In an interview with the Chronicle, United’s Lee Charnley has warned fans not to expect any additions to the Newcastle squad in January.
The NUFC Managing Director’s comments strongly suggesting that as far as they are concerned, there is now possibility United will get sucked into a relegation scrap.
This is despite only two wins in the last twelve competitive matches and the fact that Hull who are currently third bottom, will move to within five points of Newcastle if they beat our lot a week on Saturday.
However, Newcastle have also justified this lack of action to bring in much needed players, by claiming that they already have a full 25 man squad, something that we examine below…
This is the question posed by Mark Douglas of the Chronicle and Lee Charnley’s answer;
(Douglas) What is going to happen in the January Transfer Window?
(Charnley) ‘I saw the stuff that Gary Lineker tweeted saying we are hanging back from appointing a head coach so that we don’t have to sign anyone which isn’t correct. Are we delaying to get through the January window? Absolutely not.
In all honesty, the January window is not one we ever envisaged being particularly active in. That’s partly because of the amount of business we did in the summer but also because January is a difficult market to operate in. There are very few options whereby a club can achieve the quality required and also get value. There is often a reason as to why a player might be available in January.
We were forced to bring players in a couple of years ago in January because of where we were in the league and some of those transactions we brought forward from the following summer at significant cost. As a general principle, January is not an attractive window.
Another important thing to note and something that is often not mentioned, is Premier League teams are only allowed to name 25 players – we are currently at 25′.
The Official Newcastle United 25 Man Squad (* = Home Grown Players) at the start of the season was;
Mehdi Abeid, Vurnon Anita, Remy Cabella, Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini, Siem De Jong, Facundo Ferreyra, Yoan Gouffran, Jonas Gutierrez, Massadio Haidara, Daryl Janmaat, Gabriel Obertan, Emmanuel Riviere, Davide Santon, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, *Jack Colback, *Paul Dummett, *Sammy Ameobi, *Rob Elliot, *Haris Vuckic, *Tim Krul, *Mike Williamson, *Ryan Taylor, *Steven Taylor
You are only allowed a maximum of 17 players who aren’t classed as ‘Home Grown’ and Newcastle had 16 in their squad at the start of the season with 9 home grown.
In addition clubs can use any number of players who are aged 21 and under, which means Newcastle also have access to;
Aarons, Alnwick, Armstrong, Bigirimana, Campbell, Good, Perez, Satka, Streete and Woodman.
You can then change as many of that 25 man squad as you want in this January window.
For Lee Charnley to give a full 25 man squad as a reason for not bringing in players is surely being economical with the truth.
Steven Taylor is now out for the rest of the season, Facundo Ferreyra is supposedly on his way (or has already gone, who knows?) and if not – then surely it is clear by now he will never play for United and can be dropped from the 25 man squad. Jonas Gutierrez is another who is very likely to be heading off, so that is at least two or three places in the squad that are available. Which is before you even get to the likes of Haris Vuckic who clearly has no future at the club and would be best helped by Newcastle finding him another club to go out on loan to.
The only reason Newcastle will not spend money in this transfer window, even on a loan signing (such as that Southampton’s Eljero Elia who scored both goals against Newcastle…), is because Mike Ashley refuses to fund any transfers unless he has to.
No wonder we are being fed a lot of ‘positive’ propaganda via John Carver about players such as Siem De Jong and Gabriel Obertan on their way back, even though it turns out it will be March before they’re fully fit.