Newcastle United Club Focus – Deadline day disappointment for Magpies

Newcastle failed to bolster their ranks on the final day of the summer transfer window despite the need for a new striker. The lack of activity is likely to anger fans who have been crying out for a new forward since the departure of Andy Carroll seven months ago. The biggest positive came on Monday when Inter Milan defender Davide Santon moved to England on a five year deal. Goalkeeper Rob Elliot has also joined from Charlton to provide depth between the posts. But with many of their rivals having strengthened significantly in the summer, there is a feeling that Newcastle are under-par going into the rest of 2011.

The Magpies will have to rely on Leon Best, Demba Ba, Peter Lovenkrands and the Ameobi brothers for goals until January at the earliest. The hope must be that at least one of these players will come good and help the club maintain their strong start to the new season. Alan Pardew’s search for a new striker has centred on the French marker with bids for Gervinho, Kevin Gameiro, Melvut Erdinic and Modibo Maiga all proving to be unsuccessful.

On deadline day all hopes appeared to be pinned on hijacking Bryan Ruiz’s proposed move to Fulham. An offer for over £10 million had been made for the Costa Rica international with a helicopter on standby if needed. Despite claims that all efforts have been made to bring in a striker the final day of the window seemed to lack coordination and a back-up plan. A move was also made for Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell but it failed to beat the cut-off point.

The signing of Davide Santon has at least captured the supporter’s imagination with the full back representing something of a transfer coup. Santon is capable of playing at either right or left back but it is in the latter position he is most likely to start following the departure of Jose Enrique. The 20-year-old has already been capped seven times by the Italian national team and made his debut at Inter Milan as an 18-year-old. Santon joins a defence that has so far conceded only one league goal all season. Pardew said of the defender: “He’s a player that I knew about and somebody who I thought would be a great acquisition for this football club. I decided when it became accessible to us that we should not hesitate to go for him. He has been the Italian Under 21 captain and everybody thinks he is going to be a very good player.

Pardew has been charged by the Football Association with improper conduct following comments made in the media in the build up to the Sunderland game. The 50-year-old queried how referee Howard Webb would handle former player Joey Barton and whether he would single him out for special treatment. Pardew has until 4pm on the 5th September to answer the charge.

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