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Five of Paul Mitchell’s best transfers after Newcastle appointment

Newcastle have named Paul Mitchell as the club’s new sporting following Dan Ashworth’s exit for Manchester United.

Mitchell’s appointment represents a coup for the ambitious Magpies with the 42-year-old having forged an impressive reputation in the game. With experience in top leagues across Europe and a proven eye for talent identification, his arrival cushions the blow of Ashworth’s defection for Old Trafford.

Here are five of Paul Mitchell’s best signings after he was appointed Newcastle’s sporting director.

Sadio Mane – Southampton (£10m)

The Red Bull network of clubs have been a hive of talent across the last decade and Southampton snapped up Sadio Mane from Red Bull Salzburg in 2014. Mitchell, who later worked as technical director of Red Bull’s football clubs – signed the Senegal forward after two productive seasons in Austria.

Mane made an instant impact and scored 10+ goals in each of his two seasons with the Saints, including the fastest-ever Premier League hat-trick scored inside two minutes and 56 seconds against Aston Villa.

Southampton banked a sizeable profit when selling Mane to Liverpool for £36m, where the forward went on to have huge success. He won the Premier League and Champions League among his team honours, alongside the 2018-19 Premier League Golden Boot and African Footballer of the Year awards in 2019 and 2022.

Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur (£5m)

Mitchell’s first signing after following Mauricio Pochettino from Southampton to Tottenham was a £5m deal for Dele Alli. Several top-flight teams had taken notice of the midfielder’s emergence at MK Dons but it was Spurs who placed faith in the teenager to make an impact in the Premier League.

Alli was named PFA Young Player of the Year in his debut season in 2015-16 and retained the award in 2016-17, becoming just the fourth player to win back-to-back accolades after Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney.

He broke into the England team and represented the Three Lions in two major tournaments, and scored 67 goals in 269 appearances for Spurs before his exit to Everton in 2022.

Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur (£11.4m)

Spurs swooped in to sign Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid after the defender’s impressive campaign on loan at Southampton in 2014-15. The Belgian had failed to make an impact in La Liga but became a key figure for the North Londoners.

Alderweireld was named Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year in his debut season and established himself as one of the leading centre-backs in the Premier League, forming part of the Spurs team that reached the Champions League final in 2019.

He made 236 appearances in all competitions for Spurs, while just two players have won more than his 127 caps for Belgium.

Kieran Trippier – Tottenham Hotspur (£3.5m)

Mitchell will be greeted with a familiar face at St James’ Park having been responsible for the signing of Kieran Trippier at Tottenham. The right-back’s potential was spotted despite relegation from the Premier League at Burnley and Spurs secured a bargain £3.5m deal.

Despite competition from Kyle Walker, Trippier broke into the England side during a four-year spell at Spurs that delivered 114 appearances. He joined Atletico Madrid for an initial £20m in 2019, banking Spurs a hefty profit, and won a La Liga title in Spain before returning to the Premier League at Newcastle.

Christopher Nkunku – RB Leipzig (€13m)

Mitchell was behind RB Leipzig’s move to sign Christopher Nkunku with the forward having found himself on the fringes at Paris Saint-Germain. Nkunku had struggled for a regular role before his €13m move to Germany but exploded in output in the Bundesliga.

The Frenchman scored 70 goals in 172 appearances for Leipzig and was named Bundesliga Player of the Season in 2021-22, before ending the following campaign as the joint-leading scorer in the division alongside Niclas Füllkrug.

Chelsea activated his £52m release clause to sign Nkunku in 2023, earning Leipzig a handsome profit on their initial investment.

Read – Newcastle seal sporting director coup to replace Ashworth

See more – Five players who have caught the eye at the Copa America

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