Newcastle United transfer window on a knife edge | OneFootball

Newcastle United transfer window on a knife edge

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The Mag

Sometimes, I think a huge part of the Newcastle United fanbase is like a Travelodge shower. Two settings: scaling hot and freezing cold, with nothing in between.

These polarising opinions have been evident plenty of times during the previous ownership regime, as the match goers versus boycotters argument was brought into just about every discussion, not least on the site here, the one you’re on, The Mag.

At time of writing, there are 15 days remaining until this Newcastle United transfer window closes and the argument is over the approach of the NUFC owners, in a transfer window that has been reminiscent of Mick Hucknall out of Simply Red’s debut for Fulchester United, starting with a bang, before fizzling into disappointment.

Panic has set in a bit and those polarising arguments are back, with some decrying that the actions of the board are beyond question, while others are asserting their democratic right to criticise. The insistence on only offering what we see as the “appropriate valuation”, and subsequently getting blown out more than a windsock, has become a bit tiresome and people are growing restless. The terrifying prospect of a Wilson injury and a seemingly incessant strengthening of teams around us has led to cries that this is deja vu of the Lee Charnley approach of offering five million quid then hiding under the table.

As ever, there’s surely a middle ground here, wherein the truth resides. I’m sure everyone agrees that it’s night and day where the club is now, compared to a year ago. I think most fans are trusting in the process and confident there is a master plan, but you can’t help but bear the scars of so many windows, where this was blatantly not the case. Unfortunately, I think we are victims of the nature of the transfer window.

The simplicity of the situation is that there is value in playing brinkmanship at this stage in the window. Some of the clubs that have haughtily declined our offers may be willing, desperate even, to cash in but they are all too aware that silly season is upon us and staunch refusals could see a considerably higher bid or smoke out alternative buyers. As the end of August draws nearer and these possibilities fade, slight increases on the original bid (which will have been under the actual valuation) are far more likely to succeed.

I’m going to stick my neck out slightly and say that I think this Newcastle United transfer window will see the club still pull something like this off in the next fortnight. As well as nervous clubs, players and agents have the potential to be agitating for a move and when the bid comes in for player X that is worth an extra couple of million, gets his meddling agent out of the way and gives the club a few days to source a replacement, it suddenly makes sense all round. This could well be the case with some of the recent strongly rumoured such as Maddison, Isak or Pedro, or it could be one that has flown under the radar.

Also, while not wanting to read too much into gossip columns and paper talk, I think there seems to be a lot of evidence to suggest we will loan attacking reinforcements from Chelsea, with Gallagher, Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi all talked about amidst scenes of Amanda and Mehrdad schmoozing with their counterparts at the bridge. CHO would be my personal choice but all would offer something to our squad and it won’t necessarily stop at one. The problem here again is the timescale, why would Chelsea rush a loan through when there’s still the potential for desperate cash bids, perhaps from the likes of wealthy relegation strugglers Manchester United (whose benevolent owners have persistently funded their costly squad overhauls and should be thanked)? I suspect that these deals could even rumble on as far as deadline day.

So I am predicting things will happen and, unfortunately, patience remains the watchword.

If nothing happens, then I think criticism is justified.

A consistent error over the past couple of decades has been a failure to understand the concept of speculate to accumulate, that investing in the success of the team results in greater returns for reinvestment. To fail to bolster an attack that was found wanting at Brighton, could cost a European place, which in turn costs further appeal to TV and sponsors, which may even see current stars looking elsewhere, which impacts next season etc etc. It is possibly a situation akin to the Chris Wood signing, where the need dictates a necessary compromise.

Given that I don’t believe this to be the case. I think anyone losing the plot at the minute (and it’s a serious minority that are throwing out criticism without caveat) will feel they have massively overreacted, should we approach September with two or three attacking additions, well within FFP and therefore having the room to strengthen further in January.

Yes, this means we have to navigate a difficult run of Man City and away games at Wolves and Liverpool with what we have, although I’d hasten to remind that with everyone fit and firing they’re not half bad. It’s a roundabout way of saying it, but…we need to judge this window after it’s closed.

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