Alan Pardew has admitted Tom Huddlestone is the sort of player he would have loved to bring to Newcastle United last summer as he prepares the ground for an end-of-season rebuilding job.
Huddlestone has been one of the signings of the season after joining Hull City from Tottenham Hotspur for £5m and will have a key role against the Magpies at the KC Stadium this afternoon.
Although never a serious contender to sign him, manager Pardew has admitted the deep-lying playmaker – like his new team-mate Shane Long – is the sort of player he is interested in. With Pardew hopeful of spending serious money in the next transfer window, it points to the type of players he will look for. Pardew said: “Huddlestone was a player I really liked.
“He was someone I would like to have brought here and he has proved at Hull what a good player he is.
“He didn’t come close (to joining Newcastle) really. It was more discussions about a player who would fit well with the way I play.”
Hull chairman Assem Allam has been a controversial figure as a result of his strident attempts to change the team’s name to Hull City Tigers, but Pardew can only look on in envy at the financial backing given to Steve Bruce (pictured below).
While Newcastle have not made a permanent signing in the last two windows, Allam backed up the newly-promoted club’s summer outlay by sanctioning the January signings of Long and Nikita Jelavic. Pardew added: “You have to take your hat off to the chairman and the way he backed Steve with the two strikers.
“Both are not 24-year-olds (a reference, perhaps, to his owner Mike Ashley’s policy of only buying youngsters with “sell-on value”), they are senior strikers. We looked at Long for a period and I liked him.”
Newcastle announced a £9.9m profit this week. That, and the January sale of Yohan Cabaye for around £20m, ought to leave Pardew well placed for a summer of big spending. Strikers, wingers and midfielders will be on his shopping list after the inactivity of the last 12 months.
Pardew said: “We know we have to do work in the summer after losing Cabaye, so you’d like to think we’ll have to spend some of that this summer – although I haven’t really discussed the budget.”
Pardew will not wait until then to start planning. With his side secure in midtable, he will experiment in the coming months.
He added: “I’ll certainly take the opportunity to look at one or two and sometimes the formations we play too.
“We’ll see if someone can do a different role, and we’ve had good success with that over the years I’ve been here.
“We’ll maybe look for one or two to play in unusual positions.
“There are some players we’re looking to for next year who are going to get a bit more time. Luuk de Jong, for sure. (Adam) Armstrong, we’ll maybe have to pitch him in at some point.
“Others might get a shout, it depends on results. Our focus with our academy this year has been about being local and we’re starting to get some through.”