The words Mike Ashley and transfer window don’t usually go hand in hand at Newcastle United, but this season has seen change at St James’ Park.
Ashley hasn’t exactly splashed the cash during his time in charge of the Magpies, something which has put him out of favour with many managers and more importantly the fans.
At the beginning of last season, Newcastle’s record-signing was still from 2005, when Ashley sanctioned the £16million signing of Michael Owen. What also frustrated the Magpies fans was the fact that their club actually finished last summer £21million in profit – with Sky Sports revealing that the club had only spent an eight-figure sum 11 times since they signed club hero Alan Shearer in 1996.
Rafael Benitez was eventually allowed to break that record in January, when the Magpies completed the signing of Miguel Almiron, with the Guardian reporting that the club spent £21million to complete that deal.
The Spaniard couldn’t take much more of Ashley it seemed and decided to leave the club once his contract ran out at the end of June, leaving Steve Bruce to take the reigns.
It has been revealed by the Chronicle that Bruce gave the green light to a new transfer strategy after taking charge at St James’ Park, which would see Ashley pay transfer fees in full rather than instalments as well as giving young signings long-term deals, in the hope, it would free up a bigger budget in the future.
Newcastle are clearly reaping the benefits of that decision, with Bruce already smashing the club’s record-signing by almost double in the form of Joelinton and also adding Allan Saint-Maximin to his squad.
Those deals alone prove that Newcastle are only reaping the benefits of a change in transfer strategy with Benitez surely left scratching his head at why Bruce has already smashed the transfer record.