The start of last week for Newcastle fans left them panicked and regretting the season’s start as the club had done little to improve the squad. The club’s only signing’s the club had made were the free signings of Mark Gilespie and Jeff Hendrick, as well as the “signing” of Matty Longstaff. None of those signings addressed Newcastle’s biggest needs which were a fullback, and a striker. Additionally, after seeing what Lazaro could do off the bench as a winger, left some fans wanting another attacking player that offered a little more than Matt Ritchie alongside Miguel Almirón and Allan Saint-Maximin.
What made matters worse was an injury to Dwight Gayle that left Newcastle with Joelinton, Andy Carroll, and Yoshinori Muto as their only strikers, with Jpelinton being the only one of those 3 who scored in the Premier League last season. Additionally, when you factor in Andy Carroll’s health concerns, and the fact that Muto is a player Newcastle are actively trying to sell, you are really only left with Joelinton as your only consistent striking option. That of course is something we have already seen as a fan base, and would rather not see again.
Needless to say the mood for the majority of the week was a somber one, as Newcastle’s injury issues began to rear it’s ugly head while the club did not seem close to making any additions to the squad.
By the end of the week however, the tone on Tyneside began to shift as Newcastle entered not only leaked to a host of players, but actually close to getting some of these deals done. The hope is that these deals, or at least some of them, can get done before this upcoming weekend’s match against West Ham. The encouraging thing about these targets Newcastle are linked to, is that they actually address the holes Newcastle needed to fill.
Newcastle’s transfer strategy this window has been a large focus on getting players who have played in the PL, because survival is the priority for Newcastle this season as it seems Mike Ashley is still keen on selling the club.
Here are the targets Ashley and Bruce believe could secure safety for the club.
Ryan Fraser, 26, LW/RW - Free
The weekend started with murmurs that Ryan Fraser would be traveling to Newcastle this weekend to hammer out the details of a contract and take care of a medical in order to join the club ahead of matchweek one.
Fraser has been a target for Bruce and company since the Premier League restart when it was clear that he was not going to be returning to Bournemouth if they got relegated. Fraser, a free agent, is a Scottish international who at the ripe age of 26 is entering his prime. Landing him for free after a couple of solid season ins the Premier League as one of Bournemouth's best players is a huge win for Bruce.
Fraser should slot in alongside Almirón and ASM as Newcastle’s attacking options if they continue to stick with their 4-2-3-1 that featured during project restart. Fraser is a right footed player that normally plays on the left, but has a solid let foot. This gives him the ability to cut inside and be a threat to score or lay a pass off in the box, or cross the ball in from a very wide position.
Our friend Chris, aka Howay the Stats, has done a lot coverage surrounding Fraser and what he can bring to the squad. Long story short, he is an attacking player that is currently a better option than any winger not named Miguel Almirón or Allan Saint-Maximin. His willingness to consistently put himself in dangerous positions to score or assist makes him a welcome addition to a squad that has struggled to create chances. For more information you can check out Chris’ thread on Fraser below.
[THREAD] #NUFC were 16th for shot creating actions (SCA) p90 last season so the arrival of R.Fraser would be a welcomed one.— Howay the Stats (@howay_the) September 6, 2020
Fraser had 2.87 SCA per game for Bournemouth last season (2nd in the squad) which resulted in 4 assists (joint 1st in the squad) 1/7 pic.twitter.com/nfYKaarcNN
Callum Wilson, 28, ST - £20m
Another Bournemouth standout is already on Tyneside as Callum Wilson has arrived in Newcastle ahead of a £20m move from Bournmouth to Newcastle.
Callum Wilson will travel to Newcastle later today - after Bournemouth accepted Newcastle’s £20m bid for the England striker. The 28-year-old will then thrash out personal terms and take a medical, likely tomorrow #NUFC— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) September 6, 2020
Wilson fills a much needed whole at Newcastle: a solid Premier League level striker. It is no secret that Joelinton struggled last year. which would not be that big of an issue if there were other attackers who could pick up the slack. ASM and Miguel Almirón were not able to produce the goals needed to make up for a forward who finished with 2 Premier League goals. The other options at striker, were never going to be able to pick u the slack either. Gayle spent a lot of the season injured, and of course has had a shaky Premier League goal-scoring record. Andy Carroll would be a fantastic option to pick up the slack 4 years ago, but unfortunately his age and injuries have severely limited his play time. Yoshinori Muto was the other option to score goals, and he has struggled to adapt to the Premier League over the last two seasons.
With Gayle out 10-12 weeks, Andy Carroll not really able to play 90 minutes consistently, and Muto likely on his way out, Newcastle needed another striker to bring the best out of Joelinton or outright replace him in the starting 11. Callum Wilson is going to be that guy.
Wilson is coming off an 8 goal campaign for Bournemouth following up his 14 goal campaign the season before. Wilson has a knack for being in the right place at the right time to score goals due to his excellent positioning as a forward. The hope here for Newcastle is that you can not only get a consistent goalscorer, but also get another guy who can bring the best out of Joelinton.
