Newcastle United face their most important transfer window in a decade
It isn't very often Newcastle United fans enter the summer transfer window looking to sign players that will help them challenge for the Top 4 once again.
June 7th, 2012
It isn’t very often Newcastle United fans enter the summer transfer window looking to sign players that will help them challenge for the Top 4 once again. However, after a startling campaign which saw us fight for the final Champions League spot right until the very last day of the season – the levels of optimism around Tyneside have never been higher. Dangerously high, mind you.
Many of us expect the departure of at least one key man, and I don’t mean the likes of Alan Smith who marked an end to his unfortunate Newcastle United career just a week ago. Tioté, Ba, Krul, Coloccini and even as ridiculous as it seems; Papiss Cissé have been linked with moves away from St.James’ Park this summer. Ba, for me at least, is the most likely to depart for pastures new if an offer from a bigger club triggering his release clause, happens to come along.
I could live with losing Demba though, mainly because I’d have great faith in our scouting team finding a replacement certainly as good as him, for about £7-10m. Luuk de Jong has been linked with us the last couple of years and he looks a prospect, but his agent said that nothing will happen until after Euro 2012. If the Dutchman grabs even a single goal at the championship, it would add another couple of million to his price tag, that’s for sure.
Getting back to the point – this time next year Newcastle United fans could look back on this summer as an absolute success, or a missed opportunity. We are in a situation now where – with the right coaching, both mentally and physically – we could perhaps go one further and grab fourth spot. It is amazing to think that this time three years ago we were looking towards players that could help us gain promotion back to the Premier League. How times have changed.
I’ll admit wholeheartedly that I didn’t even expect us to finish in the Top 7 – I thought our defensive frailties would cost us places in the league but I was wrong, and thankfully so. A top 7 finish again next season would be excellent with everything considered, but Alan Pardew and the team are gunning for another memorable campaign.
If we were to lose 3 of our star men this summer it would bring us right back to stage when we were promoted: a rebuilding process.
Of course every player has their price, and if massive bids come in for the likes of Tioté, then we’d be a tad foolish to sell. By massive bids however, I mean starting at £30m.
I hope that this time next year I’ll be looking back on another extremely successful Premier League season, and European football once more. If we end up with the Europa League again next year then we’ll still be right on course with our 5 year plan.
Financially, consecutive Top 6 or 7 finishes would be a major boost.
At the end of the day, balancing the books is the most important thing for Mike Ashley. Credit where credit is due – alongside Derek Llambias, he has managed to do exactly that, while providing us Newcastle United fans with an unforgettable season. The best in a long, long time.
This transfer window we are about to enter presents us with an opportunity to fight among the big boys again next season.
We are in a perilous situation, but an exciting one all the same. For now however, we’ll just look forward to the Euro’s, at potential arrivals and indeed our very own men representing their countries.
After that: the panic sets in.
Words by Kevin Doocey, Twitter (@KevinDoocey)