Upon news that Newcastle United had broken their transfer record to sign MIguel Almiron from Atlanta United from Major League Soccer, it seemed that the Mike Ashley “haters” had gone silent when in fact they should have gotten louder. It was as if breaking the record signing of Michael Owen was all Newcastle fans needed to shut up over Ashley’s tenure as owner of the club.
I’ve even seen some Mike Ashley “fans” come out on Facebook groups in defense of who the fans disparagingly call the “FCB”. It would seem that still, the club is more divided than ever, and this time, it’s on whether or not believe that things are actually going to start looking up for the club.
Well, I may have been wrong about the Miguel Almiron signing, so I’m thinking if I write this I’ll be wrong again and everything will be okay:
It’s just one signing, and it wasn’t Lionel Messi.
It’s not like he broke any serious records with the signing other than it’s the MLS record for a sale. Newcastle’s previous record of £16.8m for Michael Owen has been outdated. The value paid for Almiron, who I believe will work out for the best, is a typical price paid for a bench player in the top four.
Newcastle United isn’t going to make these purchases a regular occurrence. I initially didn’t even think the club was going to shell out what Atlanta United wanted in the first place. I’m happy I was wrong, but I can’t imagine Newcastle thinking that they need to spend this kind of money more often.
And Newcastle United fans immediately began acting as if the world had stopped. Newcastle United fans were shocked to find out that Newcastle United hadn’t let up on Miguel Almiron, and it felt like a delayed Christmas present.
But fans can’t let this erase the past twelve years. It was an appeasement to Rafa Benitez in a bid to make him stay. It has nothing to do with the fact that signing Almiron is for the benefit of the club, which it is.
If Rafa wanted to sign a nobody from Australia for £20m it would appear that Mike Ashley was going to do it. This isn’t going to get any easier for Rafa. It remains to be seen Ashley’s willingness to make moves in the summer transfer market that is going to be quickly approaching.
The signing of Barreca and Almiron may very well be what keeps Rafa Benitez managing at St. James Park. But no serious news has come out about the manager’s future. Everything may still fall apart, and we’ll be left with talent, but no quality manager to utilize that talent.
It’s not over. And the fight against Ashley should never end.