Wilson and Fraser are both reportedly already in Newcastle getting ready to complete their medicals, with official announcements for both players happening early this week. It was initially thought that the Wilson deal would include a swap for Matt Ritchie, but that did not happen and Newcastle get to hold on to the mad Scotsman for now.
Ryan Fraser has agreed a deal to join Newcastle United, pending a medical which should take place tomorrow. NUFC will have former Bournemouth teammates Fraser & Callum Wilson both in undergoing medicals on the same day courtesy of @markmcadamtv #NUFC— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) September 6, 2020
Rogério, 22, LB - £12.5m
This rumor came out of left field, but it came from one of the most reliable transfer reporters out there. a big need for Newcastle is an attack minded left back, as the only one on the roster is the injury prone Paul Dummett who has been playing a lot more center back as of recent.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano broke the news that Newcastle bid for, and had a bid accepted for Rogério, a Brazillian left back playing for Sassuolo in Serie A. Rogério is a left back that s a nice mixture of the defense solidity that Danny Rose brought as well as the play-making ability of Jetro Willems. He is another younger player that potentially could be flipped in the future for a lot of money if he develops into one of the world’s best left backs.
Torino president Urbano Cairo just confirmed they’re “considering Lucas Torreira but he’s not the only target”. Also Fiorentina are in talks to sign him. From Italy to PL: Rogerio (Sassuolo) to join Newcastle on next days, done deal. @DiMarzio @SkySport #transfers #NUFC #AFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 4, 2020
While signing Rogério would be nice, Newcastle less than a day later were linked to another left back, who would cost around the same price and was the number one left back target for Newcastle
Jamal Lewis, 22, LB/LM - £13.5m
Lewis was an initial target for Newcastle earlier in the summer after his club Norwich were relegated. However, the asking price of £18m for the Northern Ireland standout was a bit too high for Newcastle, and apparently too high for any other interested party.
It has been reported that Newcastle's £13.5m for the player has been accepted, and while there has not been a lot of confirmation that this is true, his Northern Ireland coach has made it appear as if the deal has been done.
Fresh quotes from Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough (Sky Sports): "What a move it would be (to #nufc) for Jamal and the Newcastle fans seeing him fly up and down the left wing"— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) September 6, 2020
Both deals for both fullbacks have been reported as “done” from multiple sources, but it would be out of character for Mike Ashley to spend so much money on one position. It is of course possible due to Paul Dummett’s injury history, and his lack of ability as a “modern fullback”.
Keith Downie clears up some of the confusion around the left back targets and claims that both are targets and Lewis is the number one target. Rogério is an option in case the Lewis move fails.
I get the impression Rogerio was an option had Newcastle failed to land Jamal Lewis. But with a fee now agreed for the Norwich man, I think this is unlikely. Fraser, Wilson & Lewis are the three that are currently LIVE #NUFC https://t.co/tfqiNE6ess— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) September 5, 2020
For now, it seems as if Lewis will be the only left back joining this window. it is worth noting that there a rumors floating around, none of which are from reliable sources, claiming that Matt Ritchie has handed in a transfer request in order to return to Bournemouth. If this happens Newcastle could look to replace him with a left back like Rogério.
Rob Holding, 24, CB - Loan
Early last week Newcastle were heavily linked to Arsenal product Rob Holding with the aim of Bruce to bring him in on loan. Holding is not the first center back linked to Newcastle this window, signaling that is still an area Bruce is looking to strengthen. The issue is that Newcastle have a plethora of center backs and would need to sell one in order to bring another in.
There is a understanding that this is a deal all parties are interested in, but it likely won’t happen until Newcastle offload a center back. It is likely Florian Lejeune, Fabian Schäror Ciaran Clark could be on their way out. Clark seems to be linked to a host of Championship clubs every season and I would imagine this window he has his fair share of suitors once more. Lejeune has been good for Newcastle, but has struggled to stay on the pitch, making him a prime candidate to get sold. Fabian Schär, had a rough second half of this past season and definitely still has the ability to contend in this NUFC team, but there are a some clubs interested in paying nearly double what Newcastle paid for the Austrian International. If that were the case, there is no reason not to sell the player when Newcastle have depth at the CB position and could bring in another piece in Holding to replace him.
The aim from Bruce this window has been to bring in Premier League veterans who know how to win matches. Hendrick, Wilson and Fraser have all played for mid-table sides who have had to at times pack it in like Newcastle often do, and all 3 have been key pieces for their previous clubs.
Lewis, Rogério, and Holding are all younger players who look as if they could be successful in the Prem at their respective positions. Lewis already was one of the better players for a struggling Norwich side, Holding is a highly touted young defender who could be a good bargain if Newcastle go the loan to buy route, and Rogério looks to be a player that could potentially adjust well to the Premier League who has been a promising fullback for the Brazilian National team youth system.
Stay tuned into Coming Home Newcastle as we keep you posted on transfers and begin to preview the season this week.