Connect in the back of the net

As we observe how the 2017/18 summer transfer window has unfolded so far, we realise how out of hand spending has become – particularly by Premier League clubs.

Manchester United splashed out £75m to acquire Romelu Lukaku’s services, while Manchester City have casually signed right-back Kyle Walker for a fee worth up to £53m – a record-breaking fee for a defender.

Instances like these can make the transfer window an entertaining period, as clubs are forced to pay ridiculous amounts for players, while some straightforward transfers become sagas and drag on for eternity.

However, the transfer window is only truly entertaining if your team is actively involved in the market; your club becomes linked with dozens of players by an array of newspapers, some have truth in them and deals happen, while others are simply elements of lazy journalism and nothing materialises, leaving fans to dream.


Quiet transfer window

Sadly, the latter scenario is the current case for us Newcastle United fans. Over two months since the season finished and we have only signed two players: Christian Atsu on a permanent transfer from Chelsea for £6.5m and French centre-back Florian Lejeune for £8.7m.

The players are not bad, they are fine acquisitions in fact, with Atsu exciting fans last season and Lejeune being highly sought-after.

Rather, more was expected, with the newspapers linking us with heaps of talent. Some being realistic such as Andros Townsend and others a little over ambitious such as William Carvalho and Mateo Kovacic, while manager Rafa Benitez is known to complete his business early.

Rafa did try to complete some deals early, however. Ruben Semedo, Willy Caballero and Tammy Abraham were all targets and could have donned the black and white shirt, although they all moved to other clubs for various reasons.

Along with this, we also look like missing out on several other transfers, such as Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo and Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore, while the saga of Jacob Murphy continues.


Crazy transfer window for Premier League sides

Benitez himself has labelled this window in particular as ‘crazy’, which is understandable considering the prices being floated about.

This is mainly due to the new TV deal implemented last season whereby all Premier League clubs were instilled with a huge amount of cash, causing them to be wealthier than ever.

Part of the reason why we have been unsuccessful in a number of transfers is that most clubs are now aware of the vast amounts of wealth that Premier League teams have in particular. Due to this, they seem to drive a hard bargain and attempt to hold out for more money than a player is actually worth.

Although Newcastle have been the victim of this on a couple of occasions, we are actually less well off than most PL clubs due to being in the Championship last season and missing out on the first major injection of TV cash.

Therefore, when fans see clubs like Everton and Bournemouth spending money freely and question why we cannot do so, they must realise the situation we are in.


In Rafa, we must still trust

We cannot simply blame Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley for such shortcomings; Ashley made a promise that funds will be available to Rafa and he sure will keep it as even he knows how blessed we are to have a manager of that stature at our club.

There were rumours that Rafa was growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of transfer activity and that he would walk. Although he was discouraged slightly, he too realised our situation and quashed rumours by stating that he was still working hard behind the scenes on targets.

This was the update that fans needed. Rafa breathes football and knows what he is doing; for the first time in long while we can sit back and have full trust in our manager. He has his targets and the reality of playing for him under 52,000 every week will hopefully be the main pulling factor.

It is still early days in the transfer window and we just need to be patient.  In Rafa, we trust.


Written by Dawud Arshad

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