Tag Archives: Transfer

Newcastle United: The importance of spending when momentum is behind you

The past summer for Newcastle is symbolic of the issue with resting on one’s laurels when it comes to the transfer market. Newcastle achieved great things last season, constantly challenging for the Champions League places, but in doing so revealed what their strengths and weaknesses were. The reality was always that without recruitment to improve on the first-team set-up, they would never replicate last season. It was inevitable that they would not suffer another relatively injury free campaign like before, especially not with the added impact of Europa League fixtures on a thin squad.

It is not usual, however, to be granted the opportunity to examine a weakened and strengthened squad in the same season, with little by way of variables aside from that. The coaching staff remains the same, the system remains relatively similar and the situation around the club is as it was before. The only difference now is the huge amount of recruitment in the January window, and the improvements they have added to the team itself.

The results have been dramatic. Where before Newcastle could not buy a win, they have since gone on to win several on the bounce, including imperative relegation scraps such as Aston Villa away. They have gone on to prove what I had suspected all along, that it was not the fault of the manager but merely the players at his disposal. The rest of the league improved this summer but Newcastle stagnated. The rest of the league stagnated in January but Newcastle improver their playing staff. Pardew deserves credit for how he has set up recruits one suspects he may have preferred to have had 6 months ago.

Obviously this season will likely end in a damp squib, with a mid-table finish the likely and hoped for result. However, given the recruitment policy in January, the club could have heeded the lesson and realised that constant development of who is available is required. Continuity is good, but where severe cracks exist, they cannot merely be papered over. If you feel you can improve, and it is within budget, you should. That is the nature of modern football, and if Mike Ashley understands this and backs the recruitment side of his club enough, he has an effective manager able to carry Newcastle to the heights the city deserves.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Latest Leeds Transfer News from Assistant Manager Mick Jones, regarding Byram, Becchio and Transfer fees

Jones, speaking in his capacity as Assistant Manager after the Birmingham match, has updated fans on the progress regarding transfers:

Apparently there are four positions that need strengthening, which sounds about right to us. Assuming it must be striker, which is public, the wings and the center of midfield.

No decisive progress with transfers as of yet.

Jones fearful about bids for Becchio and Byram during January, but remains positive. 

“If Man Utd come in and offer £10m for Sam Byram, you can’t turn that down. He’s going to leave.”

However, Mick Jones expects both Byram and Becchio to stay, despite the fact that the club will have to fend off bids for them. Feels a shift from previous policy where it was apparently impossible to retain any player ever.

Jones also claimed that other clubs are inflating prices when Leeds make contact with them. Our own analysis thinks this may be due to a high profile takeover that has not necessarily revealed its financial clout one way or another.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Is Premier League experience really that valuable?


The domestic market is crazy. Liverpool fans know it, Chelsea fans know it, hell, everyone knows it. Inflated prices have been part and parcel of buying from divisional rivals for a hell of a long time. It’s old news, written about at length almost every time another transfer is made for yet another ridiculous fee.

Why bother writing about it then? I’m glad you asked. What has provoked this article, inquisitive reader, is in fact a transfer that hasn’t happened, at least not yet anyway. There’s no easy way to write this without it sounding ridiculous, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it: Wolves have turned down a £12million bid by Sunderland for Steven Fletcher. That’s right, £12milllion, deemed an insufficient amount of money by a Championship club. Apparently they value him closer to £15million. It almost goes without saying that Fletcher, while a decent player, is worth barely half of that. “Well, that’s fair enough I suppose, he’s their player and they don’t have to sell”, you might say, and of course you would be right, there’s no reason why Wolves should be forced to sell their best player for less than they feel he is worth. What makes the mind truly boggle is that Sunderland look like they’re prepared to go ahead and meet the asking price.

Fletcher has had his head turned by Sunderland, handing in a transfer request earlier this week

Why? The obvious reason is, of course, that Sunderland are a team that are woefully short of options up front. They need a striker, and, with less than one week to go until the start of the season, they need one now. What makes Fletcher so appealing is the fact that he has Premier League experience: the club know what they’re getting with him, there are no worries about settling in or adapting to the English game. A fair consideration when handing over so much money, but is it really enough to justify paying such an inflated fee? Is his Premier League experience really that valuable? Surely there are other options that could do a similar job for a lower price. Highly rated Venezuelan striker Jose Salomon Rondon recently moved from Malaga to Rubin for €13million, or about £10million. PSG will be looking to get rid of a number of players as a result of their recent attacking purchases, including Guillaume Hoarau, who was favoured over Kevin Gameiro towards the end of last season. He currently has a market value of €7million. He would, in my opinion, do just as good a job as Fletcher. Besides, the fact that you know what you’re getting with Fletcher can in fact be used as an argument against his signing. He has experience in the Premier League, but experience of what? Two relegations either side of a 17th place finish. Yes, it would be more of a risk to spend the money on someone untested in the league, but with greater risk comes greater reward should it pay off – with Fletcher you know you’re getting a man who’ll score you 10-15 goals a season, but a player untested in the league could potentially bag you even more. What recent seasons seem to demonstrate, moreover, is that Premier League experience does not even mean the move would be successful. It would make sense paying over the odds for a player if it meant a guarantee of success, but the likes of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and even Fernando Torres show that simply is not the case.

Look, I’ll be honest. I’m a Newcastle fan. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than seeing a rival club pay way over the odds for a player who has done little to justify the fee, to be able to mock friends, classmates at uni, and even certain family members who support them. But, honestly, I hope they don’t sign him. It would take the already crazy domestic market and remove what little value there was left. If he flopped it would lead to the argument that “if Fletcher’s worth £15million then X is worth £20million”, and if he succeeded it would add weight to the notion that Premier League experience should make a player twice as expensive as they ordinarily would be. Perhaps I’m biased: the last high profile foreign signing my club made was Papiss Cisse, maybe I’d see the point of paying £6million more for a striker of less ability if my club had recently signed, for example, Asamoah Gyan. But honestly, I really can’t see the logic.