Newcastle’s surprise top-four finish was based on great coaching and scouting. Since their return to the Prem, Newcastle has found the best complementary pieces for their side.
Sandro Tonali promises to be a potential key player to their side and future side.
Italian football fans have been fawning over Tonali since his Brescia days, where he seemed to be the next Pirlo. He hasn’t reached that potential yet, but this move could help him push his name out on a larger scale.
Ever since their promotion, Newcastle’s revamped transfer policy has been paying dividends. It may not be a FIFA-like policy, but their thriving in the Prem is thanks to it. Few moves have been as successful as Bruno Guimarães, who is now considered among the best midfielders in the Prem.
Tonali promises to be the player who could truly elevate Howe’s team. Having cut his teeth with an excellent Milan side, he will bring needed flair and experience. The Prem will be thankful for his arrival next season.
It’s not the flashiest move that the Prem will see this season, but Tonali’s arrival may be the most impactful for one team. Newcastle fans should appreciate the Italian for however long that he is in the North of England before he moves to greener pastures.
For fans of the Magpies, this new look transfer strategy has ensured the club’s success in the top flight. Even though they are the richest club in the league, their success is due to a smart policy that emphasizes fit over flash.
In the mid-2010s, Newcastle’s transfer policy was to throw money at wingers and strikers who exuded flair. Florian Thauvin brings ire to Newcastle fans all over, as the Frenchman’s time is emblematic of the struggles of the Ashley era. The Frenchman was a typical Ashley signing, who clearly didn’t fit into the Prem and was too easily exposed.
Yes, there were a few successes, Mitrović kind of counts here, but there was no clear path forward after their last relegation. After their promotion in 2017, the club seemed willing to completely change their policy. No more Thauvins; the future would hold players who could contribute to the Prem.
The first few years saw smart transfers like Fabian Schär and Miguel Almrión arrive for reasonable fees. None of these players could match the individual flash of those in the past, but they became key pieces to Newcastle’s rise up the table.
Recent seasons have really been where this Newcastle side has shown their incredible ability to scout and negotiate. Isak, Guimarães, and Pope are all great players that Newcastle have been able to properly rate and bring in. Above all, the most important trait they all share is their ability to fit with Prem’s style.
At one point, the magpies were one of the laughingstocks of the Prem. The flashy but useless players have been replaced with talented ones who belong in the top flight.
After they failed to reach the World Cup in 2018, Italy underwent a culture change with younger players at the core of it. Tonali was one of those young midfielders who tried to fill the boots of previous giants.
Any FIFA or Football Manager player will recognize Tonali as the Brescia star that you had to sign at the start of the save. Wonderkids’ list would not be complete without the midfielder with the hair of Pirlo. At such a young age, Tonali was tearing up the pitches of Italy with a flair that is rarely seen in Italian players.
Given the similar hairstyles, the comparisons to Pirlo came and came fast. They weren’t all unfounded; he does like to sit deeper and pick out teammates like his comparison. Neither is/was a great defender, but given the right pieces, Tonali could have that weakness covered up.
Like Pirlo, Tonali would move to the red side of Milan, continuing his development in that famous kit. There certainly was disappointment with his first season, but his most ardent fans urged others to keep the faith.
Following that disappointing first season, Tonali would start to figure out the high level of play at top Italian clubs. Pioli’s improvements to his Milan team came with Tonali at the center of the midfield. As Pioli placed more trust in him, the Milan side continued to win and reach new levels.
When news of this move started to materialize, fans were confused. Milan was offering the midfielder a chance to become a legend at the club he grew up supporting. Newcastle was an unknown quantity in a league known to eat up midfielders.
In contrast to their free-wheeling days of the 2010s, Tonali’s transfer represents the new and improved Newcastle. He will surely be the jewel in Howe’s crown as the manager tries to push his magpies to a real title race.
Tonali also has the chance to use Newcastle as a stepping stone to Europe’s elite clubs.
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