It was an extremely frustrating summer for Newcastle United fans, as the club once again managed to turn a profit as a result of their transfer business. Considering that the likes of Fulham, Wolves, Bournemouth, Huddersfield Town and Brighton all spent in excess of £30 million, it is hard to argue that the Magpies are matching their rivals’ ambition.
However, that isn’t to say that Mike Ashley ought to spend for the sake of it. Even in this vastly inflated market, there are still bargains to be had at the top level. One such deal that took place this summer was West Ham’s acquisition of Lucas Perez from Arsenal for a fee in the region of £4 million.
The Hammers signed the Gunners’ forward for a meagre fee in comparison with what some players of a lesser calibre have gone for in recent times. Whilst Perez was never able to establish himself at Arsenal, he remains a quality player who could have a big impact a little further down the Premier League table.
The Spanish striker wasn’t able to consistently display his best form during a loan stint with Deportivo La Coruna last season, but he still finished second only to Lionel Messi in terms of chances created over the course of the La Liga campaign.
This time around, West Ham can hope for big things from the 29-year-old. Should he prove his quality at the London Stadium, Newcastle may regret missing out on this bargain buy.
It was clear that Rafa Benitez was desperate to boost his attack this summer. Eventually, Salomon Rondon did materialise at St James’ Park following a loan-swap deal that saw Dwight Gayle join West Brom.
The North East club may need more than the Venezuelan to ensure their top flight survival though. The 28-year-old’s seven league goals last time out weren’t enough to guide the Baggies clear of the drop after all.
Not only would the arrival of Perez have given Benitez greater strength in depth up front, the former Gunner would also suit the style of play being implemented on Tyneside. Perez has great technique and creative qualities, but he is also a very physical presence and is capable of holding up the ball in the opposition final third before bringing teammates into the game.
For the relatively tiny outlay of £4 million, Newcastle could’ve made a great addition this summer in the form of Perez. As it was, West Ham capitalised upon this bargain opportunity that Ashely failed to spot. That could come back to haunt the Magpies.