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Newcastle: PIF avoided first major blunder with Dele Alli

Saudi Arabian consortium PIF completed their takeover of Newcastle United back in October of last year and almost instantly made their mark in England.

They sacked Steve Bruce and appointed former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and then backed the English head coach in their first transfer window in charge of the Magpies.

Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier, and Chris Wood all arrived at St. James’ Park on permanent deals, whilst Matt Targett joined on an initial loan from Aston Villa.

The new owners made their presence felt as they bolstered Howe’s squad to give him the best possible chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

PIF, however, narrowly avoided their first major blunder in the transfer market as they failed in a swoop to sign Dele Alli from Tottenham, a player who Harry Redknapp once valued at £100m.

Lee Ryder claimed that the Magpies were in talks throughout January over a transfer for the former MK Dons attacking midfielder, although they were never able to get a deal over the line. It was reported that they attempted to hijack Everton’s move for the England international on deadline day, but they were unable to bring him to Tyneside.

The Newcastle owners will now look back on that failure with a feeling of relief as his journey throughout 2022 suggests that he would have been a disaster at St. James’ Park.

He failed to produce a single goal or assist in 11 Premier League outings in the second half of the 2021/22 campaign for Everton, averaging a dismal WhoScored rating of 6.26 in that time. That score would have placed him 26th in the Magpies squad in terms of WhoScored ratings, below the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Jamal Lewis, and Jacob Murphy.

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This suggests that he would have been one of the worst players in Howe’s team and that is why the club dodged a bullet by failing to sign him, as his performances for Everton do not suggest that he was a player Newcastle will regret missing out on.

It is also reported that the flop was on £100k-per-week at Goodison Park and only two Magpies players (Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes) are on more than that as it stands.

Therefore, Alli – if the club had signed him on the same contract – would have been one of the highest-earning, yet worst-performing, players in the squad.

Journalist Josh Bunting claimed that the 26-year-old’s career has “dropped off” after he sealed a loan transfer to Besiktas earlier this summer and, when you compare his recent form to his 18 goals and nine assists in the 2016/17 Premier League campaign for Tottenham, that is a fair assessment of his situation.

PIF avoided their first major blunder with Alli, both from a footballing and financial perspective, and they will be thanking their lucky stars that they were unsuccessful in their attempts to usurp Everton on deadline day back in January.