Newcastle United, who barely escaped relegation last season under John Carver, go in to the summer transfer window with what appears to be a renewed sense of optimism. Steve McClaren may not be the most exciting of appointments for the Geordie faithful, but he is an improvement on Carver in literally every aspect. Though I am sure we are all dreading the inevitable cringe-worthy press conference and fake Geordie accent from the multi linguist former England manager.
Cartoon villain/Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has promised to “bolt the horse on” (whatever that really means) financially this summer, and the Toon are being linked with a whole host of new names.
The last few seasons have been incredibly frustrating at St. James’ Park, only serving to remind football fans up and down the country how far the club has fallen. No longer are they entertaining side of the 90s, early 2000s or even 2012 under Alan Pardew.
If Mikey Ashley (and my word that is a big IF) is indeed serious about investing in the team this summer – remember this is a man who did not sign a full time player on a professional contract for 18 months – here are FIVE signings to get the pulses racing again.
(Please keep away from Stewart Downing!)
The QPR hitman bagged 18 goals for the London side, who ultimately dropped back down into the Championship last season. Newcastle is a club synonymous with iconic ‘No.9s’, and Austin could be exactly that. A prolific poacher, Austin thrives on his precise finishing skills and comes alive in the 18 yard box. His ‘cheeky chappy’ personality and humbling rags to riches tale suits Newcastle down the ground. A match made in heaven.
Ron Vlaar is never be a man associated with free flowing attacking football. That much is clear. However, he is a typical no-nonsense defender with both Premier League and international experience. His arrival would represent a huge upgrade on the Newcastle back line, adding a certain reliability not one of Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson nor Paul Dummett can.
His inclusion on this list may appear to rather cheap and easy, but Cabaye is simply a must buy for McClaren this season. Linked with a move back to England, Cabaye’s ‘French Revolution’ has not worked out as hoped in Paris with PSG. Newcastle would be stupid were they not go back in for a man who captivated their fans for three and a half years. A midfield maestro, he would bring class and composure over from France with him.
The ‘Egyptian Messi’ has seen his stock fall since his arrival at Chelsea in January 2014. After some stunning performances for FC Basel in the Champions League, Salah found himself out in the cold in West London. A successful spell at Fiorentina has put Salah back into the shop window, while his skill, work rate and ability to conjure something out of nothing would cement him as a firm fans’ favourite.
Despite a terribly disappointing England under 21 EURO campaign, Will Hughes is no doubt a hugely talented player. Having worked with McClaren last season at Pride Park, Hughes would seemingly be a great fit at St James’. A real technician, Hughes would help provide ammunition of likes of Ayoze Perez and Moussa Sissoko. A young, talented English player is a great signing for any Premier League club, and a side as devoid of creativity as Newcastle could do a lot worse than acquiring the Derby midfielder’s services.