It’s been a busy transfer window for Newcastle United. They’ve lost key players such as Mathieu Debuchy but have brought in six new signings, who fans hope will be able to rectify last season's disappointing performance by the Magpies. The signing of a number of new players could be viewed as a sign of intent from manager Alan Pardew and owner Mike Ashley, both of whose dedication to the club have come under scrutiny of late. Pardew may fear that he walks a thin line this season and must be shown to strengthening a squad which lacked depth last season.
Here we take a look at four new signings and how they can make a difference in the Newcastle squad.
The Frenchman came from Montpellier, where he had a very impressive final season with the French side. For a fee of £12m, he is an absolute steal, having scored 14 goals from the wing last season, and has the potential to be another French gem on Tyneside. He is an agile player and a bit of a trickster – enjoying using flair in his game, something which Newcastle’s game has a massive thirst for. He is likely to be played on either flank or through the middle on occasions, much like Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been out of favour with Pardew for a while now. Rumour has it that the 24-year old models himself on French Tyneside legend David Ginola, and I’m sure the Geordie faithful will be eagerly waiting to see if he can bring this sort of talent to their listless side.
Siem de Jong
A Dutch number 10 for £6m? This is some damn good business by Newcastle for this 25-year old of versatile skill. Formally of Ajax, de Jong can play a variety of positions, but it is likely we will see him taking on the traditional number 10 role, probably replacing Vurnon Anita, who struggled playing a more central role after the departure of Yohan Cabaye. However, de Jong is also comfortable up front or on the wing, which will give Pardew options going forward, especially as he welcomes Jack Colback into the team. My opinion is that he’ll be a great asset to the team, and fans should be excited.
Had Jack Colback not had such a successful season at Sunderland last term, his welcome might not have been so warm on Tyneside. It’s never easy to go to your rival team, but Colback had a fantastic season at Sunderland, certainly playing a leading role in their Premier League survival. The English midfielder is hard working and good on the ball. I doubt he’ll fill the void left when Cabaye transferred to PSG in January, and he’s unlikely to start ahead of Cheick Tiote or Moussa Sissoko, but he’ll do his best, and I’m sure his attitude will win over the fans.
A few weeks ago, losing Mathieu Debuchy would have seemed like a nightmare to Newcastles fans, who have seen their best players cherry picked over the last few seasons, leaving gaping holes in the squad's depth. However, this time, things look a little different. The exit of Debuchy to Arsenal was followed by the arrival of Holland’s Daryl Janmaat. An excellent defender, he appeared three times for the Dutch during the World Cup, and his pace and solidity will offer a decent replacement in the team’s defence. He’s the sort of player I can see staying at the club for the long term, and the Magpies will be celebrating winning the signature of this player when a number of other European clubs were vying for his affections.
For Newcastle, it’s so far so good and fans will be placated with these signings, as well as other such as Emmanuel Riviere and Ayoze Perez who will have plenty to offer the squad in the future. At the end of last season, the fans were desperate to see some investment in their team, and although big money hasn’t been spent, decisions have been made sensibly. I don’t think the Geordie faithful will stand for poor performances for as long as they did last season, and so expectations will be high on these new players. Having said that, it is an exciting time for Newcastle and I would like to see them deliver on their promises.