Here’s a hypothetical situation, Alan Pardew is inexplicably sacked at the end of the season and within hours Tom MacGregor is appointed as the new Newcastle United manager. Yeah that’s a pretty unbelievable scenario, just humour me though. I’d better get my coaching badges over the summer, then I’ll be ready to bring Newcastle that illusive piece of silverware! I laid down a couple of ultimatums to Mr Ashley before signing on the dotted line, the main one was I want all £35 million of the Andy Carroll transfer money to spend this summer. Mike was a bit hesitant but he agreed to give me the cash, so here comes the exciting bit, how am I going to flex my financial muscles in the transfer market!
Well first things first, we can’t start the new season without bringing in a top quality striker, but here is the dilemma – do I look to sign someone with Premiership pedigree or go abroad to pick up a new number nine! Come to think of it the ‘prolific’ Shefki Kuqi is going to be surplus to requirements at the end of the season so I’ll need to bring in two strikers. A striker shortlist is required! At the top of the list is Sevilla’s eighteen goal man Alvaro Negredo. Convincing Negredo to swap Seville for St James’ could take some hard work, as could sanctioning any deal with Sevilla, so let’s start proceedings by lodging a £12 million bid.
The other candidates filling the list would be Koln’s German International Lukas Podolski, who notched thirteen goals last year, I’d be willing to offer around £10 million for the powerful 25 year old. Striker number three on the shortlist might be slightly ambitious, and at 33 years old we’d maybe only get two seasons out of him, but he’d certainly deliver. So let’s see what Chelsea have to say to an £8 million pound bid for Didier Drogba. Completing the shortlist would be Mirko Vucinic of Roma, Jermain Defoe, and the two joint top goal scorers from Ligue 1 Moussa Sow and Kevin Gameiro who both hit twenty one goals. If I got my way I’d take Negredo and Drogba as my first choice strikers, but would be happy with any of the players on the shortlist. After purchasing two strikers, of the £35 million let’s say about £23 million has been spent.
So I’ve got £12 million left to spend and I want a winger to complete my summer spending spree. However, should Jose Enrique leave in the summer I’d have to sacrifice one of the strikers and look into picking up a left back. The left back that I’d be interested in signing is rumoured to be a present Newcastle target in reality, his name is Cheikh M’Bengue of Toulouse. He is capped at French U21 level and would be an adequate replacement for Enrique. Now to the winger who is going to supply the crosses for our strikers to get on the end of. The three players who are on my shortlist are former Toon winger Charles N’Zogbia, Wolves surprise package Matt Jarvis and St Etienne’s flying Frenchman Dimitri Payet. With £12 million left to spend that should be enough to snare any of these three wing men and they would all add some flair and crossing ability to the wings. So there we have it, how I’d spend the Carroll millions.
Maybe some people would choose to get five players who don’t cost as much money as the players I’ve mentioned. Let’s say Jose Enrique signs a new contract this summer so I don’t need to bring in a left back. Over the summer months we lose Shefki Kuqi, Wayne Routledge and Sol Campbell, there’s no major loss there. As Newcastle manager I unveil Alvaro Negredo (£15m), Didier Drogba (£8m) and Charles N’Zogbia (£10m) and still have £2 million left over. Newcastle fans how’d you feel? Could be punching above our weight trying to lure Drogba, but the other two would not be beyond the realms of possibility. Personally I would be extremely happy with Newcastle’s prospects for the season ahead adding those three players to an already capable squad.