Pardew: This Newcastle player was signed ahead of reported £70million-rated star
By Russell Edge
Former Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has revealed he wanted to bring current Southampton star Virgil van Dijk to the club when he was in charge.
The former Southampton and Crystal Palace manager was at the helm of the Magpies for just over four years, taking charge of 184 matches before departing to join the Eagles, who he turned out for as a player.
It was a mixed relationship, leading the club to a fifth placed finish and winning the Premier League manager of the year award in 2012, but also having to oversee relegation battles on Tyneside.
However he has revealed that despite being manager he did not get his own way, missing out on a move for Virgil van Dijk when he was at Celtic.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday (15/10, 15:30) he said: “We looked at him when I was at Newcastle and we felt he would take us forward, even then.
“As a manager you look at some players and you feel confident in his character that he will deliver.”
However, he left for Southampton instead, where his impressive performances led to an all-out transfer battle among the Premier League heavyweights and the player himself stating that he wanted to leave the Saints.
However despite the whole saga, with the Chronicle reporting that he was the target of a potential £70million move, van Dijk remained on the south coast and started against the Magpies on Sunday in their 2-2.
Pardew also revealed that instead of the Dutch centre back, Newcastle swooped for Jamaal Lascelles, who has established himself as a key member of the first team squad on Tyneside having been appointed captain last season.
“I signed him and we sent him back to get a bit of experience. From what I hear he’s a good character,” Pardew told Sky Sports’ Super Sunday.
“I think he says all the right things – he looks like he’s the big dog in the dressing room.”
Newcastle’s next match will see them face off against another of Pardew’s former sides Crystal Palace on Saturday, with the Eagles currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
However, they scored their first league goals and secured their first win of the season over reigning champions Chelsea over the weekend, and Roy Hodgson will be hoping for a similar performance when they visit St James’ Park.
In other Newcastle United news, John Hartson has blasted fans over the latest statement from the club.