Swedish defender Emil Krafth is set to be Newcastle’s fourth signing of the season, after arriving in the city yesterday to complete a move from French side Amiens.
A right-back by trade, the 25 year-old has 20 caps for the Swedish national team and looks to be another solid addition to Steve Bruce’s squad.
His £5 million price tag also means he’s a bargain in the current transfer market, and he will likely provide plenty of competition for current full backs Javier Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin.
But for many Newcastle fans, it’s a signing that is simply just not impressive enough.
Krafth is far from a household name and has not exactly excelled in club football over the years.
Previous signings this season have come with plenty of glowing references of their potential and ability, whereas Krafth has just finished a quiet season on loan for Amiens, a lower-mid table Ligue 1 side.
After the exciting signings of Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems, it’s perhaps understandable that some Toon fans aren’t convinced.
Krafth does have a reputation for being solid and dependable, but he’s perhaps not the dynamic wing-back the Toon need to revitalise the right-back position.
Toon fans are certainly bemused at the news.
For that price can he really be any better than what we already have?
NUFC fans not pleased with Krafth move
Krafth might be a reasonably solid player to have in the squad. An ambitious club would have aimed a lot higher and bought guaranteed quality though. #nufc
— Jari Salmenaho (@shenanigan99) August 7, 2019
3 Right backs😂 ‘quality over quantity’ he said😂Krafth is no better than what we’ve got already🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️ #NUFC
— Kieran Gaskell (@_kierangaskell) August 7, 2019
Anyway, enough about Emil Krafth from me until he's actually playing for #NUFC. I don't think he's good enough, let alone an upgrade on the two RBs we have, but I'd be delighted if he proved me wrong.
I will be really disappointed if Manquillo is sold to bring him in though.
— NUFC Scout (@ScoutNUFC) August 7, 2019
This Krafth deal reeks of another agent favour, hope im wrong but the guy is second fiddle to a terrible Lustig for Sweden at RB and doesnt sound to impressive from ligue 1 folks. hopefully hes a baller for us but id be very surprised to see him get 10 or more games #nufc
— Dash (@Dash111_) August 7, 2019
asked my Swedish friends about how good Krafth was .. everyone replied that he sucks, makes lots of mistakes, among other things he was to blame that Sweden got out of the World Cup. Not a good sign when in Sweden they have no faith #NUFC https://t.co/wyre0NsX1C
— Misha (@sorensenmik) August 7, 2019
In defence of Krafth
Naturally the negative response has seen plenty of other NUFC fans leap to the player’s defence.
Because despite his price tag, Krafth is not an inexperienced player, in fact, he’s quite the opposite.
Krafth was part of the Sweden squad that remarkably reached the last eight of the 2018 World Cup and was even in the starting eleven for their quarter-final defeat against England.
Barely any of the current Newcastle squad can even say they’ve played at a World Cup, let alone featured in a quarter final.
He has experience in leagues outside of France too.
Prior to last year’s season long loan to Amiens, Krafth also played in the Serie A for three years at Bologna.
Admittedly there is nothing to suggest he will make the right-back position his own, but the negative response to his move has reminded many fans of the treatment of previous signings have had in the last few years.
Supporters have been quick to namecheck Fabian Schar, Martin Dubravka among others, hoping Krafth might be the next undiscovered superstar on the list.:
Toon fans defend Krafth
Before we start slagging Krafth off…there's a reason he has 20 caps for Sweden.
We don't know much about him first hand so let's see what he's all about.
He can't be any worse than Yedlin/Manquillo were at time last season.#NUFC
— The Geordie Boot Boy (@BootGeordie) August 7, 2019
Sick of reading Newcastle fans slagging Krafth off before he has even kicked a ball. Just because he's not a 20 odd million pound player doesnt mean he's poor. How much was Scär again?
Reading from Swedish fans that he is a good solid defender. #NUFC
— 💥💥Dean Leybourne💥💥 (@DeanLeybourne) August 7, 2019
Emil Krafth is an international footballer. You don't always have to pay big bucks to get a good player. Look at Schar and Fernandez. Let's give him a chance eh lads? #NUFC
— Wee Brendy (@irelandawakened) August 7, 2019
This time last year a lot of #NUFC Twitter was moaning about signing a £3m CB from a relegated Spanish club because you'd never heard of someone called Fabian Schar. Now look at him.
Now people are moaning about Krafth as if you've all been watching him for over a decade.
— StripedBeats (@BeatsStriped) August 7, 2019
I think Krafth will be a signing like Dubravka. He will be a very good signing for us. Mark my words #nufc
— Robin Verhagen (@robinnufc) August 7, 2019
All these people criticising Emil Krafth before he’s even kicked a ball, you had all heard of Fabian Schar when he signed for 3.5m had you? Or Yohan Cabaye when he signed for 4.5m? Give the lad a chance! #NUFC
— JJ Fletcher (@JJFletcher7) August 7, 2019