Paddy Kenny has applauded Newcastle United after they cashed in on Adam Armstrong’s Blackburn Rovers exit.
The former Sheffield United and Leeds United goalkeeper was speaking to Football Insider.
Southampton last week completed a deal worth £15m to sign former Newcastle striker Armstrong as a replacement for Danny Ings, who had been snapped up by Aston Villa.
Having starred at youth level, he made 21 senior appearances for the Magpies but failed to score a goal (via Transfermarkt).
The windfall could be significant for Steve Bruce’s side, who have been operating with what’s been described as a ‘meagre’ transfer budget this summer. The manager is still hopeful of two more signings after Newcastle kick-started their summer business with a move for Arsenal’s Joe Willock.
Kenny says that Newcastle cleverly thought long-term when agreeing the sell-on clause and may have capitalised on Blackburn’s apparent desperation to sign him at the time.
The former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper was also struck by the size of the clause, telling Football Insider: “It’s just clever business at the end of the day. If someone’s not right for you but you can see him moving on and doing well, it’s really clever.
“If the club who are taking him are desperate then it works for them too. It seems like a lot, 40 per cent. You’d think it’d be more like 20 per cent.
“But if Blackburn have let Newcastle put that in the contract then it’s an amazing bit of business.
“It’s £5m they didn’t think they’d have. If they signed him for almost £2m, that’s £7m right there.”
It didn’t work out for Armstrong at Newcastle but they clearly sensed there was a player in there, and after he unlocked his potential in Lancashire, they have now reaped the rewards.
We may need to reconsider what constitutes successful youth development. Ideally you want academy graduates making a real impression at senior level, but they can also be used to generate healthy funds for clubs to reinvest in first team recruits.
As Kenny says, a 40% sell-on clause does seem particularly high. Indeed, Blackburn were initially demanding as much as £30m because they knew Newcastle were due such a significant portion of the proceeds.
Nevertheless, the Magpies were indeed “clever” to tack on that particular clause, with the multimillion-pound windfall perhaps helping to fund a new addition to Steve Bruce’s squad this month.
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