Newcastle United transfers: Steve McClaren lobbies for Premier League experience

Lee Charnley, left, and Steve McClaren
Lee Charnley, left, and Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren will stress the need for older heads at Newcastle United between now and the January transfer window – as his team lacks Premeir League know-how.

The struggling club, which spent more than £50million in the summer, will have to invest more in the New Year if it is to stave off the threat of relegation.

My opinions on that will be voiced over the next weeks and months, which they have been from day one. Everybody knows. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

Steve McClaren

United’s recruitment policy in recent years has been based around buying younger players with a future resale value.

But none of the club’s five summer signings, the oldest of which was 24-year-old Georginio Wijnaldum, had any experience of English football’s top flight before arriving at St James’s Park.

That has left new head coach McClaren with a dearth of battle-hardened Premier League players.

And the club, which is propping up the division, is seemingly facing another relegation battle.

McClaren wouldn’t be drawn on the substance of his representations to managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr.

However, asked about the lack of top-flight experience at Newcastle – and third-from-bottom Aston Villa – McClaren said: “Good question.

“Things will be discussed. I’m here to help this football club go on.

“My opinions on that will be voiced over the next weeks and months, which they have been from day one ... everybody knows.

“There’s lot going on behind the scenes.

“We are planning, and I’m talking about sitting there and saying ‘you know what – we need to do this, and we need to do that’.”

McClaren’s immediate priority, however, is the Norwich game.

Newcastle have taken just three points from their opening eight games, and the club is already five points adrift of safety a little over two months into the new season.

McClaren – who has lost goalkeeper Tim Krul for the season after he ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament on Holland duty – is keen for “perspective” given that he has been in the job a little over four months.

But the need for tangible progress on the pitch over the next few weeks is pressing as efforts continue off the field to identify targets.

“We need to keep in perspective the first eight games,” said McClaren.

“Then we need to see what progress we’re making, and I think the next two months are going to be vital in that.

“We’ve had a huge blow with Tim Krul, so there’s going to be pressure on that.

“That’s something (the January transfer window) we’ll be talking about over the next two or three weeks.

“That’s normal in any club, but without revealing anything, the next window is very important for this club.”