejeune, so I’d say we’re off to a good start.
That being said, Lejeune was a bargain deal. At around £8.2m, he wasn’t the most expensive defensive signing, but he was also called one of the biggest steals an English club could get this summer. I’m happy we jumped on it.
But that doesn’t mean that we can just continue to sign £8.2m players. We need to go after the cream of the crop, and that’s going to creep into the £20m-£30m range. It’s not ideal, but the transfer market has changed a lot since 2011, when Newcastle United had its highest finish under Mike Ashley.
The transfer market is inflated, yes. But that inflated market has been accepted by clubs such as Bournemouth, and Everton. Clubs who don’t spend will be left behind. I’m not saying that we should welcome an inflated market with open arms. Hopefully FIFA can work on a way to combat this problem which is ruining football with big money.
Newcastle United can no longer skate by on bargain deals for French players (Lejeune) and spending money on youthful internationals (Atsu) that aren’t going to take much out of the budget. The club needs a marquee signing, and that means going after players that will without a doubt break the transfer record of £17m. Understandably, that record signing was one of the biggest flops in club history, but the market has changed.
Players are being sold for high prices, and maybe Ashley would have been more willing to get his feet wet in that market had we not been relegated at the beginning of the new Premier League deal that sees hundreds of millions of pounds being handed over to competing clubs. Newcastle United missed out on a lot of that money, and it’s up to Ashley to make up that difference to give the club a competitive edge.
Newcastle has two options this summer, and only one is a good option. They can either spend minimal money on a ton of mediocre players that add minimal depth; or they can spend more money on a handful of quality and talented players that will give the club the edge they need to compete.
Guess which one is the good idea.