Magpie Millions: How Newcastle United Should Spend All That Money
Well, here we are.
Newcastle United now joins Manchester City and Chelsea as having some of the richest owners in world football with the Saudi Arabian 'public investment fund' striking a 300 million pound deal to take over on Tyneside.
After years in the shackles of Mike Ashley and his incredibly poor decision making both on and off the pitch, Newcastle supporters now believe that they have ‘their club back’.
To understand how much of a big deal this takeover is for Newcastle fans - let's take a brief history lesson. In 2007, Mike Ashley bought Sir John Hall's 41.6% stake in Newcastle United. This was initially a semi-popular decision amongst the Geordies with Ashley sitting in and amongst the fans at home games and becoming one of them. They finished in a modest 12th position - but this was the beginning of the end. Relegation the following season and despite promotion at the first time of asking, Ashley’s relationship with the fans has been sour ever since. Horrendous managerial appointments time after time - and when they did strike gold with Rafa, they let him go after just 3 seasons.
With no investment and no ambition, Newcastle fans grew even more impatient which is how the Magpies got themselves into so much trouble and why the Saudi sale has been so welcomed.
Newcastle are currently in 19th position, they possess no real tactical plan, nor structure and according to Stats Insider's futures model are a 42.4%chance of being relegated come season's end.
Outside of their brilliant Frenchmen Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle have precious little else to have stave off the threat of dropping down which is why their new owners have apparently given the green light to jettison 190 million pounds this January in order to avoid humiliation.
Should ownership indeed be that ambitious about remaining in the EPL, we've identified three players they should sign as soon as possible to aid their fight for survival.
When looking at what players Newcastle should look to target in January, you need to consider a couple a few factors. Age, positions in need and marketability. Jean-Clair Todibo ticks all those boxes. Newcastle needs a young, fresh and exciting centre half. They've been lacking in that department for some time and with the likes of Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez not getting any younger, this is a major area of concern. Todibo is the perfect man to fill this void.
The 21-year-old has been making waves in the French League this season and has developed into the perfect modern-day centre back. Composed and comfortable with the ball at his feet, strong in the tackle and a very good presence aerially, he has a bit of Virgil Van Dijk about him. He stands at 6 foot 2 inches tall and uses this frame to part his way through the midfield with ease, creating space for runners in between the lines and forcing a breakup in the opposition midfield structure.
Statistically, his 2.14 tackles per-90 ranks him in the top 14% of Europe's top 5 leagues. However, where he shines most is with the ball at his feet. His 5.30 progressive carries, 3.53 progressive passes, 90% pass completion and 0.70 dribbles completed shows how good he is on the ball and how he can drastically improve Newcastle. He would complement the tough tackling and robust Jamaal Lascelles in a back 4 and would be a very good outside centre half if Newcastle and Steve Bruce persist with a back-3.
Donny Van De Beek
What has Donny done to Ole? Donny Van De Beek has been starved of opportunity since arriving in Manchester via Ajax in the summer of 2020 and a change of scenery would be the perfect opportunity to re-launch his career.
It's easy to forget how good Van De Beek was on that Ajax team who missed out on appearing in the 2019 Champions League owing to the away goals rule. Van De Beek was utilised as an 8 on that squad breaking the lines while being a consistent goal threat scoring against both Real Madrid and Chelsea while netting again in the first leg of their semi-final against Tottenham.
However Under Ole Gunnar Solskjær the brilliant young Dutchman hasn't been given nearly enough opportunities to play and show just how good he can be.
A midfielder like Donny is exactly what Newcastle need. They are very stagnant and have no progression in the midfield. They often use a 5-3-2 or at least a variation of it - so Bruce sets them up to sit deep with one joining the front 2 when on the counter. If they were to target Donny, then a change of system would need to be required to accommodate the talent he has. However, they need to change their current system which is stale and unimaginative. Donny would be the catalyst for this change and can help the Magpies to transition to something resembling a lot more exciting and progressive than what they're currently churning out.
From the very limited football he has played over the last year, Van De Beek does rank in the top 10% for dribbles completed per 90 with 1.62.
The piece de resistance. Tchouaméni is one of Europe's best young players and what a statement it would be for the Geordies to snap up this young gun.
With the promise of being the centrepiece of a rebuilding sleeping giant of English football, this would be one hell of a mouth-watering prospect to lead Newcastle back into the Champions League.
The 21-year-old midfielder stands at 6 foot tall and uses every bit of that to break up play at an unbelievable rate. Playing as 1 of a double pivot in Monaco’s 4-2-3-1 set up, he is the modern-day defensive midfielder. Strong in the tackle, reads the game exceptionally, very good in the air and can make a line-breaking pass if needed. Considering that Chelsea were close to signing this man for 40 million pounds earlier this year, this signing could absolutely be possible if Newcastle’s new owners are as ambitious as their fans want them to be.
Tchouaméni's statistics speak for themselves: 4.13 tackles per 90, 2.18 interceptions per 90 and 2.54 aerials won per 90 all rank in at least the top 7% of Europe's top 5 leagues. He is tearing it up for Monaco this season and for Newcastle to snatch this man up under the noses from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea would be a massive scalp. Another very affordable option for the Geordies would be Ibrahim Sanagre from PSV. In a very similar mould to Tchouaméni, he'd be a much cheaper option and could potentially be an equally better player.
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After years of pain, despair, agony, frustration and everything else in between, Newcastle fans can finally rejoice as they have their football club back.
This once great club, which had their soul ripped out, has is it back and the first few signings are crucial to make a statement in the league.
With Mike Ashley gone, Newcastle United will be back, and they will be back with vengeance. In the words of Sir Bobby Robson, “what makes a club isn’t the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city”.
This will define Newcastle United for years to come, as the sleeping giant has awoken from their slumber.
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