Former Newcastle stopper Harper believes Mike Ashley needs to alter the club’s transfer policy.
Speaking to talkSPORT (aired at 08:55), former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has discussed the Magpies’ current fortunes, suggesting that Mike Ashley needs to alter the club’s transfer policy if they are to have any Premier League success.
Harper, who played 199 times for the Magpies, said: “He [Ashley] has spent the money, but when you’re buying, admittedly talented, younger players from abroad looking at that sell-on value then there is always the thing that they will take time to bed into the Premier League. The policy needs to just be amended so that they buy some players who are really hardened and can come in and hit the ground running, who have that street wise element you need in the Premier League.”
Newcastle have turned into a selling club under Ashley’s ownership, looking to sign young and cheap players from abroad before selling them on for a large profit a few years down the lane.
This worked well early in Ashley’s tenure, when the Magpies could pick the best talents from certain foreign markets ahead of other Premier League sides, and reap the on-pitch effects.
However, this policy has taken a nosedive in recent years, with the Tyneside club unable to repeat these feats, and ultimately bringing in a worse quality of player.
This has cost on pitch results, and after the near miss of relegation last season, this campaign looks to be heading in a similar direction.
The summer transfer window saw Steve McClaren once again look abroad for signings, bringing in players from the Dutch league, the French league and the Belgian league, meaning that the current Newcastle squad is lacking in the ‘street wise’ knowledge of the Premier League, as Harper calls it.
The Tyneside outfit have no one in their squad with the game management to win a Premier League tie, having few players available who are veterans of the division.
Harper wants to see this change in the coming months, ahead of the January transfer window, meaning that McClaren can follow a new policy of signing Premier League ready players to lead the Magpies out of trouble.
Ashley may have to spend more to bring in these type of players, but it is the least he can do considering the money he has saved in recent years by seeing through his previous transfer policy.