Newcastle Scoop Anita- Sunderland Sign Saha – A Tale of 2 Transfer Policies

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Newcastle today signed Vurnon Anita for £6.6 M, whilst Sunderland picked up Louis Saha on a free transfer.

Both clubs signings represent their differing transfer policies with Newcastle looking to the future with a 23 year old from Ajax’s renowned youth academy, whilst their bitter rivals have signed a very talented 34 year old who scores goals, when fully fit. Newcastle fans won’t need to be reminded of what an impact Saha can make when at a new a club, the 5-1 defeat at White Hart Lane where Saha grabbed a brace proved just that. However after his debut he only went on to score more goal for Spurs and spent the remainder of his time on the sidelines.

Martin Oneil has today spoken about his new signing-

“I’m sure he will be a great addition to our squad in an area we recognise needs strengthening and I’m delighted we have been able to complete the deal ahead of our first game of the season.”

Newcastle on the other hand have signed the promising Dutch star Anita who has 3 caps for his country.  He is entering his prime years and represents good value at just £6.6 M. In fact all of Newcastle’s signings represent good value these days, Yohan Cabaye cost a mere £4.5 M whilst Cheick Tiote cost £3.5 M. Liverpool’s £15 M signing of Joe Allen only highlights Newcastle’s thriftiness as :Anita; Cabaye and Tiote in total cost less than the former Swansea man.

Alan Pardew had this to say about Anita-

“Ajax are a fantastic club and to take a player out of there is difficult, especially one of their better players. So I thank Mike (Ashley) and the board for getting that over the line, because we needed an extra player.

“He has strengthened us. We lost Danny Guthrie on a free transfer and at this level you need three top class central midfield players, which we now have. That is mainly where he will play.”

Sunderland’s’ other summer signing is 30 year old Carlos Cuellar whereas Newcastle have signed youngsters Romain Amalfitano, Gael Bigirimana and Curtis Good. The differences in the clubs transfer policies are clear to see and it’s fair to say that Newcastle have done some fantastic business recently whilst Sunderland have signed high profile ageing stars such as Wes Brown and John O’shea. Saha’s signing also begs the question whether Conor Wickham will get a chance next season with the talented youngster finding first team starts hard to come from at the Stadium of Light.

In a twist of irony Saha was on Newcastle’s’ books as a teenager, only to be released on a free. Years later he went on to sign for Manchester United for 12.8 M from Fulham and become a proven Premier League striker. Newcastle’s current transfer policy aims to do the exact opposite of this, and don’t be surprised if many other clubs start to follow Newcastle’s step in the transfer market in times of financial regulation and fair play rulings.


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