No Dominik Szoboszlai – No panic for Newcastle United

No Dominik Szoboszlai – No panic for Newcastle United

It appears that Dominik Szoboszlai won’t be coming to Newcastle United.

One of many players regularly linked with a move to St James’ Park in recent months, apparently going elsewhere.

The very reliable David Ornstein of The Athletic reporting on Friday that whilst Newcastle had shown interest previously, they weren’t now following that up with an offer for the player.

Ornstein saying that instead, Liverpool look likely to sign Dominik Szoboszlai, with no other clubs competing for his signature.

It will be a bit of a comedown for the RB Leipzig player who had said some seven weeks ago that his intention was to sign for a club that would be playing Champions League football this coming (2023/24) season.

Inevitably this has prompted numerous headlines / comments such as ‘Dominik Szoboszlai chooses Liverpool over Newcastle’ and ‘Liverpool beat Newcastle in race to sign Dominik Szoboszlai’

Although that doesn’t say much, as Newcastle United have been added to pretty much every single major transfer story this summer, with regular claims of missing out, when whichever other club signs the player(s) in question.

The story around Dominik Szoboszlai and his likely move this summer, is that he has a release clause in his contract of around £60m in his contract, although conflicting reports on when exactly this will remain active to, some say it will run out today whilst other reports say not.

As it happens, I DO believe there was Newcastle United interest in Dominik Szoboszlai BUT at the same time I also believe he was only one of a sizeable number of players that were / are of interest.

Dan Ashworth and Eddie Howe will have many potential candidates for each of the positions they would like to strengthen this summer. Indeed, they will have an ongoing list of potential candidates for every position, and if this summer one or more of those at the top of the lists did suddenly become available at an appealing price, then every chance that NUFC would still sign them, even if not for a position that had been marked urgent.

None of us know exactly who all the targets are for Newcastle United this summer and certainly not the order of priority in terms of being seen as the ideal / best signings.

What we do appear to know pretty much for sure though, is that whilst Dominik Szoboszlai was desperate to get a new club who were in the Champions League this coming season, not a single one has put a bid in to sign him.

In this transfer window, Newcastle United have already committed to spending of around £60m on Yankuba Minteh and Sandro Tonoli, who is expected to be announced any time now, as his involvement at the Under 21s Euros is at an end. Eddie Howe has also stated that Anthony Gordon was an intended target for this window as well, but due to becoming available in January due to Everton desperately needing to bring in cash, arrived six months early. Assuming of course that Tonoli is announced, a case to be argued that £100m has already been committed to, that had been part of the summer 2023 overall intended spend.

Not for one second do I think Tonali will be the end of Newcastle’s summer spending but at the same time I do think that paying £60m for Dominik Szoboszlai would have taken up a massive chunk of whatever money Eddie Howe is potentially looking to invest this summer. You also of course have the issue of wages, whilst Newcastle United are undoubtedly competitive now in terms of paying transfer fees, it is a simple fact that on wages, certain other clubs are used to paying a far higher level than Newcastle are currently wanting to do. So when James Maddison chose to go for £180,000+ per week wages at Tottenham, despite no European football on offer, Newcastle were never going to pay him around 50% more than their current top earners.

Who knows what Dominik Szoboszlai is looking for but maybe his wage demands are one of the reasons why so few clubs have had serious interest. Liverpool desperate to rebuild their midfield, no surprise they are the one team apparently still up for getting a deal done, with numerous players already on wages higher than the £180,000+ a week that Maddison is getting at Spurs and probably whatever Dominik Szoboszlai is looking for.

For next season, I would see Bruno, Isak, Joelinton and Tonali as clear first choice players in midfield and attack. For the other two places (and as back up), you already have Willock, Almiron, Wilson, Murphy, ASM, Gordon, Longstaff, Anderson… which makes me think that paying out £60m plus potentially massive wages on Dominik Szoboszlai, may not have been that high a priority, certainly not a compelling one.

Is he that good?

Well, in two and a half seasons at RB Leipzig, in the Bundesliga he has 28 direct goal involvements – scoring 12 and 16 assists. More than decent stats for Dominik Szoboszlai in the German top tier.

Erling Haaland has of course been a success at Man City, though it helps joining a squad who had won the Premier League four of the five previous seasons! However, plenty other recruits from the Bundesliga haven’t fared quite so well in the Premier League.

In three seasons in the Bundesliga, Jadon Sancho had 78 direct goal involvements, scoring 37 and 41 assists. Joining Man U for £80m, these past two seasons he has managed 15 direct goal involvements, scoring nine and six assists.

Tino Werner managed 105 direct goal involvements in his final four Bundesliga seasons before joining Chelsea, scoring 78 and 27 assists. In two seasons at Chelsea he managed 19 direct goal involvements, scoring ten and nine assists.

Maybe Dominik Szoboszlai will be the one who every season we rue as the one who got away, the new Luka Modric!

Maybe though he will be the new Jadon Sancho, struggling to even get a game.

I think the bottom line for me is trust.

Trusting Eddie Howe, Dan Ashworth and others at St James’ Park to make the best decisions for the best possible reasons.

Dominik Szoboszlai was one of the players that NUFC had been looking at but one who in the end didn’t tick all the boxes. Which when you are paying £60m plus serious wages, sure has to be the case.

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