Newcastle fans will have been dreaming of signing the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. Right now they have to settle for Chris Wood.
The club’s financial status changed overnight when the Saudi takeover was completed in October, with the Magpies now understood to be the world’s richest club.
However, their success on the pitch is likely to be far more gradual, demonstrated by their January transfer business with former Burnley man Chris Wood set to be their main striker in the injured Callum Wilson’s absence.
This may be disheartening to the Toon Army. Chelsea’s on and off pitch fortunes changed overnight when Roman Abramovich took control in 2003, as it sparked a crazy summer of multiple high-profile signings at Stamford Bridge.
But there was more scope for rapid progress at Chelsea – they had already qualified for the Champions League and also didn’t have Financial Fair Play to worry about. It’s therefore expected Newcastle’s rise to the top will be more similar to Manchester City’s but probably even more gradual.
When Sheikh Mansour took control of the club in September 2008, it was also announced that City had signed Robinho, pinching him off Chelsea in what was one of the craziest transfers of all time.
However, their first full transfer window under Mansour should serve as a reminder to Newcastle fans that it is a process and the really big names won’t come instantly. And when they do come there’s no guarantee of success.
Newcastle’s first signing under the Saudi ownership was Kieran Trippier, and City’s first signing in their first full transfer window was a full-back in Wayne Bridge.
Bridge did a good job when he arrived but faded out of the team under Roberto Mancini, who signed Aleksandar Kolarov in 2010 and Gael Clichy the summer after.
It was a similar story for Craig Bellamy, who made a positive start to life at the Etihad. But the signings of Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor in the summer of 2009, plus Mancini replacing Mark Hughes as manager saw the Welshman’s City career wind down and he went on loan to Cardiff in August 2010.
Bellamy’s former Newcastle teammate Shay Given also joined in the 2009 winter transfer window but the emergence of Joe Hart saw him lose his place as first choice goalkeeper and Given eventually left for Aston Villa in 2011.
The only player signed in Sheikh Mansour’s first full window who had a noticeable impact on City’s early success was Nigel De Jong, who was a regular starter in their FA Cup and Premier League winning seasons.
There was plenty of trial and error by City en route to the top and De Jong’s success at the club shows the big names aren’t always the answer.
Look at how the likes of Adebayor, Jerome Boateng Roque Santa Cruz and of course Robinho turned out.
Wood’s importance shouldn’t be discounted just yet.
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