While PIF and Eddie Howe have already made astute transfer market moves at Newcastle United in 2022, the previous regime was blighted with transfer mistakes and missed opportunities, with former owner Mike Ashley and Howe’s predecessor Steve Bruce not exactly making the wisest transfer dealings.
One common theme that dominated previous years was inaction in the transfer window, with the Magpies having been far too hesitant and reluctant to spend, despite their continual suffering at the foot of the table.
That frugality and stubbornness often saw the Tynesiders miss out on potential stars, with Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu just one name to have escaped the clutches of Bruce and co in recent seasons.
While he was eventually signed by the Gunners on a £20m deal last summer, the Japan international could have actually been snapped up a year prior, with the northeast side reportedly scouting the versatile full-back while at former club Bologna, alongside West Ham.
A further report suggested that the Serie A outfit had set the player’s asking price at just £15m – £5m less than he was eventually sold for a year later – although Newcastle passed up the chance, instead opting to bring in the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis that summer, as well as the more successful signing of Callum Wilson.
The club have seemingly been left to pay for that mistake since then, however, having been left with just Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo as right-back options for much of the last two seasons, with Kieran Trippier having struggled with injury since his January arrival.
Even at centre-back, however, Tomiyasu would likely have been a more than adequate replacement, with the club having shipped 62 league goals in the 2021/22 campaign – the sixth-worst record in the division.
As for the £57k-per-week gem, he also had his troubles with injury during his debut campaign at the club, although has managed to earn rave reviews from across the game, having been dubbed Arsenal’s “signing of the season” for his impact by journalist Kaya Kaynak, while teammate Ben White also insisted that the 28-cap star “does the simple things at a world-class level.”
Although the aforementioned Trippier has somewhat softened the blow at having missed out on the 23-year-old, Bruce and Ashley’s failings did leave the club without a quality right-back for almost 18 months, with recruitment defensively as whole having been shoddy in recent years.
Now valued at £22.5m, Tomiyasu looks likely to prove a bargain even for Mikel Arteta’s side, with it hard to believe that Newcastle missed the chance to sign him for just £15m – another major error of the Bruce-Ashley era.