These signings from Leicester City and Newcastle United tell us so much that we can’t wait …
Leicester City and Newcastle United continue their long-distance relationship.
At least that is for Newcastle United fans, who keep an eye on Leicester City as the club the Magpies could / should have been.
The Premier League champions in 2015/16, the last eight in the Champions League the following season, are now fifth successive places that Leicester City fans have viewed as a complete failure.
No, honestly. 2019/20 and 2020/21 appear to be in the top four in the Champions League, but just fail to carve out a spot for themselves. Many Leicester fans angry and disgusted that they have to be content with winning the FA Cup this past season and have nothing but Europa League football to look forward to in the coming season.
Add to that their new state-of-the-art £ 95million training complex which was also completed and opened in 2021 and is it any wonder Newcastle United fans try to remember exactly what they are have done to upset the gods of football so badly?
The summer 2021 transfer window is now almost a month old and these signings from Leicester City and Newcastle United tell us so much that we look forward to the new season …
Let me take you back to the end of the January 2020 transfer window … but first, we’re starting in 2019.
Lee Charnley asked why Mike Ashley failed at Newcastle United’s state-of-the-art new training ground, which Ashley had announced in 2013 would be built as soon as possible, as it was essential for Newcastle to compete in the future and attract quality players.
Lee Charnley April 18, 2019 – as reported by Martin hardy (one of many selected journalists invited to speak to Lee Charnley):
“We are looking at a training ground construction project that will potentially cost between £ 15-20million.
“If you asked me now, do I think we are better served by spending this on a new training facility or spending it to improve the team, now, today in the short term, I think money is better spent on the team.
“In my experience, did a player turn around and say I wasn’t signing for Newcastle United because of your training facilities? No. Has it kept us from being promoted out of the league, has it kept us from finishing tenth, has it kept us from having a good season this season? No.
“Is this something at some point in the future, if we could and it was the right time to spend the money, we would look to improve?” Yes.”
Lee Charnley quotes in The Chronicle – August 14, 2019:
“It’s about priorities.
“There is a pot of money. Where is the greatest need? Right now it’s on the ground.
“It’s not unreasonable, the prize pool can only go up to a certain point.
“You’re going to spend it on the training ground, that means there is less for the team to spend.
“Spend it on the Academy, there is less to spend on the team.
“Spending too much on salaries, there is less to spend on the team.
“That’s not to say that we don’t spend in all of these areas, because we do, but our point of view at this point has been the top priority is what’s happening on the ground.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t want to modernize the training ground.
“Does that mean that at some point we would like to update the training ground? Absolutely yes.
“It’s about priorities. This does not prevent us from doing what we have to do on a daily basis.
“Our pitches are very good, our gym is perfectly adequate and functional.
“Do we have a swimming pool or aquatic facilities? No.
“Would we like to have it at some point?” Absolutely.”
We go to February 1, 2020 and this report from the Mag after a few bizarre days:
At Steve Bruce’s press conference on Friday, he surprisingly / bizarrely announced that Newcastle are on the verge of potentially breaking their transfer record for the third time in 12 months.
The NUFC head coach said that on Thursday, January 23, Newcastle United accepted an offer for a mysterious midfielder who could have shattered the alleged £ 40million (£ 43million according to Mike Ashley) who had been spent on Joelinton. Only for the player himself to refuse the blow.
Steve Bruce told the media that it is up to the media to determine for themselves who this mysterious (invented?) Player is.
Very quickly, Sky Sports proposed Boubakary Soumare.
For a club that didn’t buy anyone in January, especially a much needed striker / goalscorer, that was a little hard to believe.
However, L’Equipe revealed why Boubakary Soumaré did not sign …
We wonder why?
Only seven years and more since Mike Ashley in 2013 pledged to build a new state-of-the-art training complex, something he said was essential if Newcastle United could compete and attract the best players…
Steve Bruce speaking to print journalists – February 1, 2020:
“We were close but we couldn’t cross the line (Boubakary Soumare signing).
“We had an offer accepted by the club but the player wanted to stay where he was.
“A big disappointment, he was a midfielder and our number one target.”
Steve Bruce talks to Air sports:
“(an offer) Which would have almost led us to our transfer record (Joelinton).
“Eight days ago (January 23) we had it accepted by the club, unfortunately the player wanted to stay (where he is).
“So you know, we were active.
“We were really very active.
“It didn’t quite happen.
“So we’ll just have to wait and see what we can do in the summer …”
Back to the present day (Sunday July 4, 2021) and this the 26th day of the summer transfer window 2021 …
Leicester City followed the £ 22million signing of Patson Daka from RB Salzburg, with the £ 17million purchase of Boubakary Soumare from Lille.
Two Leicester City signings for less than the cost of a Joelinton, two promising 22-year-olds who don’t appear to have been put off by Leicester’s brand new £ 95million training complex, unlike that of Newcastle United (at least in Soumare’s case) legendary and will never be built (at least as long as Mike Ashley owns NUFC) £ 15million / £ 20million of ‘peak’ effort.
Patson Daka, 22, has just scored 51 goals in the last two seasons in the Austrian league in 42 starts (and 17 under-appearances), compared to Joelinton who has scored 15 goals in 45 starts (plus 15 under-appearances) in the during his two seasons in the Austrian league, before signing for Newcastle for £ 40million / £ 43million.
As for Boubakary Soumare, another 22-year-old, the 6-foot-2 central midfielder made 32 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille last season as they surprisingly shattered PSG’s dominance over French football.
This is Newcastle United’s peak under Mike Ashley, just 17 months ago the NUFC reportedly offered to pay around £ 40million for a 20-year-old Soumare, rivaling the transfer fee paid for Joelinton a bit more six months earlier …
Now, in July 2021, the Newcastle United squad return to begin pre-season preparations tomorrow (Monday July 5) without a single new signing and numerous reports that the transfer kit for the NUFC this summer is virtually non-existent. . Mike Ashley insisting no transfer fees are paid for regular midfielder Mario Lemina because he turns 28 in September, while £ 1million offer for Wolves defender 21-year-old was dismissed.
Two weeks before Newcastle United’s first friendlies and six weeks before the start of the Premier League season, not a single new signing and apparently no chance of making a credible one.
Then you have idiots like Leicester City who have already spent around £ 40million on two promising 22-year-olds as they try to move up from fifth to fourth or higher in the coming season.
All this as Newcastle United fans face another season wondering if those fingers clinging to a Premier League place will be able to hold up for much longer.
As it stands, no chance Joe Willock will be signed on permanently and full confidence in Callum Wilson as the only reliable goalscorer, if he can stay fit and stay fit.
The above is the story of two clubs and two fanbases looking in very different directions.
As a footnote, Leicester City played League 1 football just 12 years ago (2009) and league football seven years ago (2014).
So much has changed at Leicester City in the past 12 years, while in Mike Ashley’s last 14 years so little has changed.
As Lee Charnley points out, it is obviously quite unrealistic for Mike Ashley to allow money to be spent on a swimming pool / hydrotherapy facilities in almost a decade and a half, who do you think he is, a multibillionaire …?