Newcastle fail to land a striker after summer of hunting
Joe Kinnear failed in his mission to land reinforcements for Newcastle United’s first-team squad, as a summer of frustration ended with more questions than answers about the direction of the club under Mike Ashley.
Ashley’s controversial decision to appoint Kinnear was not vindicated by success in the transfer market as United saw the summer transfer window snap shut with just a single signing – Loic Remy on a loan deal from Queens Park Rangers.
Despite all of the bravado and promises that Kinnear had made upon his arrival, he was unable to do deals for Darren Bent last month and the capture of Bafetimbi Gomis – which was revived last week – also eluded him. He had been tasked with bringing in two strikers and a left winger at the start of August, after Newcastle opted out of signing a centre-back following Fabricio Coloccini’s decision to commit to the club.
They failed to do that. The Journal can also reveal that Newcastle’s interest in a plethora of players – including Anthony Pilkington of Norwich, Demba Ba, Etienne Capoue of Toulose and Lille’s Florian Thauvin – also came to nothing. While
money was made available for transfers, a combination of the upheaval of Kinnear’s arrival and Derek Llambias’ departure – along with United’s determination not to pay big money for players – has created a perfect storm for the club.
Kinnear’s own ability to fulfil that role must also come into question after a summer in which he failed to pull off any significant deals. His boast that he could pick up the phone to any manager in Europe looked especially hollow after the struggles he encountered trying to broker a deal for Gomis with Lyon.
There are wider questions for the club to answer in the wake of their summer transfer window failure, with Ashley’s own intentions for Newcastle coming into focus once again.
With a bumper TV deal giving the club a cash boost this summer they were expected to strengthen but boss Alan Pardew, who spoke optimistically about bringing in another striker – was left disappointed once again.
United did at least have the mitigation of keeping hold of Yohan Cabaye, who now has to repair his relationship with the club after his ill-advised decision not to play for Newcastle after Arsenal’s offer of around £10million was rejected.
The player was poorly advised by his representatives; Pardew is ready to re-integrate him into his squad.
Pardew said after Saturday’s defeat of Fulham: “We need to speak with Yohan and with his representatives to make sure that we go forward hand-in-hand. The guy has a World Cup at the end of the year and he is a big part of France’s plans. He hasn’t been picked this week and I think that was a bit of a shock to him. It was only because of the situation because I think he’s nailed on in their team.
“That whole situation will resolve itself in the next couple of days.”
Newcastle’s only summer signing Remy has pledged to repay his “debt” to the United faithful after they signed him in spite of his January snub.
He said: “I am really happy and grateful to this club for the fact that even though I didn’t come here firstly – they came back for me.
“They have shown a lot of interest in me. I really need to repay them for that by going out there and doing my very best on the pitch.”