Well, my first pre-season as a manager has come and gone, and It’s been anything but uneventful. As expected, I was given a mediocre squad to work with, with no talent at fullback or at defensive midfielder. The squad was filled with old, overvalued, and overpaid players who I had no need for. Maybe they had once been fantastic players, but the players I sold this window all were replaceable. And replace them I did. We brought in a total of 11 players, 2 of them on loan, for 74.85 million pounds. The players we sold added up to 78.37 million pounds, which left us with a healthy profit. Of course, the staff was no good either. The 3 scouts I inherited as manager of Newcastle would not cut it, especially since 2 of them were sub-par. Those 2 had their contract terminated, while I brought in 7 new scouts to be my eyes at the club. I’m not expecting big things at first, considering I’ve mixed and matched the squad. However, I based my training around Team Cohesion, so that the players would learn to play with each other. It’s risky to do a complete overhaul like this, but the club needed it. We've transformed an old club into a young one, and hopefully that would yield results.
- 23 million Pounds (LB)
Elvis was the player I spent most on this transfer window. By no means is he the best, but he plays at a position where the team is seriously lacking in depth, Left Back. Plus, the young Croatian has fantastic potential. Elvis is a great tackler and a great long thrower of the ball. He can be our Rory Delap. He’s also a born leader. However, he’s quite raw, and needs to get lots of game time before he can reach his sky-high potential.
- 13 million pounds (CB)
Karim Rekik is a little bit of a bust. After being touted as one of the next best center backs in the world at a young age, Rekik signed from Real Madrid, and then Arsenal. However, the Dutchman, still 24, couldn’t excel at either clubs, and was transfer listed at Arsenal. Considering Rekik was still a solid centerback with a high ceiling, I took a gamble on him and signed him up for 13 million pounds. He’ll fit into a rotation with my 2 other center backs.
- 12.5 million pounds (CB)
Simeon Tanev was the second signing I made in the window. He can play both center back and right back, and excels at both positions. The Bulgarian, just 22 years old, is fantastic and both heading and tackling. He’s also extremely strong, and he isn’t slow at all. At first I believed I had no chance of signing him, considering he was co-owned by the two biggest clubs in Italy, Juventus and Milan, but in the end, we managed to get great deals from the two clubs, especially Juve. In total, we paid 12.5 million pounds for him, a fee that I think will be paid back with great performances.
- 8 million pounds (CM/CDM)
Barella, a talented CDM from Italy, was one of the last signings I made this window. However, he was one of the best. The 22 year old is an an accomplished passer of the ball, and one of the best decision makers at the club. Barella rarely loses the ball, and he should be a fantastic player in the middle of the pitch this season.
- 7.5 million pounds (AML, ST)
This transfer was a bit of an emotional one, considering the player I wanted to pry away was from Roma. Thankfully, it didn’t take too much time to iron out a deal. They wanted just 7.5 million pounds for a fantastic wonder kid who was already a massive threat. He’s fast, and a great header and finisher of the ball, so luck for the 19 year old to be scoring bags of goals up front for Newcastle this season.
- 5 million pounds (LB)
The Frenchman was signed for cover at left back. He’s fast with decent tackling, so he should do just fine at back up for Elvis at left back. Also, at 25, he qualifies as one of the veterans, considering as the side we have is very young.
- 4.7 million pounds (CB)
Getting Javier D’Amico for the paltry fee of just 4.7 million pounds was one of the bargains of the season. He’s a brilliant center back; he can tackle, he can head, he can mark, he’s strong, and he can even take corners. There’s not much not to like about this guy, and he’ll be a stalwart in our lineup for years to come.
- 3.8 million pounds (CB, RB)
Like Simeon Tanev, Luis Arada can play both center back and right back. Simeon Tanev however, is miles better then Arada, who will provide cover at both right and centerback this season. He’s a very limited full back. He can tackle pretty well, but he’s mediocre at everything else really. Thankfully, it’s a no risk transfer considering the fee we paid was extremely low.
- Free (CDM)
Yamn M’Villa, now 29 years old, is an excellent signing for us considering that he was let go on a free transfer. We snapped him up before any other club can approach to sign the Frenchman, and he’ll start there this season. Mentally, M’Villa is one of the best on the pitch, and he combines very well with his teammates. Hopefully, his veteran prescience will help our young team mature, so that we can go on and meet the goal the board asked of me, a top half finish.
- Loan (ST, AMR)
Maninho, a young Brazilian, was signed on loan from Chelsea for the rest of the season. He can play both striker and attacking right midfield, 2 positions where our depth was top quality. He’s a very clinical finisher, with excellent strength, so he would be perfect for the poacher role up front. Also, when on the pitch, the Brazilian can hit the most wonderful free kicks, so maybe he can contribute some off set pieces.
- Loan (RB)
Rosa is a half decent full-back who we signed on loan from PSG. He should provide cover for the right back position this season.
- 21 million Pounds (ST)
Jordan Rhodes was one of the first to go when I became manager. The English man was overvalued, and I was glad to ship him off to Liverpool for 21 million pounds, about 10 million pounds too much in my opinion. Rhodes was a good finisher and not much else, and I doubt he’ll be getting much playing time for Liverpool this season.
- 13.25 million pounds (CB)
Like Rhodes, Boyata was a one-trick pony. He could tackle, but that was just about it. However, Zenit saw something in him and snapped him up for 13.25 million pounds, an offer I just couldn’t turn down. His wages will not be missed.
- 12.75 million pounds (AML)
John is a bit better than some of the other players that left Newcastle this summer. He has a decent first touch, and is quite good on the ball, but due to the depth we have and Attacking Left Midfield, he was no longer needed. At. Madrid snatched him up for 12.75 million pounds, and I wish him the best there.
– 11.75 million Pounds (CB)
Sakho , who at 29 was getting on in years, was sold for 11.75 million pounds to Fiorentina. The Frenchman wouldn’t get much playing time in our new defense, so he was offloaded to Italy, where he will be on 86k per week.
-10.75 million pounds (ST)
With both Manhino and Emmanual Fernandez coming in this window, the 30 year old Wilfried Bony was no longer needed. He was a good poacher, but he wasn’t much else, and I don’t think he would have fit the system I’m trying to implement here at Newcastle. He’s headed off to Frankfurt, where he will try to resurrect his career.
- 6.25 million pounds (CB)
With a whole plethora of new center backs coming in, Englishman Dan Burn was considered surplus to requirements. He’s headed to Southampton, where he will earn 59k a week.
The squad gets it’s first test in the Community Shield against Manchester United. I was unaware we had won the F.A. Cup at first, but It means we’ll be playing in Europe this season, in the Europa League. Hopefully we can progress far into the tournament to boost morale and earn some well-earned cash.