Tony Pulis. Sam Allardyce. Sean Dyche. As maligned as these managers may be, one thing that can not be denied is that they got positive results when they needed them most.
Each of these have acquired the label of ‘Stereotypical English managers’ by choosing to avoid foreign imports in favour of local talent, as players from the British Isles more often than not make up the majority of their match day XI.
If recent reports are to be believed, we may soon be adding Steve Bruce to this list as the Newcastle United manager is said to be “buying British” during the upcoming transfer window.
As a club, we have our fair share of both domestic and international talent lining up at St James’ Park. Whilst Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin shine on the wings, the midfield is held down by English duo Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden, and Derby-born Jamal Lascelles dons the armband.
So just who are some of the British and Irish buys rumoured to be making their way to Tyneside this summer?
- Current Club: Free Agent (Following contract expiration at Burnley)
- Position: Attacking Midfielder/Right Midfielder
- Strengths: Abundance of Premier League experience, Bolster squad depth
- Proposed Fee: Free Transfer
- Likelihood of joining: 10/10
A transfer that’s all but officially confirmed after reportedly completing a medical on Saturday, Midfielder Jeff Hendrick is expected to depart from the aforementioned Sean Dyche’s Burnley and sign for Newcastle United this Summer.
With 24 appearances in the Premier League this season, contributing 2 goals and 2 assists, Hendrick would certainly fill a void in the team; that void being weak attacking substitutes. The Irishman’s versatility would be welcomed as he could very well alternate with Almiron and Saint Maximin in the positions behind the striker.
- Current Club: Manchester United (Following loan expiration with AS Roma)
- Position: Centre Back
- Strengths: Leadership, Defensive Qualities, Domestic and Continental experience
- Proposed Fee: £20 Million
- Likelihood of joining: 4/10
The nickname “Smaldini” has truly become a reality for the central defender, who has enjoyed a mini career resurgence after a season-long loan at Italian side AS Roma.
Compared to the likes of Kostas Manolas, Francesco Acerbi, and Matthijs de Ligt in terms of high quality performance. The 30 year old was pivotal in helping Roma to a last 16 appearance in the Europa League, and a 5th place finish in one of the most competitive Serie A seasons in recent times.
Smalling’s future at parent club Manchester United is currently uncertain, but with some of the top European clubs around, including Inter Milan, don’t be too surprised to see Smalling snub the transfer to the North East.
- Current Club: AFC Bournemouth
- Position: Striker
- Strengths: Proven Premier League goalscorer, Great pace
- Proposed Fee: £3 Million Plus Dwight Gayle & Matt Ritchie
- Likelihood of joining: 6/10
You just have to look at Liverpool’s acquisitions of Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum to know that relegated clubs have some real talent, that are more worthy of a place in the Premiership than they are the Championship. Callum Wilson is one of these such gems.
Though Bournemouth did endure a rather poor season with lacklustre efforts from their attack, Wilson is a proven Premier League player and is a strong alternative to the out-of-form Joelinton up top.
The latest transfer talk would indicate that the acquisition of Wilson from the Cherries could involve a swap deal involving Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie. Although losing the latter would be a painful idea, conducting the swap deal for Wilson, who has averaged 11 Premier League goals in the past 2 seasons, may be a necessary deal to secure our top flight status.
- Current Club: Everton
- Position: Central Midfielder
- Strengths: Box to Box specialist, Great Scope for Potential Development
- Proposed Fee: £12 Million
- Likelihood of joining: 5/10
In a midfield including Gylfi Sigurddson and the brilliant Andre Gomes, Davies does seem like the wrong midfielder from Everton to purchase. In what seemed to be a lifetime ago, Davies looked to be one of the most exciting prospects in the Premier League, with he and then-Everton teammate Ross Barkley touted as future stars for the national team.
With 30 league appearances for Everton this season, the signing of Davies reflects that of Hendrick: adding some much needed depth to an already thin midfield. Goals may not be his speciality, but Davies meets Bruce’s criteria, and there is some appeal to a potential midfield duo of Davies with the ever promising Sean Longstaff.
- Current Club: Real Madrid
- Position: Winger
- Strengths: Pace, Power, Skill, Aerial Threat, Big game player, Experienced
- Proposed Fee: £40 Million +
- Likelihood of joining: 1/10
Deluded? Maybe. Optimistic? Definitely. Realistic? Tough to say. If there’s two things that all football fans can agree on, is that no one quite knows exactly if Newcastle United will ever get taken over, and that no one quite knows if Gareth Bale will stay at Real Madrid.
One must imagine that if any form of takeover does go through, and we do finally get our long awaited financial backing to compete for Europe, the likes of Bale can never truly be ruled out turning up in black and white.
The general consensus is that the 31 year old will stay and collect his hefty wages from the Spanish Champions until his contract runs out, but it would do us no harm to persuade the Welshman that the North East boasts some final golf courses and a guaranteed starting place for Newcastle United.
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