Newcastle have been one of the most active Premier League teams in the summer transfer market so far, which compared to last summer is a major contrast.
The Magpies have already completed five signings this summer with another in the pipeline.
The Magpies have completed the signings of youngsters Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback, Siem De Jong, Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere. Perez is one for the future, but the other four are likely to feature heavily in the first team next season.
Colback arrived from Newcastle’s fierce rivals Sunderland this summer on a free transfer and is dependable enough. He provides versatility and is a player that will run all day. He could be a very decent free signing.
De Jong has reportedly been on Newcastle’s radar for a while and arrived from Dutch champions Ajax for a fee of around £5million. The attacking midfielder was highly-rated, but endured a difficult campaign in the Eredivisie last season, starting just 17 league games.
He will be looking to revive his career on Tyneside and rediscover the early promise of his career. The 25-year-old will also be hoping to do better than his brother Luuk De Jong, who failed to impress while on-loan at St James Park last season.
De Jong is technically gifted and is also a leader. He captained Ajax last season and was described by his boss in Amsterdam Frank de Boer as a ‘true leader’. He could be a very shrewd buy.
French midfielder Remy Cabella arrived on Tyneside from French club Montpellier, where he finished as top scorer with 14 goals and also contributed five assists. Cabella claimed nine man of the match awards for the Ligue One team last season, the most in the French top-flight.
In fact, in Europe’s top leagues only Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo won more man of the match awards last season, which tells you something about his ability. Cabella is very much a playmaker and seems like the perfect player to fill the boots of compatriot Yohan Cabaye, who moved to PSG in the January transfer window.
In fact he is probably more adept at playing in the number ten role behind the striker than Cabaye, who sat deeper in midfield. His only real flaw at the moment seems to be his tendency to drift out of games.
Cabella is lightweight, but his technique and ability can make up for his lack of physical presence and he could be a major hit with the Toon fans.
The Magpies have brought in yet another player from Ligue One in striker Emmanuel Riviere, who arrived from Monaco for a fee in the region of £6million. The 24-year-old scored 10 goals in 30 Ligue One appearances last season, with 11 of those appearances coming from the bench.
Riviere is regarded as a fast and strong player, who has not quite lived up to his potential as of yet. The striker can also play as a winger if needed. Like a lot of foreign players he is a slight gamble, but it could very well pay off for the Magpies.
The Magpies also look close to completing the £5million capture of Feyenoord’s right-back Daryl Janmaat, who impressed for Holland at the World Cup as the Oranje made it to the semi-finals.
He looks to be a very solid replacement for French star Mathieu Debuchy, who appears to be on the verge of making a move to Arsenal for around £10million. It seems that Newcastle have a good replacement for Debuchy and £5million to spare to spend elsewhere.
I have to confess I am not the biggest fan of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. He always struck me as an owner who only cared about making money. However, he is a businessman and he is treating the club like a business.
The Magpies finances are on an even keel, which means they will not be lumbered by major debts in the future and the clubs long-term financial security should be secure, even if that means some of the clubs star players leaving.
Newcastle has been very shrewd in the transfer market in recent seasons, scouting players from the Eredivisie and mainly the French Ligue One and picking up some bargains. These markets have proved better value than the vastly overpriced English market.
The club from the north east are often criticised for the amount of French players in their squad, but if they can get better value for money in France why should they buy players from elsewhere?
Newcastle finished 10th in the Premier League last season, but at times they were very poor. However, with the players that the Magpies have signed I am sure their fans are much happier than last summer.
Newcastle could be in for a far better campaign than they had last season and it is only what the clubs supporters deserve.
Have Newcastle done well in the transfer market this summer?