Andy Townsend says players go backwards after signing for Newcastle

St James Park

Andy Townsend is critical of player development at Newcastle United.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Andy Townsend has claimed that Newcastle United have an issue with players they sign, as they all move backwards rather than develop into better players whilst at St James' Park.

Townsend said: “One thing with Newcastle for me is they seem to sign a lot of players who don’t seem to kick on. When I watch them, I see players who can come into the club to have an impact. They tend to have an impact for a year, and then they go backwards. For me, they don’t seem to kick on and find that next gear, that next level.”

This is an understandable criticism, given that Newcastle have a squad of highly rated signings who fail to perform at a top level on a consistent basis.

The likes of Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic have all arrived with big reputations, but fail to show their talent week-in-week-out.

They have flashes of brilliance, but never develop to perform more regularly, and that is poor for players who arrive for multi-million pound fees.

However, Townsend believes this is not the fault of the players, but actually Newcastle as a club ruining the players they bring to St James’ Park.

They move backwards, rather than forwards, in their development, and this prevents the club from growing and pushing further up the Premier League table.

It is hard to understand why this is the case, because they are playing in a top division, generally under technically gifted managers, but the players do not live up to their potential.

If the Magpies are ever to grow and live up to the actual talent in their squad, the players need to start progressing forward with their development, rather than moving backwards as has been the case for too long.

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