Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has insisted that his side’s takeover does not mean they can suddenly splash the cash to improve their squad.
This season’s January window will prove pivotal for the Magpies as they look to stay in the Premier League. Indeed, dropping down to the Championship would prove a major setback for their new regime.
Newcastle worked tirelessly before the window opened to ensure a smooth process for signing their targets. That worked to good effect initially, with Kieran Trippier arriving not long into the month.
The Magpies also swiftly activated striker Chris Wood’s release clause at Burnley. Both players subsequently came straight into the team for last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Watford.
As another week in the January window has progressed, talks over a deal for Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos have continued. Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is also supposedly a key target.
However, Howe has insisted that Newcastle have had a “frustrating” week, with no new signings over the line.
“It’s been frustrating in the transfer market,” the manager told a press conference. “We know we are against a deadline and we’re desperately trying to improve the squad.
“We’re working very hard behind the scenes. It has been a fruitless search this week.”
Howe added that there is a “difficult combination” creating a perfect storm in hampering Newcastle’s transfer chances.
Coronavirus concerns are playing a key role, with clubs reluctant to lose players through fear of an outbreak and a subsequent lack of options.
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Howe added: “I am sure the takeover has elevated people’s expectations on what Newcastle can pay other clubs.
“And add that all together it’s been a very difficult window for everybody so far. More so when you are in our position and you are keen to change the dynamics of certain situations. It’s been very difficult.”
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Newcastle are primarily after a new centre-back who can stabilise their defence.
The Magpies frailty at the back showed again against Watford as they failed to keep hold of a 1-0 lead. Indeed, that saw their tally of Premier League points dropped from winning positions this season go into the twenties.
On the characteristics he is looking for, Howe said: “Positivity, leadership, winning mentality – you have to try and bring those types of characters into the group.
“If you’re bringing the opposite to that, the dynamics of the group can change in a negative way…they have to be the right new players.”
Howe was speaking ahead of Newcastle’s Premier League clash against Leeds United on Saturday.
Dejphon Chansiri provides insight to Sheffield Wednesday’s summer transfer plans
With expectation levels expected to mount once the new League One season gets underway, Darren Moore will be hoping it is second-time lucky with Sheffield Wednesday in the third tier.
The Owls were defeated in their semi-finals of the play-offs, with Sunderland progressing to the final, before eventually succeeding at Wembley.
With the summer transfer window right around the corner, the recruitment at Hillsborough will be well underway, with those at the club likely to be monitoring several different markets.
Owner Dejphon Chansiri has provided an insight into the club’s recruitment plan, suggesting that the UK market is not the sole option, telling Yorkshire Live: “Our approach is the same every season. We look in the UK market first before looking at options abroad.
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“We look to see who is available and will fit in with the team, it depends what we need. We will try to bring in the best players whether they are permanent or on loan.”
The Owls will be looking to strengthen to ensure that they avoid the lottery that is the play-offs, with three of the last seasons ending with play-off heartbreak.
Possessing a strong core to the squad, Moore will be hoping to keep some of his more integral first-teamers, with the likes of Barry Bannan, Lee Gregory and Josh Windass likely to attract attention.
Prioritising recruiting in the UK first, if the Owls still seek further additions, then it appears that they will cast their eyes elsewhere.
It remains to be seen if it will come to that as Wednesday prepare for another campaign in League One, and naturally, fans will be setting their sights on the top two.
“I made that decision quickly” – Former West Brom striker explains Hawthorns exit
Immediately adapting well after relegation from the Premier League, West Brom saw their 2021/22 Championship campaign take a turn for the worse.
With Valerien Ismael unable to regain form, the former Barnsley boss was shown the exit door in February and Steve Bruce was tasked with shifting momentum.
However, the season ended with mid-table mediocrity, in the form of a 10th-placed finish, with the Baggies only securing a top-half finish on the final day of the campaign.
One person who saw their fall coming during the campaign was former Albion striker Hal Robson-Kanu, who told the Express & Star why he did not carry on with the Midlands club: “I didn’t agree with the direction the club was going in.
“If I was staying there had to be a long-term vision, a project. I didn’t want to be in a place where we were languishing in mid-table in the Championship.
“I think coming down from the Premier League, you have got to be fighting to go straight back up.
“You have got to have the right structure in place.
“But some of the decisions that were being made and what was being done behind the scenes, I personally didn’t agree with so I felt it was the right time to move on.
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“I made that decision quickly, a lot earlier than when it was released.
“The club put out the retained and released list but I told them a month before that I wouldn’t be staying on.
“Looking at the club now – it’s not the vision I have for the club. It should be competing as a minimum in the top two and trying to cement itself in the Premier League. Fingers crossed they can get back to a better vision and execute it.”
Starting fresh, West Brom will be hoping that they can steady the ship with Bruce having a full summer in charge, and perhaps this is the kind of set up Robson-Kanu would have placed more faith in.
Expectations levels will once again rise as the summer transfer window gets underway, with automatic promotion set to be the collective objective at The Hawthorns.
The appointment of Valerien Ismael was a risk that did not pay off, with Bruce a manager with excellent knowledge of the top-end of the Championship, knowing what is required to mount a promotion push.
The summer is now vitally important for Bruce and his West Brom side, ahead of what is a massive season for the Midlands club.