A Window of Opportunity? - 29/12/2002
If thereís a weakness in the Newcastle line up, then I donít think theyíd be many people who would disagree that a strong, experienced, and top quality defender would plug the gap. Jaap Stamís the man Ė and although Bobby Robsonís recently stated that 10 million is too much, for me, itíd be a worthy investment.
Granted, itís a lot of money for player of his age, but on balance, Iíd have no hesitation. In my opinion heíd guarantee Newcastle the 4th spot and Champions League football next season. The riches that come with Europeís elite competition would more than cover the transfer fee Ė itíll also go a long way to boosting the image of the club; helping to attract more players and money through sponsors. The club is on a bit of a roll, the impetus needs to be kept up, and Jaap Stam would be just the player to keep things ticking along. Football people around the world would sit up and take notice, and the supporters would love to see a player of his calibre pulling on the black and white stripes.
Letís face it, heís not the exactly ancient! Playing at centre back means that heís probably looking at around any three to five years at the top. Thatís more than enough to get a return! Stamís experience would also be of great benefit to players such as Aaron Hughes, Titus Bramble, Andy OíBrien and Steve Caldwell (if he stays). Itís a dream signing and if itís at all possible, Iíd break the bank to get him!
Iíve heard that Lazio have just secured a 50 million pound bank loan, if thatís the case, then perhaps the need to balance the books has disappeared Ė who knowís whatís going on in Rome? Looking around the market place, what are the alternatives? Playerís such as Materazzi and Canavaro have been mentioned and then dismissed as being too expensive. Domestically I canít think of any player who is available and could come in and make the impact that Jaap Stam would? Time will tell, but the expected transfer window may be technically open, but in reality I think weíll find that itís only been left ajar. If thereís more than five big signings in the Premiership, then Iíll be surprised! I just hope that atleast one of them involves Newcastle.
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