Even with foresight, questions were asked about Newcastle’s summer transfer business. It may end up paying off tomorrow but, for now, there is a hole in both their accounts and Eddie Howe’s strongest XI.
Kevin Keegan, who shared the stage with Howe last week, always believed in ‘buying better’. He referenced Andy Cole and David Ginola, who he thought were an upgrade on players that had done well for him.
However, Newcastle spent over £60 million on young defenders Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall, but the quartet of signings have only made 12 of a possible 56 starts across all competitions. It’s clear that the players from last season are still doing the heavy lifting.
The £52 million signing of Sandro Tonali was meant to fill the hole in the midfield, but Sean Longstaff replaced him before his 10-month ban for illegal betting.
Another expensive purchase, Harvey Barnes, was sidelined with a foot injury until Christmas. As a result, Anthony Gordon has been pushed up front due to the lack of recognised strikers, with Alexander Isak out until after November’s international break.
It would appear that Newcastle failed to consider the effects of losing one of Isak or Wilson, but Howe mentioned the limited resources they had to work with. If money is tight, it could be argued that they should have bought players that could have made an immediate impact.
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