During the frantic heat of the summer transfer window Newcastle United were linked with countless big names, from want-away wonders to much sought-after stars.
Some were quickly dismissed as rumours and stayed firm at their parent club, while others chose an alternative destination. With a few weeks of the new season under their belt, how have some of these players faired out so far and will Newcastle live to regret letting them go, or not?
Luuk de Jong
21-year-old Dutch international Luuk de Jong was on Newcastle’s radar for some time, and after refusing to stay at FC Twente, it was thought that in summer 2012 he would finally be making his way over to the UK and settling in at Tyneside. However, this speculation came to an abrupt when the young striker opted for the Bundesliga instead, with Borussia Monchengladbach emerging as victors with a successful €12m bid.
Since his esteemed arrival, the once highly-rated forward is far off what is expected of him. He didn’t start his first season badly, and he was kept out for much of it with a torn muscle injury, but a few weeks of the new season already completed, he hasn’t been able to net a goal once, despite being fully fit.
A headline in Germany’s biggest newspaper ‘Bild’ read, ‘Six months without a Goal: Has De Jong forgotten how to score?’
In this case, I think it’s safe to say the Magpies won’t regret missing out.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Now for the other Dutch ‘goalscorer’ on the tip of Premier League tongues – the young Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Luuk de Jong’s 24-year-old compatriot featured on more than a few transfer lists this summer following his fantastic performances and gracious goal scoring record at Utrecht and Sporting Lisbon. Newcastle reached the final race for the Holland international, but Norwich City got to the finishing line first, snatching him up with a club record bid of £8.5 million.
It would be unfair to say that Ricky got off to a bad start at Norwich, as he was able to ignite the Canary fans justify his signature with a debut goal on the first day of the new season. However, he has been unable to maintain consistent form since his first game heroics, and many fans across England are beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about.
He may prove us wrong as the campaign progresses, but no-one at Newcastle United would have lost any sleep just yet.
There was lots of speculation surrounding this promising African forward too. Bony was being closely monitored by a number of clubs over the summer, and not just because he was last season’s top scorer in the Eredivisie. He’d also been compared to the likes of fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba amongst others for his strength and tenacity in front of goal.
However, once again Newcastle fans can breathe a sigh of relief because he too has failed to impress thus far. His scoring streak was at one point termed as ‘prolific’, but the 24-year-old is way off the mark as it stands and must really step up his game if he wishes to make a name for himself and recapture worldwide interest.
The fourth and final feature forward of this article was not so keenly chased during the recent transfer period, but at one point it looked like he may become a Newcastle player and he too was able to slip from Pardew’s grasp.
Following his surprising move to Man City from Swansea in the summer of 2012, it would be an understatement to say that Sinclair was out of favour at the Etihad. The transfer itself was confusing enough, but the fact a new signing with such promise was barely given a run out left many a football fan puzzled and the former Chelsea winger frustrated.
Well aware of the Team GB representative’s frustration, the blue side of Manchester agreed to consider a loan deal, encouraging several clubs to enter the race. Everton, Liverpool and Newcastle all disclosed interest but it was the Baggies of West Brom who bagged the speedy youngster for the year.
Nevertheless, just like the others listed and exposed above, Scott has not been able to fit the bill yet either.
To sum up, although Newcastle were unable to secure as many new signings as they had hoped, things aren’t all doom and gloom for the club and most of their targets can’t perform and the striker they did manage to lure in is, unlike Wilfried Bony, in prolific form.
What do you think? DId we miss out by not taking a risk on these players?