Pardew ready to make squad his own

by Martin Lindsay

Monday, June 6th, 2011
 

After a final day draw against West Bromwich Albion clinched Newcastle a 12th place Premier League finish, manager Alan Pardew has wasted no time in putting his summer plans into action.

In what could be an interesting end of season on Tyneside, Pardew has already begun to attempt to mould his squad to his liking, after having little chance to do so in the January window following his arrival in December.

With little in the way of confirmed signings to arrive at St James’ Park as yet, it seems it is only a matter of time before the first of a possible few are added to Pardew’s squad.

It’s a known fact that no ‘big names’ will even be considered, with the philosophy of buying young, reasonably priced talent looking set to continue. Newcastle will not be held to ransom over any targets, with it clear that the Magpies paying over the odds for players is very much a thing of the past.

Lille pair Gervinho and Johan Cabaye, 25, are two names continuously linked with moves to the North East, with the BBC reporting that the latter has confirmed he would be joining Newcastle this summer.

It’s reported that French international midfielder Cabaye is set to join the Magpies in a £4.3m deal, however it still remains unclear if any negotiations between club and player have taken place.

Forward Gervinho, who has netted 25 in 54 Lille appearances, is a player who would command a greater fee than Cabaye. At the age of 24 he is a player full of potential, so despite his approximate £10m price tag this will be a deal that tempts Newcastle, with future profit very much in mind.

Two names I imagine that many Newcastle fans will no little about, however I’m sure too many weren’t overly familiar with Cheik Tiote before his arrival last season. Tiote, an international team-mate of Gervinho with the Ivory Coast, has been a revelation on Tyneside this season, after joining from FC Twente in August.

This early transfer activity will please the Magpies faithful, but until signatures are on dotted lines fans will nervously wait on.

Another story circulating the North East is the expected departure of 20 year old striker Nile Ranger. It’s been reported that the former Southampton youngster has been transfer listed with his services deemed surplus to requirements, despite only signing a five year deal last year.

This is another step for Pardew to put his stamp on his squad and it comes as little surprise that Ranger is the first to be shown the door. A player who offers little on the pitch and lacks as a professional off it, it was only a matter of time before this young man was given his marching orders.

Given the lack of depth in Pardew’s squad it is unlikely there will be any more told to find new employers, but Newcastle fans will be nervously waiting to hear of any news on rumours regarding the likes of Jose Enrique and Joey Barton.

With newspapers linking Enrique to Liverpool, and the news of Barton’s contract not being renewed, this could prove to be a cruel summer for the Geordie faithful if the club choose to cash in on their prize assets.

After proving they can compete in the top flight again, now is the time for Newcastle to build on last season’s achievements.

Aiming to sign highly rated talent in the form of Gervinho and Cabaye are positive moves, however such recruitments will mean little if Enrique and Barton leave St James’ Park this summer.

Newcastle’s reputation of acting as a selling club will be of concern to the club’s fans, but if the elite of the squad remain on Tyneside to welcome exciting new recruits, the Magpies can build on last season and aim to clinch a top ten Premier League finish.

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