The Journal have recently reported that Newcastle opted against signing Bafetimbi Gomis because they are confident of securing other targets, including Remy Cabella, Clement Grenier and Alexandre Lacazette.
If this so called ‘confidence’ is justified then few will complain, but surely all those associated with the club must have learnt by now to expect the unexpected?
Gomis is by no means a galáctico signing; I’m surprised the club were prepared to bid nearly £8 million for him last summer despite his unexceptional stats, lack of first team action and age (he was only 28, but that is ancient by Newcastle’s standards); but he is certainly an upgrade on their current strike force and should be treated as such.
Throw in the whole ‘no-transfer-fee’ aspect and you have yourself a bargain player who could be an able first team striker in the Premier League, so what’s the catch? Well as far as we know, they didn’t sign him because they were confident about landing other targets, but that really is too far-fetched considering Newcastle’s situation this summer. What is more likely is that once again personal terms couldn’t be reached due to disagreements over wages and agent fees; they’re that one cheap friend who makes everyone else uncomfortable with their insistent haggling.
In a summer that is so critical to the short-term (and potentially long-term) future of the club, it really is disheartening to see the same-old disheartening wheeler-dealer attitude. Many first team players, such as Tim Krul and Mathieu Debuchy have already implied they are discouraged by the apparent lack of ambition at the club, and have refused to express loyalty as a result. Regardless of transfer fee size, a pivotal acquisition will always quell doubts amongst uncertain players, and I am inclined to believe Gomis may have had that impact.
This of course is all hypothetical. Perhaps Newcastle may have reached advanced negotiations with several other leading targets such as Lacazette, which would justify our rejection of Gomis. Perhaps they’ll also win the Premier League next year, who knows? But as past events show, they seem have to a distinct problem with getting targets ‘over the line’, and I fear this supposed confidence has no real substance or belonging.
Gomis may not be the one who got away, but by not signing him and showing ambition, Newcastle's best players will be.
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