Interestingly, however, the past seven Newcastle managers joined the club as unattached entities (Carver, Pardew, Hughton, Shearer, Kinnear, Keegan, Pearson). In fact, stretching back to 2007, Sam Allardyce was the last manager to have left a club in order to join Newcastle – although there was a two week gap between his leaving Bolton and joining Newcastle, it is widely believed that Newcastle had made an approach for him during Pearson’s tenure as caretaker manager.
Quite often, when managers move from one club to another, they exercise their right to bring in players who had proved key at their former club. In the case of Allardyce, Abdoulaye Faye followed him from the Reebok – an inspired signing…
One of the most poignant example that springs to mind, however, is Roberto Martinez at Everton. Having made the transition from Wigan to Everton in May 2013, he delved into the roster of his former club, bringing in, not one but three players fresh off a campaign that had seen Wigan relegated under Martinez: Arouna Kone, Joel Robles and Antolin Alcaraz.
If McClaren were to sign on with Newcastle, it is very possible that he will endeavour to bring a number of his Derby County players with him. And having followed their promotion-push side this year, that may well be a good thing.
With this in mind, I have had a look at Derby County’s best players, those who could possibly make a move up north, provided that McClaren were to make the switch at the end of the season.
First up, the most well-regarded played on the list, Will Hughes. The 19-year-old midfielder has come on leaps and bounds since breaking into the first team in 2012/13.
Very few of his Championship counter-parts are as technically gifted as the Surrey born 19-year-old, and even though Hughes remains very much a raw talent in need of further development, he is soon becoming known as one of England’s most exciting prospects.
Despite signing a new four-year-deal with Derby over the Summer, he may well be tempted to follow the manager who has been so influential in his maturation over the past year.
Newcastle may well be put off by his price tag, however. Unlikely to be let go for anything less than £10m, he may well be out of our price range. However, with Ashely supposedly ready to invest heavily this Summer, willing to provide as much as £60m for the new manager according to some news outlets, he could well be earmarked as a marquee signing.
With six goals and six assists this season from the centre of midfield, Hendrick has been turning the heads of Premier League scouts this year. Originally from Dublin, he joined the Derby County youth set up at the age of 16, and made his first-team debut just two years later. And since his first-team breakthrough he has become a staple component of McClaren’s domineering midfield.
Impressive performances over the past two years have seen him embed himself as a regular in the Republic of Ireland set-up, representing them on 10 occasions. As a result of his impressive performances, he was recently named the FAI International Young Player of the Year.
Whether Hendrick can make the step-up to the Premier League is another question. But with Cheik Tiote and Sissoko supposedly on their way out this Summer, we may well be looking for midfield reinforcements.
The Scotland international striker, Chris Martin, is Derby’s top scorer and has been an integral part of their successful campaign this year. Since joining Derby from Norwich in 2013, Martin has a scoring rate of one in every two, with 36 goals in 72 games, 19 of which have come this season alone (31 games).
With Newcastle potentially having to rely on 18 year-old prospect, Adam Armstrong, as a source of goals in the closing eight games of the season, it is clear that we are in serious need of experienced fire-power up top this Summer. Although Martin should never be viewed as the long-awaited number 9 scoring-sensation that the fans are desperate to see arrive, he would be a decent squad player, and would cost relatively little.
In spite of being just 23 years of age, Tom Ince has become a bit of a nomad in English football.
After two-and-a-half successful seasons at Blackpool, Ince moved on loan to Palace in January 2014, before joining Hull in the summer. He has played most of his football this season away from Hull, however, with loan spells at Forest and Derby affording him the chance to be involved regularly.
However, since his move to the iPro Stadium, he has notched an impressive seven goals in 12 games and has picked up four man of the match awards in the process.
There is no doubt that Ince’s top-flight history is one of thwarted ambition – three starts on loan at Crystal Palace last term, then three more under Steve Bruce, his father’s old Manchester United team-mate, at Hull.
However, Steve McClaren seems to have finally got the best out of the young star at Derby and, under his potential guidance at Newcastle, Ince may finally realise his dreams of becoming a Premier League regular.
Obviously, all of this relies on the hypothetical eventuality of Steve McClaren joining Newcastle. Though it is still unclear if Newcastle view him as the leading candidate for the job, if national news outlets are to be believed, he will become Newcastle manager this Summer.
It can certainly be argued that McClaren still has his critics in the game. Many of these critics may well be on the terraces of St James’ Park. Unfortunately for the 53-year-old, this is one problem he may struggle to overcome.
However, aside from the possible criticism, everything that McClaren has done in his career represents everything Newcastle need from a manager right now – energy, drive, attacking football and above anything else – honesty.
He is the only British manager of his experience that has managed to adapt his philosophy throughout his career to such a level that his current Derby side are regarded as one of the most attacking teams in the football league.
There is no doubt that he’s done an excellent job at Derby. And if he does come to Newcastle, any one of these players could be joining him as well.
Firstly, do you think Steve McClaren would be a good fit at Newcastle? And if so, would you want to see any of these players joining him at St. James’ Park?