Despite the summer transfer window reaching its climax at the start of September, the rumour mill has continued to churn with thoughts already turning to January, and the opening of the emergency loan window on Wednesday.
After record spending at Newcastle United this summer, the Geordie faithful can be pleased with the efforts made by Mike Ashley to bring in some much-needed reinforcement. As last season proved, they were in dire need of it.
The hierarchy’s blueprint was also in full effect; purchase young, international footballers at reasonable prices. Most European exports are far more realistically priced than that of their English counterparts.
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Charlie Austin, for example, is an uncapped 26-year-old striker, who has played one solitary season in the top-flight and has one year left on his current contract. He is valued at £15 million by QPR, which by all accounts is crazy.
James Chester and Robbie Brady, who are Welsh and Irish internationals respectively, both left relegated Hull this summer for a combined £15m.
That’s unbelievable business from Hull’s standpoint, how could West Brom see Chester as an £8m player? Maybe there is added value in having top-flight experience, but that £8m could have bought them Joe Gomez and Aaron Cresswell with £1m to spare.
Still, for all the positive work done to bring players to St James’ Park, not nearly enough of the deadwood that dragged Newcastle to their precarious position has been moved on.
Mike Williamson’s time at the club has been over for a while in many of the fans eyes. Almost ironically coining the nickname ‘Iron Mike’ in the north-east, Williamson has long been seen as a Championship defender simply out of his depth.
Leeds United were credited with an interest in the centre-back’s services this summer as the rebuilding job at Elland Road accelerated. Williamson is said to command a wage of around £25k-30k a week on Tyneside, and with one year left on his deal, teams may find his salary demands prohibitively high.
Williamson will be 32 when his deal expires next summer – assuming Newcastle do not offer him a new one. In line with their recruitment policy, it’s highly unlikely. Only captain Fabricio Coloccini has been an exception to the rule.
There’s little doubt that Championship clubs will be able to secure his services for almost half the wage next summer, as opposed to the expensive loan option on the table right now.
Plus, if reports from The Chronicle are to be believed, Williamson wants to stay with Newcastle regardless.
Yoan Gouffran is another lucrative earner sitting on the sidelines offering next to nothing. At £55,000-a-week, the Frenchmen is vastly overpaid for what he contributes. Much like Sylvain Marveaux, who reportedly earns £60,000-a-week.
It’s been suggested that Hull have enquired about Gouffran’s services on loan, but the former Bordeaux man is also said to be hesitant about heading for the St James’ exit.
It begs the question: are these players happy picking up their money? No Championship club could surely commit to the required contribution Newcastle would want for their wages, so fans shouldn’t expect to see these beleaguered stars closing the door behind them anytime soon.