Newcastle have made it clear in recent statements that they are only interested in bringing in players of the younger generation, but they do say you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.
I'm all for nurturing young talent and I definitely don't want to see the likes of Peter Beardsley, Steve Bruce, Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick slip through our fingers at youth level again, but I've always felt a successful team needs a blend of youth and experience.
On that note, Manchester City have announced that they will be releasing a trio of experienced players when they're contracts run out, they include former Mackem loanee Benjani, Brazilian full-back Sylvinho and most interestingly of all, Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov.
Chris Hughton has very recently ruled himself out of any race for the signatures of Sol Campbell, Jimmy Bullard and Andy O'Brien, presumably citing age as one of the main factors against any transfer but there's something about two of this City trio that caught my eye.
First things first, Benjani is not a player worthy of out time, despite a good season with Portsmouth a few years ago he has failed to shine since his move to Eastlands. Not to mention the fact he is basically ruled out of a move due to association with the great unwashed.
However Sylvinho and Petrov could offer something to the cause at St. James'. Both well versed in the Premier League as well as having a good knowledge of the Spanish leagues which would make bonding with players such as Jonas, Colo and Jose Enrique fairly easy.
Thirty-six year old Sylvinho could offer some cover in the left-back position this season, and help improve Enrique with his experience, not to mention what he could offer to young Tamas Kadar.
Petrov could play a more involved role in the first team, only a year ago he was being linked with Tottenham and Aston Villa before being convinced to stay on at City by Mark Hughes. Surely he can still offer something to a Premier League team such as ourselves with his pacy runs and an eye for goal.
I wouldn't expect the Bulgarian to oust Spidey from the starting line up, but he could provide cover on the left flank which we are seriously lacking whenever Jonas has been unavailable. I mean does anybody really think the left wing is the best place for Danny Guthrie?
One issue remains; wages. I doubt these players would come dirt cheap but as long as there isn't a major fight for their signature we could perhaps convince them to sign on for a year at as little as £20k a week. A big offer from the likes of newly promoted Blackpool wouldn't be the biggest surprise in the world but perhaps the lure of playing in front of 52,000 fans a week could just seal the deal.
At the end of the day we're going to need players this season. With the likes of Nicky Butt and Fabrice Pancrate already confirming their departure from the club, the more players we can get in for free the better, especially if there as talent as Petrov.
Take a look below if you're still unconvinced, you might remember the first goal.
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