Newcastle legend Alan Shearer discusses the club takeover
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Newcastle players have been advised on how they can emulate Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany following the incredible £305million takeover of the Magpies. The purchase, completed by a consortium fronted by Amanda Staveley, has been billed as being similar to the huge 2008 takeover of City by the Abu Dhabi Group.
Staveley has promised ‘world-class signings’ but former City defender Nedum Onuoha has told Newcastle’s current squad that they can copy Kompany’s legacy.
The former Belgium defender was signed by City prior to the 2008 takeover but remained a key player for a decade despite the constant arrivals of big-money stars.
“The takeover does not necessarily mean the end for any young players at Newcastle,” Onuoha wrote in his column for The Athletic.
“When I look back to that first season after the City takeover, I have happy memories of it, and so do other of the younger players from the time. That was my best season for the club. That was a 22-year-old Stephen Ireland’s best season for City too.
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“Micah Richards made 50 appearances that season at age 20. Joe Hart played over 30 times as a 21-year-old. And we had a good season as a team, based around our youngsters, finishing 10th in the Premier League and getting to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
“Because we were the richest club in the world, but we were still Manchester City. And that was when the club forged its new identity, based on what had gone before.
“Some of the new players who arrived weren’t there very long, so as a young player, if you had the right stuff about you, you could be part of continuing the identity of the club. As long as the manager liked you, you could become the next Vincent Kompany.”
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Winger Saint-Maximin is a couple of years older than Kompany was at the time of City’s takeover but he is their most exciting player.
It would be a good idea for Newcastle’s side to be built around the talented Frenchman. Saint-Maximin is one of few players in the club’s current squad who is able to lift the demanding crowd at St. James’ Park with his tricky wing play.
The 24-year-old is also the most likely current player to fit seamlessly into a reinvigorated squad full of elite talent.
Saint-Maximin has scored nine goals and registered 14 assists in 64 appearances but could improve those numbers around better players.
Continue to excite fans while winning trophies and he has every chance of becoming a club legend.
If Ashley did anything to say goodbye to Newcastle fans, it was the £25m acquisition of midfielder Willock from Arsenal.
The 22-year-old starred on loan with the Magpies in the second half of the season, sensationally scoring in each of their final seven matches. His goals were a big reason for Newcastle’s Premier League survival.
Willock returned to Arsenal and appeared set to feature for the Gunners this season, only for Ashley to sanction a permanent deal late in the transfer window.
He has failed to score in seven appearances across all competitions this term. However, he is another player around whom Newcastle can rebuild their team.
The 18-year-old Anderson is highly rated by staff at Newcastle. A midfielder, he was handed a senior debut in last season’s FA Cup defeat by Arsenal.
Bruce gushed about the England under-19 international following that game “I think you’ve seen it yourself, haven’t you?” the 60-year-old said when asked about Anderson.
“As soon as he comes on to the pitch, he accepts the ball and receives the ball. He never looks rushed. Everything is effortless to him and easy. We hope he’s got a big future.”
Anderson made his Premier League bow later in the campaign, coincidentally also against Arsenal, but has not made a senior appearance this season. He has scored 13 goals in 29 games for the club’s under-23s side.
It would be exciting for fans to have a potential future hero graduate from the club’s academy.
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