Sky Sports have been analysing why the summer spending at Newcastle United has fallen below expectations.
By 1 July 2022, Newcastle had bought Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Matt Targett, ensuring all three had a full pre-season with the rest of the NUFC first team squad.
However, with that trio in the bag very early in the window, we are now 39 days further on and still no other additions.
Keith Downie covers Newcastle United for Sky Sports and he has been giving the situation as he understands it…
Have Newcastle been quieter in the market than expected?
“I think most people looking at Newcastle this summer after what they did in January would expect them to spend huge amounts of money.
“But Eddie Howe has been saying for weeks now that it’s going to be very, very difficult to keep splashing out like they did in January and the main reason for that is the Financial Fair Play restrictions the club are dealing with.
“That will change in time, but at the moment it’s pretty difficult to spend the amount of money they probably would want to spend and the owners would want to spend.”
Why have more players not arrived?
“I think there are certain players who have chosen to go elsewhere. Newcastle put a lot of time and effort into trying to sign Hugo Ekitike. He chose to go to Paris Saint-Germain instead.
“Eddie Howe wants a certain type of character, it’s the first thing he looks at and I think he feels in the area they’re looking in now, which is the striking department and winger, there aren’t that many options who he would want to bring in.
“He doesn’t want to bring someone in for the sake of it, so you put all that together and I think it’s proving pretty difficult. Their budget is probably around £80m-£90m.
“They’ve spent around £55m already in the shape of Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett. So they’ve spent a big chunk already.
“They’re trying to deal with Financial Fair Play regulations and as most clubs are seeing, it’s difficult to add in this window, particularly in the forward department.
“There is still money there to spend and I would expect them to make one, maybe two more signings before the end of the month.
“Eddie Howe has got a fairly long list in terms of targets. The longer it goes on, though, I think Newcastle may move into the loan market and obviously that would help with the financial situation as well.”
I think that is a pretty fair summary and I think there is clearly a willingness to spend more money BUT Eddie Howe and the Newcastle United owners have shown they won’t go way above their own valuations of players and pay whatever figure the other club are demanding.
Naturally this brings frustration for Newcastle fans with a minority of supporters going way over the top with their hysteria, due to the lack of further signings.
You have to factor in the January business and in 2022 that means up to around £160m has been committed on new signings and indeed that figure would already be up towards the £200m mark, if Hugo Ekitike had accepted Newcastle’s offer and not PSG’s.
The same with £40m+ offered for James Maddison but once again, Newcastle not wanting to go down the route of paying whatever it takes, then getting a reputation for being mugs in the transfer market.
They also want to ensure the club has flexibility in future windows, Newcastle able to sign the right players if a deal is possible. Just like the Bruno G signing in January, I think January 2023 could see a similar level signing (or more…), especially if NUFC are up there around the top six.
No need to panic and certainly the first eleven Eddie Howe put out on Saturday suggested that the team aren’t going to be any less competitive than they were in the second half of last season. Though whether the same number of points can be picked up is the big unknown.
Injuries to key players would of could severely impact Newcastle United but you could say that about pretty much every team. That excellent second half form of last season happened almost entirely without Wilson and Trippier in the side, whilst Bruno only started 11 matches.
I think we will see at least two more players arrive and as the Sky Sports man indicates, every chance at least one of them will be on an initial loan basis.
Maybe part of the reason as well is that Eddie Howe will be seeing how the team / squad perform in the opening matches, before deciding on just how desperately he needs certain signings, with of course injuries potentially affecting decisions on transfer action. That happened in January when Callum Wilson got injured five days before the window opened, only today we have heard that Jonjo Shelvey is set to miss the first half of the season.
For my money, Newcastle United are now in a very good place and the dominance against Forest gives a lot of encouragement.
Just one game and against a team likely to be closer to the bottom than top but it was 90 minutes of NUFC control and it could and should have been a four or five goal win.
If we can bring in a quality attacking option who you would automatically think of as first choice in the Newcastle team, then I think it will be a massive boost as United look to build momentum in the opening sixteen games before the World Cup break in November.