As I write this, we’ve had confirmation that NUFC have had a bid of £20m accepted for Callum Wilson. With just the agreement of personal terms, and completion of a medical required before the England international can officially become a Newcastle United player.
I feel I share the opinion of an entire fanbase, when admitting this is arguably the most detached and uninterested I have been prior to a new season kicking off. Does the signing of Wilson repair this? Quite simply, no. There are too many off the field issues that outweigh this potential signing, but the acquisition of a proven Premier League striker does still lift the mood throughout Tyneside.
It is clear that we have struggled for goals in the Premier League, with just 38 goals arriving throughout the entire 2019/20 campaign.
Joelinton does not appear to be the natural number 9 we desired, slotting home just 2 Premier League goals, while Muto, Carroll and Gayle are not viable options for a Premier League frontline.
The acquisition of Callum Wilson will allow us to have a proper striker on the books at Newcastle United. A striker who has proven he can perform in the Premier League, earning international recognition for his performances. Signing a striker of this calibre is always a cause for optimism.
Shift in Transfer Policy
At 28, Callum Wilson falls outside the normal ‘Under-25′ policy which ultimately led to us not invest in 29 year-old Salomon Rondon. Rafa Benitez desperately wanted the Venezuelan back at St James’ Park, but the club hierarchy simply would not budge from their established strategy.
Reviewing our previous ‘big money’ transfers you can see the repeated factor emerge again and again. Buying young players, often from foreign leagues, displaying them in the shop window aka St James’ Park, before they eventually depart for a healthy profit.
Many players fall into this category, but even just using the recently acquired Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Joelinton as the prime examples, you can see this clear policy underlined.
So what’s changed?
As we all know, Mike Ashley is as desperate to sell Newcastle United, as we are to never see him step foot inside St James’ Park again.
With the signing of Callum Wilson, alongside contract extensions for the experienced quartet of Shelvey, Ritchie, Fernandez and Manquillo in the last few months, the possibility of Mike Ashley departing still lingers.
It now seems the priority is to erase any doubt of relegation for potential buyers.
Essentially with Steve Bruce, the NUFC hierarchy have their perfect manager. He wants to be in the job and has an emotional tie in with the area.
He wants to prove anyone wrong who has suggested he isn’t capable of doing a good job in the Premier League, following the ‘us v them’ mentality the club has adopted over the last decade.
In Bruce you have a man who wants to be here and will stick in regardless. However saying that, if the transfers currently rumoured are to go through, its clear the board are happier to back him than Rafa Benitez.
The point I’m making is all the time we are upwards of 17th in the table Bruce is almost certainly bulletproof within the current regime. He is almost certainly in post until new owners do eventually come in. This in turn means the club need him too.
So maybe hes being listened to more than Benitez, maybe it just represents how much Rafa’s relationship with the board had broken down and stubbornness between the two parties had just reached peak levels?
Either way it is seemingly likely we’re going to have an improved squad this summer. Lets just hope we haven’t left it too late.
Credit for this post goes to Jon Lane, a former fans forum member who can be found on Twitter @JonLane86
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