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Same Story Different Year

That headline could be about pretty much anything to do with Newcastle United from recent times. The issue that is in my sights today is; for years now we've heard Rafa Benitez urging the club to do their transfer business early. For good reason too as surely it's common sense? Steve Bruce has followed suit in this sentiment, and yet the only thing we've got to show so far is the low-key return of goalkeeper, Mark Gillespie who replaces the long-serving Rob Elliot.

Can you imagine if the season starts and we're still hunting around for a striker? To make matters worse, the impact of the covid-19 pandemic has made most clubs feel the pinch and transfer budgets have been slashed. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the later we leave it, the more desperate we become, and the higher the price we will have to pay.

Someone like Callum Wilson, from relegated Bournemouth should be seen as a no-brainer. Wilson will be desperate to stay in the Premier League, not least to cement his international future. It would inevitably take up a large chunk of the transfer budget, but it is undoubtedly where Newcastle need to strengthen the most.

Loans and free transfers are again expected to play a big part in transfer plans. But if you want to make the most out of the these deals, you have to act fast or the good ones will be gone! Whilst Jeff Hendrick may not be the most inspirational signing in the world, he will certainly be an improvement on Nabil Bentaleb, and provide some strength in depth in what is a decent squad of central midfielders, thus providing more opportunity to push Sean Longstaff further up the field, after he really started to impress behind the striker before coming off injured at Bournemouth.

Recent history tells us, the earlier we do our transfer business, the better quality we bring in. Take 2011/12 as an example: Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba were two early transfers that summer. Yet in recent years Newcastle have wasted time kicking tyres and have ended up doing deals for the likes of Joselu and Muto, whilst at the same time disposing of bright young prospects such as Kevin Mbabu and Adam Armstrong.

I've almost managed to write an entire transfer piece without mentioning the "T" word (takeover!) and something that a takeover would have brought to Newcastle were fresh new faces at executive level, which is one of a long list of issues a takeover would help to solve. To put it simply, Newcastle need to get their fingers out of their backside and get deep into the transfer market.



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