Newcastle United’s disappointing summer transfer window drew to a close with a whimper on Thursday. They managed to sign Federico Fernandez from recently-relegated Swansea City to add another defensive option to the squad, but they closed the day with the lowest net spend of any Premier League club.
The Magpies brought in a profit of over £20 million over the course of the summer thanks to sales of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Mikel Merino among others. However, Rafa Benitez was given a small budget to spend and it was a cause of frustration for both the manager and supporters.
Newcastle isn’t big enough for Benitez and Ashley
The summer has been an awful one for Newcastle as it has created irreparable damage between the manager and owner. The marriage between Benitez and Ashley has been fragile for a while, but the past few months have proven beyond doubt that they are headed for a messy divorce.
After finishing tenth, there was optimism that Newcastle could push on and challenge for a trophy during the 2018/19 season. Benitez wasn’t expecting a lot of money, but he wanted to spend what the club had brought in through television revenue and player sales.
That wasn’t provided, and it was another transfer window spent working on deals that were a waste of time, as the club were never going to get them over the line. There are a lot of questions for Ashley to answer. Chiefly, where has the money gone?
The pressure is on Salomon Rondon
Newcastle supporters knew that this summer was focused on signing a striker capable of scoring regularly in the Premier League. It was hoped their transfer record would be broken, but that didn’t happen, and a loan deal was agreed for Salomon Rondon.
The striker has invaluable Premier League experience playing in a team that didn’t create a lot of chances. When that is taken into consideration, his return of 24 Premier League goals in three seasons isn’t bad. However, he will need to improve at St James’ Park.
His power and physicality mean that he is the perfect profile for a Rafa Benitez team. It isn’t a surprise that Newcastle targeted him, but it is a huge risk to go into the season with Rondon as their main goal threat.
They don’t always sell their best players
It isn’t all doom and gloom when it comes to Newcastle’s window, as they managed to keep Jamaal Lascelles, despite interest from several Premier League clubs. Sky Sports reported that they rejected a substantial bid from West Ham United for their captain.
In the past, Newcastle have regularly sold their star players for a big profit and many expected them to do the same with Lascelles. Their captain has developed a lot under Benitez and he is considered to be on the fringes of the England team.
Supporters will know that Lascelles is likely to be sold on eventually, but it is positive that he will stay on Tyneside for the coming campaign. Newcastle are a better team with Lascelles on the pitch and that is why it is crucial that he stayed.