Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez had been crying for a No. 10 throughout the entire offseason, and when the season began, he started with Ayoze Perez having to fill in for the role with Yoshinori Muto as backup. It’s not a terrible situation to be in, but it’s not ideal, either.
And the problem is Newcastle United could have potentially gotten the opportunity to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City for under £20m. He’s a great player with a fantastic future, and Wolverhampton nearly landed him for £16m if he hadn’t rejected the move on deadline day. The Wolves apparently didn’t seem to entice Zinchenko enough to want to move to the club, and so with City he remains.
But wait. Newcastle United could easily be a desired destination for a young player eager and ready to prove himself. And for around £16m, Zinchenko is a steal.
Now whether or not Rafa Benitez rates the player or not isn’t actually the concern of this article. The concern is that there was a young player, available for an extremely affordable price in today’s market, and Newcastle United wasn’t even seriously linked to a bid for the player. For all his talk about wanting to sign young players with high resale value, Zinchenko is probably one of the best in the world for that kind of thing right now.
It shows the lack of awareness that the management of this club has. Benitez has no say in what is going on. He can ask, and he can poke and prod, but the truth is, even when there is a player out there for the same price as Salomon Rondon but at the age Ashley is looking for, the club will still find a way to say that he’s too expensive, or not even acknowledge that the deal is there.
This has always been a recurring theme with Ashley, and I could live with his penny-pinching on older players if he just bought a young superstar every once in a while. Is that too much to ask?