Newcastle were the only Premier League club not to sign a player in this window after Crystal Palace clinched the signing of Yohan Cabaye. However that changed this weekend as Newcastle as signed Georginio Wijnaldum and are close to signing Aleksandar Mitrovic. Steve McClaren and the club’s board have spoken about patience and wanting to get the right characters through the door in this window. This weekend could be the first evidence of Newcastle’s ambition and desire to put together a side capable of winning a trophy.
PSV announced on Friday that the transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum has been agreed with Newcastle. The fee is believed to be close to €20m and flew in for a medical and completed the move over the weekend. The Dutchman is a midfielder who is best at the number ten role, but he can also play in central midfield and on the wing. Wijnaldum has been a player watched by some of Europe’s biggest clubs with PSG, Zenit and Manchester United all registering an interest in the midfielder, but it is Newcastle who have secured his signature. This highlights the ambition Newcastle are showing in the transfer market targeting players like Wijnaldum. Moreover the fee is set to be the largest paid out during the Mike Ashley era, which again shows that a new era is set to be commenced on Tyneside.
The midfielder is physically a good fit for the Premier League as he is quick and has the upper body strength to cope with the demands involved in the English game. Last season, he was very good in the final third and was integral to PSV’s championship win, scoring 14 goals and getting 3 assists. He is an effective dribbler, capable of beating defenders with his pace and he rarely loses the ball. He showed during the World Cup against Brazil, his ability to time his runs to cause problems for defenders as he scored the third goal. Wijnaldum is a coup for Newcastle and he could develop into a world class midfielder who could be sold on for a huge profit.
The other target is Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is close to signing a five year contract with Newcastle according to his agent Pini Zahavi. The twenty year old is an interesting target as he is a huge risk for the price Newcastle will pay and the club have been reluctant to do these sorts of deals in the past. He has a lot of potential and has been watched by a number of big clubs including Roma, but once again Newcastle have beaten the competition to land their man. A problem with Mitrovic is his attitude, but he is only 20 years old and has a lot of time to grow.
The striker did well in the Champions League last season, scoring twice in the group stage including one against Arsenal. He has a lot of goals to his name for somebody of his age and he will be keen to make the step up to a bigger league. He is always alert in the penalty box and his instincts often get him goals. He is strong in the air and his movement in the final third is one of the biggest strengths in his game. Mitrovic likes to strike the ball early when he gets the chance in front of goal and he can score all types of goals.
Newcastle are beginning to make strides to putting together a side capable of winning a trophy and that is believed to be the club’s aim now. These two players have been targeted by bigger clubs in European competition and Newcastle have done some great work to get them in the door, if they go through as planned. Never get ahead of yourself with Newcastle United and transfers, but it looks like they have done some excellent business.