Newcastle takeover completed
The headline news in the footballing world this month has of course been that Newcastle United now have new owners.
After 14 years of Mike Ashley, Newcastle finally said goodbye to the Sports Direct owner on Thursday.
The Magpies have been bought out by the SAPIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, with an official announcement having arrived on October 7th:
🤝 An investment group led by the Public Investment Fund, and also comprising PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, has completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited from St. James Holdings Limited.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 7, 2021
On the back of this development, it has since been revealed that Newcastle’s new owners boast wealth worth well over 10 times that of Manchester City’s current owners.
It has also been suggested that the Magpies will be able to spend over £200 million over the next three years, without breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
In turn, with Newcastle now seemingly the richest club in world football, it is of course expected that the Geordie outfit will spend big over the coming months.
Though Newcastle now have the richest owners in world football, they are, despite all the memes on social media, obviously not going to be able to bring the caliber of players such as Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
What the Magpies should be able to do, however, is target some of the fringe stars at the bigger Premier League clubs.
Said players were likely out of reach from Newcastle in previous years in part due to the North East outfit’s limited budget and also because, let’s be honest, very few top stars would have left clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United to join Newcastle.
And whilst it could still take a few years before Newcastle are able to truly establish themselves as a top-half Premier League side, a nice hefty wage packet will likely convince some players to make the step down to Newcastle.
With this in mind, here are three Chelsea players Newcastle should target in the January transfer window.
On paper, Ross Barkley seems like the perfect January signing for Newcastle.
The Englishman’s time at Chelsea has been pretty underwhelming and, with 18 months left on his current deal come January, the Blues moving Barkley on over the winter does make sense.
So far this term, the midfielder has amassed just 36 minutes of action for Chelsea across all competitions, suggesting that it probably would not take much for Chelsea to part with him.
From Newcastle’s perspective, meanwhile, they would be getting a Premier League-proven midfielder who would only be 28 at the time of signing – meaning they should get at least three years out of Barkley at his best.
And though he has struggled at Stamford Bridge, Barkley’s loan stint with Aston Villa last term showed he is still very much capable at this level when given a chance.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is in a similar situation to the aforementioned Barkley.
Though he has played more minutes in 2021/22 – 215 across five outings – it is fair to say that Loftus-Cheek is still very much 4th or 5th choice in Chelsea’s midfield pecking order at present.
And with Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher returning to the club next year, it does seem as though the 25-year-old’s opportunity to nail down a regular spot in Chelsea’s midfield has come and gone.
This is not to say that RLC is not someone worth targeting, however, especially for an up-and-coming side like Newcastle.
The Englishman has been hampered by injuries throughout his career, but when fit, his ability to take players on and control play from deep, like he has done on occasion for Chelsea this seaosn, is certainly a positive.
The final Chelsea player Newcastle should look to sign is Hakim Ziyech.
This pick is perhaps the least likely option on the list, but with Ziyech still having failed to become a regular feature at Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel, who knows what could happen if the right offer came in.
The Moroccan has certainly shown patches of quality throughout his Chelsea career, but every time he has put together a decent run of form, it has generally been ended by injury.
And with Ziyech not fitting in to Tuchel’s system too well, perhaps Chelsea could sell Ziyech in January, especially as he is already 28 and likely Chelsea’s least valuable attacking asset.
Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also on the fringes of the Londoners’ attack. But both are significantly younger than Ziyech and CHO is also used as right-wing-back under Tuchel, making him a more important asset at present.