Newcastle United are in a precarious situation, and that’s putting it lightly.
It’s football’s version of Brexit: no one quite knows what’s going on, it’s got key members of Parliament bickering amongst one another, and much like the United Kingdom, we won’t see the Magpies involved in Europe for the foreseeable future.
A Summer of uncertainty awaits Newcastle United. With the transfer market set to re-open on Monday morning (the 27th of July), the Toon will have only 12 weeks to patch the leaks in a ship that came too close to sinking into the Championship
The question must be asked; with the upcoming transfer window;
Who should stay?
There’s certainly a curious case when it comes to Matty Longstaff: a local lad who’s not short of talent in the heart of midfield, he’s only made a measly 9 appearances this season. Amidst what’s understood to be difficult contract negotiations, the 20 year old has been frozen out of the starting XI, even with the dire straits the injury-stricken midfield has been in this season.
One thing Newcastle must avoid doing is letting Longstaff move to Udinese in Italy: they and Watford are both owned by the Pozzo family, and the Udinese President Giampolo Pozzo has shown in the past he’s more than willing to send players directly from Udine to London. Nothing would be more infuriating to the Newcastle supporters than to see yet another talented player sent to flourish at a different Premier League club.
In addition to Longstaff, it should be imperative to keep the pairing of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron at St James Park, despite interest both in England and from abroad.
Although Almiron’s own father rebuked claims by the Spanish press that Atletico Madrid hoped to acquire the former Atlanta attacker, and a move to Arsenal would place Saint Maximin in direct competition with Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli. The pessimist that lives within every Newcastle fears the moment current owner Mike Ashley sees a potential profit to be made from selling the wingers.
Who should go?
To put it bluntly, Newcastle’s January loanee signings have been nothing short of poor on the pitch. From bringing in a past-his-prime Danny Rose to completing loans for Nabil Bentaleb and Valentino Lazaro, who themselves get little game time at Schalke and Inter Milan respectively.
Especially in the case of Rose, cult heroes Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett are far more favourable options (not perfect of course, but infinitely more favourable).
Let’s face it, Joelinton has had nothing short of a disastrous first season in England. Arriving from Hoffemheim 1 year ago, the Brazilian has recorded a measly 2 goals in the league this season.
- Teemu Pukki got more in 1 game AGAINST Newcastle
- It’s the same as Dominic Solanke, a striker who went 38 straight games without scoring
- Watford have had more managers (3)
Although a radical solution would be to export Joelinton to the Chinese Super League, which has proven to be a time machine showcasing the once immense talent of Hulk, Oscar, Alex Teixeira, Anderson Talisca, and Paulino, just to name a few. This would be the right move to make in order to recoup even half of the eye watering £40m transfer fee.
Yet a loan spell may not be the worst idea for the 23 year old’s future: allowing time for it to be finally determined whether he’s a striker or right winger, adapt to the English game, or go as far to sabotage another Premier League/Championship team’s hopes of survival/promotion.
Who should arrive?
A sad reality of many Newcastle games this season is, besides Allan Saint-Maximin, few in black and white appear to have the drive and capabilities to drag Newcastle to even a share of the points.
So if it’s points and seeing games out that’s needed why not go for a player who’s scored 7 match winning goals this season: Wolfsburg’s Wout Weghorst
The 27 year old has 33 goals in 66 games for the side from Lower Saxony, and standing at a whopping 6’6″ tall, has received praise and plaudits for his attacking presence. If Steve Bruce is to remain as Newcastle manager for the foreseeable future, and the dreaded Pulis-esque playstyle of “Longball and pray” once more rears its ugly head, then the dominant Dutchman would be a vital acquisition. Goals win games, and Weghorst has plenty to prove it.
Meanwhile Jetro Willems instantly won over Newcastle fans at LWB for his dynamic attacking presence, and solid defensive performances in the first half of the campaign: but a season ending injury left Newcastle without a LB who could rival the Dutchman in quality.
Willems’ parent club: Eintracht Frankfurt stick to using Filip Kostic for this attacking wing back style role ahead of Willems, so the 26 year old remains an option in the Summer: expect a warm welcome back if this goes through given his love and affinity for the Geordie faithful.
Another underrated full back in the Bundesliga with an eye for goals and assists in Borussia Monchengladbach’s Remy Bensebaini, the Algerian was excellent for high flying Monchengladbach at the beginning of the season, and despite missing 5 games of the season through injury, he is perhaps the best left back in the division outside of Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and versatile left back turned centre back David Alaba.
And much like the end of every Newcastle season, why not cap off this piece with some blind optimism: a compatriot to Bensebaini, Said Benrahma is one of the most talked about players outside of the top flight: dazzling displays for Brentford has seen him linked to Chelsea: an interesting transfer given he would become lost in the shuffle of Chelsea’s ever expanding dangerous attack. Not to berate our Newcastle side enough, but a stint in the North East would afford Benrahma the opportunity to hone his talent and adapt to the Premier League before moving on to greater things, much like Georginio Wijnaldum and Ayoze Perez before him.
Benrahma’s flair and skill perfectly mirrors the current crop of attacking talent created by Almiron and Saint-Maximin, and the prospect of that attack is sure to strike fear into any team in the league.
Of course, these are just my thoughts and predictions: though it wouldn’t be too outlandish a claim that to say that we as fans know just as much about
Whether it’s once more under Bruce or a miraculous turn of events with Mourinho or Mauricio Pochettino at the helm (we can all dream) this is a make or break Summer for Newcastle United: much like Brexit, an uncertain economic future looms, and the viewing public just want it to be done with and something actually positive to come as a result from all this.