Despite the classic complaints of the Newcastle supporters concerning Mike Ashley’s bizarre reluctance to spend money in the transfer market, it’s actually been a very productive window for the Magpies ahead of the new season.
Rafa Benitez’s foray into the transfer market has been relatively successful with the familiar faces of Martin Dubravka and Kenedy returning whilst a handful of new players have been welcomed to Tyneside as the club attempt to solidify their top-flight status.
However, with little more than 24 hours to go before the transfer deadline time is running out for Benitez to add a new attacking midfielder to his ranks to challenge Ayoze Perez for a starting berth next season, and recent reports suggest he could be letting an ideal opportunity slip away as Wolves close in on a £16 million deal for Oleksandr Zinchenko.
According to a recent report from Express and Star, Wolves will press on with a move for Zinchenko before Thursday’s deadline almost 1 month on from when they agreed a deal in principle to sign him for £16 million.
Man City’s decision to accept an offer just £16 million for a versatile talent with both international experience and plenty of scope for development at just 21-years-of-age should have alerted Benitez in his hunt for a new number ten, but it appears Newcastle have made no attempt to rival Wolves in their pursuit.
Zinchenko was predominantly deployed in a left-wing-back position during City’s title-winning 2017/18 campaign and he thoroughly impressed supporters, his manager and pundits whilst playing in unfamiliar territory.
The Ukraine international is an attacking midfield by trade, but his technical quality still shone through at left-back as he was consistently composed in possession, smart with his decision-making and willing to force the issue with incisive through balls in the final-third.
The early signs from Zinchenko suggest that he is more than capable of blossoming into a fine number ten in the years to come and, considering Benitez only has Ayoze Perez to chose from, there’s no doubt the Magpies are on the brink of missing a huge opportunity to add a player of genuine quality to their ranks.
Mike Ashley’s tight-fisted nature is almost certainly the reason for their lack of interest, and by the end of the 2018/19 campaign the Toon Army may well be feeling resentful about their failure to sign Zinchenko at an attractive price.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!