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Newcastle bucking the global transfer trend with Premier League spending on the rise

£16m Michael Owen still the Magpies record signing

xxxx of Newcastle United is tackled by xxxx of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 11, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Image: Rafa Benitez expressed his concern about Newcastle's spending in the summer

It has been a week since the transfer window closed with 124 players transferring in to Premier League clubs at a combined cost of £1.24bn - and with the European window still open there could be even more big-money moves to come.

In total, 11 of the 20 Premier League clubs broke their transfer record this summer, while seven more have set a new benchmark over the past two years.

That significant step up in spending has been reflected across football, with the most-expensive world XI transforming since the start of Euro 2016 to how it stands now.



The total cost of that most-expensive world XI has almost doubled, while 10 of the 11 positions have seen an increase.

Neymar's world record move to Paris St-Germain in July 2017 was the catalyst for the spiralling transfer fees that we have seen by Premier League sides this summer.


The average transfer fee for a player in the Premier League this summer has risen to £16m, up from £11m in 2016.

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Bucking the trend, however, are Newcastle.

Their club record transfer fee paid remains the £16m they shelled out to sign Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005.

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Newcastle fans staged a protest against owner Mike Ashley

The Magpies have spent eight-figure sums on 11 players since setting a world record when signing Alan Shearer from Blackburn in 1996.

In the past two years they have spent £10m+ on Matt Ritchie (£12m), Dwight Gayle (£10m) and Jacob Murphy (£12m) but their combined cost of £34m is some £6m less than Everton spent on signing Richarlison from Watford this summer - and Newcastle fans are restless to see investment in the team.

Newcastle's most expensive signings

Player Signed from Transfer fee Year
Michael Owen Real Madrid £16m 2005
Alan Shearer Blackburn £15m 1996
Georginio Wijnaldum PSV £14.5m 2014
Aleksandar Mitrovic Anderlecht £13m 2014
Florian Thauvin Marseille £13m 2014

The fans aren't the only ones feeling anxious about the situation and manager Rafa Benitez's contract talks appear to have stalled meaning that his existing deal now has just nine months remaining.

Recruitment is known to be a principal concern for the Spaniard who managed to bring in seven players for a total of £22.5m but saw £43.5m of talent depart this summer, giving Newcastle the biggest profit of any side in the transfer window.


Newcastle - major ins and outs (summer 2018)

Major ins Major outs
Muto - £9.5m Mitrovic - £27m
Fernandez - £6m Merino - £10m
Dubravka - £4m Matz Sels - £3.5m
Schar - £3m Armstrong - £3m

In total, Benitez has now spent £124m as Newcastle manager, recouping £164m giving him a £40m profit in his time in charge. To give this some context, Bournemouth have spent £118m in the same time but with a net spend of £76m.

On Saturday Newcastle travel to Neil Warnock's Cardiff. The Bluebirds added £29m worth of talent to their ranks and spent eight-figure sums on both Bobby Reid (£10m from Bristol City) and club record signing Josh Murphy (£12m from Norwich) - the two most expensive signings that Warnock has ever made.

Bobby Reid will join Cardiff in a deal that could reach £10m
Image: Bobby Reid joined Cardiff in a deal which could reach £10m

Cardiff will be aware that they have been considerably outspent this summer by fellow promoted sides Fulham and Wolves but they will also know that splashing the cash does not guarantee Premier League survival.

The Welsh side were relegated in 2013/14 despite a £31m outlay the previous summer, which was the most of the three promoted clubs that season.

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However, it is clear that promoted clubs realise that investment is necessary if they are to give themselves a real chance of survival and that can be seen in the rising totals of what the three promoted clubs have spent between them over the past nine summers.

Combined summer spending of promoted sides

Teams Year Spending
Wolves, Cardiff, Fulham 2018 £193.2m
Newcastle, Brighton, Huddersfield 2017 £117.8m
Burnley, Boro, Hull 2016 £67.9m
Bournemouth, Watford, Norwich 2015 £68.4m
Leicester, Burnley, QPR 2014 £47.6m
Cardiff, Hull, Palace 2013 £55m
Reading, Southampton, West Ham 2012 £54.7m
QPR, Norwich, Swansea 2011 £31.15m
Newcastle, WBA, Blackpool 2010 £17.65m

Of promoted clubs, only QPR (£31.5m in 2014) and Cardiff (£31m in 2013) have spent more than the Welsh side have this summer and still been relegated come the end of the season.

Cardiff will be keen to ensure that their 2018/19 model doesn't suffer the same fate of the 2013/14 version.

Cardiff v Newcastle is on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event on Saturday from 11.30am.

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