Newcastle United supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side suffer back-to-back Premier League defeats just prior to the international break, thus instigating the Magpies’ fall to 11th place in the table.
Rafa Benitez’s men made a solid start to the new season upon return to the top tier by winning four of their opening nine league games, but they went down 1-0 at Burnley at the end of October to suffer a fourth loss of the campaign. And that became five just a few days later as a late Steve Cook header was enough to secure Bournemouth a deserved 1-0 victory at St James’ Park, a result which moved them out of the bottom three, and saw Newcastle slip into the bottom half.
Thus, there have been many anxious Magpies supporters in the Tavern this week, many of whom aren’t looking forward to their team’s return to action on Saturday as Benitez’s men face a daunting trip to Old Trafford to face second place Manchester United.
During the international break though, many of our resident Newcastle fans have been discussing potential January signings at the North East giants, and a recent report from The Sun was one in particular that caught their eye, as it reported that they were one of several top-flight sides monitoring Athletic Bilbao sensation Gorka Guruzeta.
The 21-year-old has yet to play for the La Liga outfit but has been a regular for their junior team Bilbao Athletic, for whom he has scored 13 goals in just 51 games, six of which have come in 14 matches so far this season.
And, unsurprisingly, many top sides in England, including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham, are reportedly keeping tabs on the young winger, while Newcastle chief Benitez is also thought to be an admirer of his countryman.
Thus, it won’t be easy for Newcastle to beat the aforementioned trio to Guruzeta’s signature, but the proposed mega-money takeover could hold the key to their chances, as that ambition for long-term success alongside a likelihood of greater first team opportunities could be exactly what the 21-year-old is after.
Ultimately, the Magpies haven’t got the resources and squad depth the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham have, with all three needing many quality players in every position to compete on both domestic and European fronts.
But when one looks at the current Newcastle squad, Benitez isn’t blessed with loads of attacking options – if Matt Ritchie or Christian Atsu were to get injured, there aren’t many alternatives.
So there’s a greater opportunity of Guruzeta getting the football required to aid his development at St James’ Park, but the ambition of the football club needs to be there to attract some of Europe’s brightest starlets.
The proposed takeover of Amanda Staveley, with numbers such as £300 million and £500 million being banded about, could be exactly what Newcastle need to not only attract quality players, but also players for the future.
The Magpies have suffered two relegations in the last ten years – is a player from Spain going to want to risk that when there is a chance he could sign for Arsenal, Chelsea, or Tottenham, all of whom will likely be near the top of the division and in Europe in ten years’ time?
Newcastle have to strive to match the ambition of those clubs, and a takeover could do that – just look at what happened at Manchester City less than a decade ago, and look where they are now and where they are heading under Pep Guardiola.
Newcastle have the manager in Benitez, the infrastructure, the fanbase, the lot – they just now need direction and ambition to convince the next young generation of players, such as Guruzeta, that they are a club on the up and heading in the right direction.
Thus, the proposed takeover could hold the key to their chances of landing Guruzeta, as well as a whole host of other stars, in the coming transfer windows.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!