Newcastle United have already conducted rigorous background checks on priority targets such as Sven Putman to ensure any new signings subscribe to the club’s first-team mentality.
In addition to researching players, himself, and speaking discreetly to those who have worked with them, Eddie Howe has previously enlisted the help of recruitment consultants over the years. The Newcastle head coach wants to know every detail about a potential newcomer, whether it be his living situation, family life, interests outside the game or internal motivations, to build a profile in line with the data and scouting reports the club has already collected. .
Newcastle had already done their bit for Botman when the Magpies previously attempted to sign Lille’s centre-back in the mid-season window. Needless to say, those personal reports were positive; This was a player open to swapping life in the Champions League for an instant relegation battle in January, after all.
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The title winner may also have been keen on a move to Milan this summer, but the Dutchman is now clearly ready to fly to Tyneside for medical treatment next week after Newcastle finally received an offer accepted by Lille. Putman is seen as a player who can grow with Newcastle as the club develops in the coming years.
However, while Howe knows Newcastle need to improve, the 44-year-old is desperate to keep the spirit and teamwork forged and not disrupt the dressing room. Hence the importance of these character reports, particularly when Newcastle have been offered seemingly perfect deals by agents and brokers linked to some of the famous players since the club’s acquisition ended last year.
Newcomers don’t necessarily have to be super clean, but they do need to engage with the work ethic and altruistic mindset that is already ingrained in the club. Unqualified players like Ciaran Clarke, for example, trained as if they were still available for selection in the second half of last season while veterans like Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie continued to push around them despite not showing up.
Howe doesn’t want to upset that culture, and all five of the club’s January signings – Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimarães, Dan Byrne and Matt Targett (on loan) – bought that. Even as a frustrated Bruno had to wait for his chance, the Brazil international understood why his fellow midfielders Jongo Shelvey, Joelinton and Joe Willock all played so well at the time and Howe wanted to comfort the new player.
Howe was keen to bring in more players, like Bruno, who also has a team first mentality. Having already signed Targett permanently, which Howe obviously knew well, Newcastle also completed a move for Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope earlier this week. Those who have worked with Bob tell ChronicleLive that the England international is a “huge” individual personality and an “excellent” work ethic.
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