NUFC Transfers – what comes after Isak?

It looks as though Alexander Isak is all but a done deal for NUFC, pending official announcement from the club. Fan footage from outside the training ground seemed to show the Swede training with his new teammates this morning, so it looks as though that one’s all done and dusted. It now begs the question; what’s next? Who, if anyone, will come through the door next at NUFC?

What do NUFC need?

The loss of Jonjo Shelvey for the first half of the season would suggest that a central midfield option is a likely target. So far this campaign, Bruno Guimaraes has been playing in the holding role as opposed to the box-to-box traditional ‘eight’ role he played in last season. While he’s been very good so far, he isn’t able to impact the game as much in an offensive manner as he was last term.

So, in order to allow him to be able to go back to the way he was playing last season, it would seem logical that NUFC should target a holding midfielder. Someone like Manu Kone of Borussia Mönchengladbach, who was linked earlier this week. However, all the noise in the domestic press this week seems to suggest that Conor Gallagher of Chelsea is the top midfield target. While I think he’d be a great addition, it would mean that Bruno would continue in the holding role. At least until Shelvey is back. Not the end of the world, but personally I’d like to see him back in his more natural eight role.

Manu Kone of Borussia Mönchengladbach has been linked with a move to NUFC in this window

Elsewhere, a winger has been on the radar all window long. The likes of Christian Pulisic have been linked, as has João Pedro of Watford. Pedro is not necessarily an out-and-out wide player, but definitely wouldn’t look out of place there. Pulisic however, would fill that slot very nicely. Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie showed against Tranmere during the week that they probably aren’t at the required level, so reinforcements are absolutely necessary in that area of the pitch.

Who will we bring in?

I do still think we can expect one or two new arrivals after Isak, but I would imagine the NUFC hierarchy will be prioritising loan deals having spent a club record £60m on the Swedish striker. Pulisic doesn’t seem likely to happen, unless something changes at Chelsea and they bring in another forward player. It looks as though they could sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang soon, which may open things up but at this moment in time, it feels unlikely.

Chelsea star Christian Pulisic is another who has been linked with a move to the north east this window, but it feels rather unlikely now

João Pedro was set to happen according to some reporters earlier in the week but as of last night, Luke Edwards reported that the deal won’t happen “in this window”. That is a shame but, not entirely unexpected given the size of the fee being spent on Isak.

Personally, I can see Conor Gallagher following Isak through the door. I’m not sure if we will end up getting a wide option in to follow him but fingers crossed for another surprise. The last week of the window in January saw things hot up quite a lot, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same thing happen again.

Another thing to note from January is that the three late deals all came following NUFC’s trip to Saudi, wherein the board met with the chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan. Well, guess who was at the NUFC v Manchester City thriller last weekend…

Don’t for a second think that the chairman’s presence on Tyneside and the sudden movement in the transfer market aren’t connected. It’s very clear to see who the controlling power at NUFC is when the boss is in town. Hey, if Yasir’s visits lead to this level of investment then here’s hoping he visits Tyneside a little more often.

To read my last article analysing Alex Isak and what he could bring to Tyneside, visit here.

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