Michael Owen delivered his verdict on Newcastle United ahead of the new Premier League season and ends up barking up the wrong tree.
The former Magpies forward shared that he thought Newcastle would avoid relegation as he thought they would finish 15th.
Owen explained his prediction by claiming that Steve Bruce’s side had flexed their muscles in the transfer market by signing Joelinton for £40million, as per BBC Sport, and as a result, had made a statement to their supporters by breaking their transfer record.
“Newcastle flexed their muscles in the transfer window by signing Brazilian Joelinton from Hoffenheim last week and the hope is that manager Steve Bruce will be given more resources in the final week of the transfer window,” wrote Owen for BetVictor.
“It has been another difficult summer at St James’ Park but breaking their transfer record does make a statement to their supporters and I hope there are more quality arrivals to follow.”
Owen implies that the Magpies have made a positive statement by breaking their transfer record, but in saying that he is clearly missing the point.
While it is a positive sign the Magpies have broken their transfer record, it’s not much of a statement considering they sold Ayoze Perez for £30million, as stated by the BBC, earlier this summer.
The 25-year-old attacker, who was the Magpies’ top scorer in their 2018/19 campaign with 12 goals, was a big loss to the club and it’s clear the funds from his sale, cover all but £10million of the price paid for Joelinton.
Considering the Magpies have followed up on signing Joelinton by recruiting two young players who were free agents in the form of Kyle Scott and Jake Turner, as confirmed by Newcastle’s website, what statement have they actually made?
Granted there is still time left for the Magpies to make more signings in this window, but when you consider Perez’s sale and that the Magpies haven’t exactly been flexing their transfer muscles for a while, they were £21million in the green after player arrivals and departures last summer (Source: Sky Sports), it’s hard to envision them doing enough to make a “statement” as Owen puts it.
Also when you consider that Owen believes Newcastle will finish 15th, it surely implies the club are not making enough of a statement to fans?
After all the Magpies finished 13th last season, five points clear of fifth-placed Burnley, and 10th the season before; so surely predicting them to have their worst finish over the last three seasons doesn’t help Owen make his case.