I’m not someone who is desperately calling for more signings. We still have need to clear out some of our Newcastle United first team squad or risk having unregistered players again when September arrives.
However, I do think we will get players out the door and I think we will get at least one more, maybe a couple in. Just think, in January we had three players sign in the last two days of the window.
Maddison looks like he’s fired up after an excellent performance against Brentford. I would be very happy with his acquisition, especially as it looks like Shelvey could be out for longer than expected. Centre midfield wouldn’t be my biggest concern though, especially if Leicester stick to their £60 million valuation. Let their player of the year stay there for another season and then test their willpower when he’s only got a year left on his contract.
I think we can muddle by with the wingers we’ve got but we do need more goal threat in that position. Ideally, we’d sign a striker who can also play on the right wing. Ekitike would have been perfect. A Cornet / Dennis type would fit the bill. We’ve missed the boat with Cornet but Dennis is still an option.
Personally, I’d love us to sign Ismaila Sarr, if we’re going to raid Watford.
Anyone see his 60-yard wonder goal against Bruce’s Brom On Monday? We won’t talk about his soft penalty but then he’d never be taking them ahead of Wilson anyway. I think Sarr would be an upgrade on anything we’ve got in the wide positions and could lead the line in desperate circumstances. He has 10 goals and 8 assists in 50 Premier League appearances so he is an upgrade on all of our wingers bar ASM and he’s only 24 and has always played for a team that’s been relegated, so imagine what he could produce complemented by players like Bruno, Trippier and Wilson. We need a striker too and I think the loan market might be the best option here, to keep some funds for January.
Man Utd have had a bid of £7.5 million for Arnautovic rejected. He would be a decent signing if we can get him for £10/15 million and his wages aren’t prohibitive. He’s 33 now so would only be a solution for a year or two but he’s like a mixture of Wood and Wilson. More athletic and skilful than Wood but bigger and, arguably, more powerful than Wilson. He can operate on the wing or attacking midfield as he regularly did at Stoke, or as either a lone striker or part of a front two. He’s not lost his scoring touch with just under a goal every other game at Bologna.
The players I would clear out to ensure we have two Newcastle United first team squad spaces open for a couple more signings would be the following;
Lewis (loan) – I think we have ample cover with Targett, Burn, Dummett and even Trippier or Manquillo capable of operating out there. Lewis needs game time now so I would get him to a strong Championship team and rebuild his confidence.
M Longstaff (loan) – same as Lewis. He needs a decent Championship loan. If it works out for him, we might get a half decent fee or be able to use him next season. If he doesn’t succeed we’ll know we need to get rid next summer.
Watts (loan) – same as the two above.
Fernandez (transfer) – doesn’t get a look in anymore. Needs to move on for the sake of his career which is in its twilight.
Darlow (transfer) – great servant and if Dubravka gets poached I would keep him. Assuming Dubravka is staying then Darlow should go and make the most of the rest of his career. Would be a steady number 1 at a lot of Championship clubs.
Shelvey (unregistered) – with news breaking that he’s unlikely to be back until after the World Cup due to an operation, why would we waste a squad space on a player that can feature in a maximum of 2 games before the January transfer window? We could sell a Ritchie or Manquillo but I’d rather register players that can play.
Those outgoings would mean we have a squad of 24(*) Newcastle United first team squad players including Anderson who doesn’t require registration and would allow us to bring in a pair of signings.
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