Tranquillo Barnetta With the current global economic climate, focus on finances in football has intensified. It is no longer deemed logical to foray into the market looking for a handful of big money signings. Therefore, as dull as it sounds, we must jump at the sign of any bargains in the footballing world.
With all that in mind, I turn our attention to Bayer Leverkusen’s Tranquillo Barnetta. The midfielder recently rejected a new contract at the Bundesliga side and will be leaving on a free at the end of June. Considering this is a player Newcastle tried to sign for £6m last summer, I think it’s Pardew’s time to jump at such an opportunity.
Some of you may remember Barnetta from his impressive display at Wembley in which he bagged a brace against England. Overall, the 27 year old has represented Switzerland 59 times, scoring 8 goals. His most decorated cap was his 90 minutes against reigning European champions Spain in which the Swiss produced a shock 1-0 win in the 2010 World Cup.
As well as having vast amounts of experience on the biggest of stages, Barnetta has the advantage of playing in a league similar to our own. He signed for Leverkusen in 2004 and has since made 180 Bundesliga appearances for them, developing to be a key foundation for a side which qualified for the Champions League last year.
However, despite being available on a free transfer, the right midfielder has suffered from a serious knee problem in recent times (sound familiar?). It is this setback which meant he only appeared in 7 games in the 2011-12 campaign.
With the departure of Guthrie looking likely, Newcastle must start adding fresh faces to the squad. Barnetta could also offer some healthy competition for the right side of midfield, a position in which perhaps Ben Arfa was getting too comfortable.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Barnetta is worthy of donning the famous black and white stripes. The lad is at the peak of his career and has shown an impressive level of commitment for both club and country for many years. It remains to be seen whether Alan Pardew is willing to take a risk on a seemingly injury prone player.
Current Ability: 3.5/5
Likelihood of signing: 3/5
Transfer value: Free transfer