Newcastle United changed ownership in October of last year as Saudi Arabian consortium PIF completed their takeover of the Magpies.
They made an instant impact upon their arrival as they appointed Eddie Howe to replace Steve Bruce and dipped into the market to sign Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, among others, in their first window.
One player Ashley reportedly missed out on during his last transfer window at St. James’ Park was central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.
At one point in the summer, it was reported that the Magpies were ahead of Celtic in the race to sign the Tottenham enforcer. However, the Hoops ended up signing him on a season-long loan before snapping him up permanently for a fee in the region of £6m in 2022.
It was also claimed that Newcastle were eyeing him up at the end of the 2021/22 campaign after he caught the eye with his performances in Scotland, but the Glasgow giants were able to secure a permanent deal ahead of them.
This means that both Ashley and Dan Ashworth failed to sign the centre-back in consecutive summers, with the club dropping a clanger both times as Carter-Vickers could have been a sublime addition to the squad.
The USA international, who Jan Vertonghen once described as an “absolute beast“, has been in phenomenal form for Celtic since the start of last season. In 2o21/22, he averaged a fantastic SofaScore rating of 7.33 in the Premiership as he won 68% of his individual duels and helped them to keep 17 clean sheets in 33 matches.
Carter-Vickers, who was once dubbed “immense” by former Celtic striker Chris Sutton, has carried that form into the current campaign with an average score of 7.30 in the Scottish top-flight so far, keeping five clean sheets in six outings.
Last season, Kieran Trippier (7.38) was the only Newcastle player to average a SofaScore rating higher than 7.30 in the league, and one of only two players with a higher score than 6.98. This indicates that the Celtic enforcer would be a standout for the Toon if his performances translated over to England.
The 24-year-old has proven that he can dominate opposition attackers whilst delivering consistently brilliant performances at the back and Newcastle fans may now wonder what could have been, had Ashley or Ashworth managed to snap him up.
He could have played alongside Sven Botman at the back for the Magpies and formed a solid defensive partnership in the Premier League. Carter-Vickers is a right-footed defender who could have complemented the Dutchman’s left foot and provided a balance in playing out from the back, rather than having two left footers or two right footers in a pairing and forcing the play down one side.
Therefore, Newcastle should rue their inability to sign the defender – both this summer and last – as he could have been an ideal partner for Botman moving forward.