After a poor end of season run that saw the club flirt with relegation and a close season controversy over Joe Kinnear’s appointment as Director of Football, Alan Pardew is surely content to be back to concentrating on freshening up his side ahead of the new season.
And the latest player The Magpies have been linked with is PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet. Despite not having played any first team football for the Eindhoven club he has had two solid seasons with fellow Eredivisie side RKC Waalwijk.
The 6ft 3in shot stopper has played through the under age levels for the Netherlands, playing both Under-17 and Under-19 for Holland before becoming a regular for the national sides’s under-21’s, winning 21 caps.
With Steve Harper having left St. James Park this summer, a third goalkeeper is needed on Tyneside. Zoet, at 22, is clearly a player for the future, but he would still add able competition for Rob Elliot and Tim Krul for the first team goalkeeping spot.
The drama that surrounded Kinnear aside, it’s been a relatively quiet summer of activity at Newcastle. The only concrete activity to date has seen players finish up at the club.
26-year-old right back Danny Simpson has dropped a division to join Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer having been released by Newcastle at the end of last season. His defensive colleague James Perch has also left the club, joining Owen Coyle at Wigan Athletic as he too takes a drop in divisions. The aforementioned Harper has been linked with a move to Steve Bruce’s newly promoted Hull City.
In terms of players coming in to Newcastle there has been nothing achieved yet but there have been plenty of players linked with a move to the club and one person linked with a return to the North-East is former Sunderland striker Darren Bent. Another striker who could join him there is Loic Remy, who is available after suffering relegation with QPR.
When previously asked about the players, Pardew said: “”Both of those players are on our list. I make no bones about that. But they are under contract at other clubs. It’s difficult, you have to be careful. It’s nice for our fans to hear names, but I don’t want to disrupt other clubs’ preparations.
“We have a list of four or five strikers who will push Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Adam Campbell and Yoan Gouffran because that will be important next season. We do need two strikers. Last year, I didn’t think there was enough competition in that area for a Premier League team.”
West Ham United player James Tomkins has also been linked to strengthen up the Magpies defence but would set back the club £5million.
Pardew will also hope to hold on to midfield talisman Yohan Cabaye, with many clubs, including Paris Saint Germain, interested in the creative midfielder.
Who Newcastle hold on to and who they bring in, in the next few weeks, could be crucial to whether the club improve on last seasons end of season dip.