Dan Ashworth has revealed that we’ll only recruit this month if the ‘right opportunity comes along’, with high ‘potential’ youngsters also on the agenda as it’s not ‘sustainable’ to constantly buy star players.
Speaking on Sky Sports prior to last night’s 2-0 win over Leicester, our technical director was very clear on how we will look to build our academy as well as our first-team squad for the long-term future.
Newcastle have spent over £200m in the last two windows and FFP is clearly restricting us this month, but it seems January signings could still arrive if the right opportunity presents itself.
The 51-year-old is keen to bring in more players like Garang Kuol who will not add to the 25-man squad, but have bundles of potential and can grow through the academy and into the first-team.
Here’s what Ashworth had to say on our policy, followed footage of his response live on Sky Sports:
“You get two opportunities a season to change your squad, it would be remiss of us not to try and look and do something, but we’re clear on what we want to do in the summer – if the right player comes along then we’d look at it.
“The second part of our strategy is looking at emerging talents that sit outside of the 25-man squad. We’ve just signed Garang Kuol for example, so we’re always looking for those sorts of players as well.”
“We’ve got to give them a story and a plan about how they’ve got a possibility of playing for this great club. Most of the time that’s about pathways, so it’s about can they get into the first-team and what can we do to help them.
“Ultimately it’s not sustainable for us to keep buying here and now players, we have to buy some potential and just try and invest and upgrade that so Eddie’s got a nice problem to have.”
After years and years of neglect, it’s great to see a man of Ashworth’s expertise in such a key role and refreshing that the academy will be a big focus for this new regime.
As for first team signings, it seems the bulk of our business may be done this summer, although it’s clear the club are working away to bring youngsters with huge potential to St James’ Park.