The January transfer window has surprised many people, with even Mike Ashley apparently realising how desperate the situation is and allowing new players to come in.

I could hear sense/feel the relief when the signings of Shelvey and Saivet were announced, as well as the news that a fee was agreed with Andros Townsend and he is having his medical today (Wednesday).

Wind back though to before the January transfer window was due to open and the one thing Newcastle fans were ‘united’ about was the desperate need for a goalscorer.

To amplify the point, in a 12 match run ending with Watford in the FA Cup, Newcastle had failed to score in seven of them.

I expect all three of these new (including Townsend) to help Newcastle’s situation but in the last 20 months they have only scored eight league goals between them. Injury and non-selection plays a part in that but it would be head in the clouds stuff to think that these signings will offset a failure to buy a goalscoring striker.

To recap, when the January transfer window opened on 2 January 2016 the team were in the relegation zone and this was the Newcastle United attacking department armoury:

The big fee summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic with three (Premier League) goals but looking shocking in front of goal and zero confidence when the chances come.

An injured and hopeless Emmanuel Riviere with one goal in 17 months.

An injured and couldn’t care a less any more Papiss Cisse with two goals this season.

Top scoring striker Ayoze Perez with four goals but playing mainly in a withdrawn role out to the left, with Steve McClaren seemingly not rating him as highly as the fans do and having been the one to be dropped earlier in the season when the head coach wanted a change.

Four weeks into the January transfer window and Newcastle are still in the relegation zone, have picked up only four points from 12 and been knocked out of the FA Cup…and no goalscorer signed.

Newcastle four weeks later now have in the striking department:

The big fee summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic adding a penalty to make it four (Premier League) goals but still looking shocking in front of goal and zero confidence when the chances come. He has now scored one goal from open play in well over three months.

A fit again but still hopeless Emmanuel Riviere with one goal in 18 months.

An injured and couldn’t care a less any more Papiss Cisse with two goals this season.

Top scoring striker Ayoze Perez now with five goals but playing mainly in a withdrawn role out to the left – having scored a brilliant goal in the win over West Ham he was promptly dropped by Steve McClaren for the latest shambles at Watford!

It is great to strengthen the team elsewhere but without a natural goalscorer up front you are taking a massive gamble.

I think it was essential that they had a new striker arranged before the transfer window opened so they could contribute as early as possible, Newcastle could still be in the FA Cup and have extra points already if that had been the case.

Personally, I would have much rather whatever money Ashley was going to allow to be spent, had all gone on a proven goalscorer.

However, to not bring anybody in even at this late stage is just unbelievable, surely even Mike Ashley will realise that?

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