Newcastle United’s top five transfers of the summer

Jack Beresford reviews and ranks five of the best new arrivals at St James’ Park as Newcastle United look to kick-on from last season in the Premier League.

The transfer window may have only just shut but there are already some Toon fans condemning the club for a lack of action on the final day, with the only major developments being the departures of Hatem Ben Arfa and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

But, with both of those players already deemed surplus to requirements at St James’ Park, the reality is that Newcastle have largely fared well in the transfer window, with a couple of exceptions that could, in time, come back to haunt the club – Alexandre Lacazette being the main example.

Here is a rundown of the five best pieces of business completed by the Magpies over the summer.

5. Emmanuel Riviere - £5m from AS Monaco

He may not be the striker that all Newcastle fans wanted, but Riviere possesses the strength and skill to score goals in the Premier League, having previously impressed in France last season with AS Monaco where he racked up 10 goals in 30 games.

That was something of a breakthrough season for the 24-year-old, who was in danger of failing to live up to the potential that once saw Toulouse splash out €7 million to sign him St Etienne in 2011.

While Facundo Ferreyra represents a loan gamble and Ayoze Perez is relatively untested, Riviere could prove to be the latest Magpies bargain to come out of Ligue 1.

4. Remy Cabella - £8m from Montpellier

A long-time target for the Magpies, Cabella finally signed for the Toon after a protracted transfer saga. Called up to Les Bleus squad for the World Cup, the 24-year-old looks a major talent with a passing range and versatility in midfield that could prove a major asset to Newcastle’s season.

Lower down in the list because of the significant transfer fee attached to the player (a price boosted further by the World Cup) Cabella’s eye for a pass is matched by some surprisingly dogged defensive contributions as demonstrated during Montpellier’s title-winning campaign of 2012.

3. Daryl Janmaat - £5m from Feyenoord

Ahead of Cabella thanks to his World Cup contributions and price, Janmaat was previously linked with a move to Manchester United and Newcastle should be commended for getting the 25-year-old in over the summer, after clubs around the globe watched him star in Holland’s 5-1 win over Spain.

Louis van Gaal could rue the day he failed to pursue a deal for the defender, who demonstrated a consistency, tackling ability and passing range at Feyenoord that means the Magpies have sold Debuchy and brought in a better replacement at a profit. He’s also capable of getting a goal or two.

2. Jack Colback – Free from Sunderland

A key component of Sunderland’s escape from relegation last season, his worth to the Black Cats was best demonstrated by Gustavo Poyet’s willingness to continue playing the 24-year-old week-in, week-out, even after he refused to sign a new deal at the Stadium of Light.

Capable of playing as either a central midfielder or in a deeper, more defensive role, Roy Hodgson was mocked for describing him as a ginger Pirlo, but the midfielder could yet prove to be the kind of midfield linchpin Newcastle need. Add to that the fact he came to the club on a free transfer from their arch-rivals and this could be a deal to delight the Toon for years to come.

1. Siem de Jong - £6m from Ajax

When the news first broke that Newcastle were set to bring in de Jong, many a Newcastle fan feared the worst, thinking misfit Monchengladbach striker Luuk had returned on a permanent basis. Instead, the former captain of an Ajax side that had just won their fourth straight title arrived.

Capable of playing in an attacking midfield role or striker, de Jong oozes class and after hitting double figures for goals in four of the last five seasons at Amsterdam, he brings a midfield goal threat that has been missing since Yohan Cabaye’s departure.

More importantly still, de Jong is a leader and someone who can take hold of a game and show the kind of fight lacking at the back end of last season. The best deal of the summer at St James’ Park.

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