At 3pm yesterday, news broke that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund's takeover of Newcastle United was off from representatives on the buyer's side with financiers Amanda Stavely and Jamie Reuben confirming it in the press and on social media.
While its a blow to everyone connected with the club that the level of investment mooted will not be forthcoming, Newcastle and Head Coach Steve Bruce cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in this strangest of football calendars and shortest of summer transfer windows with just six weeks before the Premier League resumes.
The 2020/21 season kicks off on the weekend of Friday September 11th, 2020 and the elongated summer transfer window now open extends to October 5th with an extra week until October 12th granted to transfers involving Premier League and EFL clubs in an attempt to boost the domestic transfer market in the wake of the Covid19 crisis.
Required - Goals to Newcastle
Newcastle finished last season in 13th place in The Premier League yet only scored 38 goals in 38 top flight games with record £40M signing Joelinton scoring just twice in the top flight against Spurs and Sheff United although stats like those below show his importance to the team regardless - while Andy Carroll failed to notch at all.
Dwight Gayle's season finally came to life in restart scoring 4 goals yet the jury remains out whether he is truly a Premier League striker and the club must buy reinforcements.
Conservative estimates had placed Newcastle's summer transfer budget as low as £30M due to financial constraints and loss of income due to Corona Virus yet the club have just made £120M in Premier League prize & TV money for finishing 13th so with transfer fees for any sold players and potentially the extra £17M Mike Ashley has just made from the non-returnable deposit from the failed takeover, it should be a lot more.
Despite the restriction on fans entering stadiums right now, St. James' Park like many stadia could hold in the region of 30-40% capacity next season with its corporate areas and boxes able to handle the social distancing mandates and enough space in the stands to potentially host a capacity of 15,000-20000 socially-distanced supporters.
A target date of October 1st has been set by the Government with stadium trials preceding in friendlies and early matches of the season to perfect protocol prior to the largest mass-gatherings seen in the country for over 6 months since football stopped but it is all highly dependent on the good behaviour and acquiescence of football fans:
“There are particular challenges with certain sports,” he said. “People have got to realise if you don’t behave, you won’t have more people in stadiums. They’ve got to take that personal responsibility and realise that if they don’t behave appropriately they’re risking the game for everybody.” -
Nigel Paul Huddleston, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport.
While all of the off-field issues at St. James Park are set to dominate the headlines as rival takeovers and resurrected bids surface, the show must go on and Steve Bruce spoke about his aim for Newcastle to discover "the next Allan Saint-Maximin" last month as he outlined the club's plan to add a few new faces to freshen up his squad :
"That is to try and find the new Allan and try and keep us moving forward. We have one or two targets in mind and we will try to be as business-like as we possibly can. That's what we’ve tried to do and that's what we will continue to do ."
With Bruce needing to boost his attacking ranks, these are players who would help The Magpies kick off strongly in 2020/21 and get Newcastle fans off their seats:
- Myron Boadu, Goalscorer, AZ Alkmaar - £17M
Mike Ashley is £17M richer today due to banking the non-returnable deposit from the failed takeover and what better way to spend it to cheer the Toon Army up in their darkest hour by splashing it all on a new striker for Steve Bruce?
Myron Moadu is a 19 year-old Dutch version of Andy Cole, a 6ft striker with electric pace and an unerring ability to find the net as he demonstrated scoring 20 goals in 39 games last season - 14 in the Dutch League plus a further 6 in Europe and he assisted 8 goals.
Boadu is on record as saying "I aspire a step to the Premier League" despite having a contract with Alkmaar to 2023 but with Covid19 playing havoc with finances everywhere, the normal rules of the transfer game may not apply & anything is possible.
2. Emmanuel Dennis, Striker / Right Winger/Forward, Club Brugge - £17.5M
22 year-old Nigerian Dennis shot to prominence last year scoring twice at The Bernabeu against Real Madrid in last season's Champions League and he followed it up with an electric performance causing havoc to the Man Utd defence in The Europa League.
As skilful and fast as they come, Dennis is equally adept at scoring as creating goals.
3. Eberechi Eze - Attacking PlayMaker - QPR - £20M
22 year-old Ebere Eze is a fantastic talent who could not come more highly recommended by QPR Director of Football and ex NUFC legend Sir Les Ferdinand who is a massive fan of the goalscoring, dribbling playmaker:
Ferdinand said: "I'll be giving him a glowing report in terms of what it's like up there. It's a great place to go and play football but as long as you lot match our asking price, you can have him no problem!
"People have been asking me about him, even the club said lots of people are talking about him, and I said he's probably in the top six players I've seen.
"He'd be in the top six easily in terms of his ability to control and pass the ball. I think the rest of it will come.
"He's still got bags of energy and he's got to know how to use that energy in the right areas and how he's going to be effective using his energy in the right areas.
"He's got so much more to come, but he will be a superstar if he keeps his head on and goes to the right place."
Eze is a wonderful talent who scored 14 goals in 46 games last season for QPR and could truly light up the St. James' Park stage.
4. Ivan Toney , Goal Scoring Striker, Peterborough, £10M
The 24 year-old has been on fire this season banging in 26 goals in 39 games in all competitions for The Posh including an FA Cup goal against Premier League Burnley to make in an amazing 40 goals in 76 games since his move from Newcastle in 2018.
Toney never got a fair crack of the whip at St. James' Park after being signed by Steve McClaren who was replaced by Rafa Benitez before the end of his first season yet he is now a man in demand from Celtic to RB Leipzig and Barry Fry told would-be suitors to pay-up his £10M asking price or miss out on a potential fortune in the future and Newcastle could yet steal in and give him a belated chance for The Magpies.
“Toney would be a revelation for Celtic, he’d be a star, for definite.
"He’d score 30 to 40 goals up there, he really would.
“Not only is he brilliant in the box, scoring and creating with his right foot, left foot and head, at six foot four he’s also our best defender.
"Celtic will get £40-50m for him.”
5. Ryan Gravenberch, Box-To-Box Midfielder, Ajax - £20M
Steve Bruce has also hankered after a box-to-box midfielder to add some more athleticism to the Newcastle midfield and there are few better prospects in the game right now than 6ft 3in 18 year-old Ajax prodigy Ryan Gravenberch who has already earned the nickname 'The Dutch Pogba' for superlative displays of all round ability scoring twice in his five games at first team level.
Some of the biggest clubs in the world including Barcelona and Milan are tracking him but he would be guaranteed a wealth of first team football at Newcastle and what better place to develop than the cut and thrust of The Premier League and St. James' Park.
6. David Turnbull - Centre Midfield - Motherwell - £5M
21-year-old Motherwell starlet David Turnbull scored 15 goals in 31 games in his breakout season at Fir Park in the 2018/9 season before a serious knee injury stopped his progress in its tracks meaning he would miss the majority of last season.
Now fit again and raring to go, the 6ft 1in energetic midfielder who can score with either foot is keen on following ex-Motherwell goalkeeper Geordie Mark Gillespie, who made the switch to NewcastleUnited on July 3rd, to St. James' Park for a fresh start and new challenge over the border under Steve Bruce, who is a big admirer of the Scot.