How has the January transfer window been for you?
Almost halfway through this window of opportunity and apart from Adam Armstrong and a few others going out on loan, as expected, there has been nothing doing.
January transfer windows under Mike Ashley have tended to follow two patterns.
Firstly, if everything is/was going quite well in the Premier League, Newcastle fans spent the entire time worrying who United would sell – Carroll, Ba and Cabaye the prime examples.
Secondly, we then had two Januarys of desperate panic buying, with a taxi full of players arriving to try and help escape relegation – the French five in 2013 and the likes of Shelvey, Townsend and Saivet a year ago.
The only really successful January transfer window was surely 2012, Newcastle doing pretty well in the Premier League but still going out and bringing in Papiss Cisse. Maybe no coincidence that this was the most/only successful season under Mike Ashley.
Rafa Benitez’ consistent message, which he repeated yesterday (Friday) is that they are working hard looking for new players but it is a difficult market.
I don’t think any/many United fans would disagree with Rafa’s overview, with Newcastle in a bit of a unique position. Looking for players who are good enough for the Premier League and asking them to play in the Championship, even if it is only temporarily.
Not many clubs have made signings so far and figures/’valuations’ flying around for the better players at other Championship clubs, are pretty mad, even in this market.
The biggest excitement we have seen so far then, is the Christian Atsu circus of recent days.
Turkish media reporting that Chelsea are in talks to sell Atsu to league leaders Basaksehir, which appeared really strange considering Newcastle have him on year’s loan (or at least that is what Newcastle fans assumed before hearing these claims).
The player himself then told media in Ghana (through ‘close associates’) that he was happy at Newcastle and had no intention of signing for anybody in Turkey.
…and now Rafa Benitez has finally put an end to it with the following, when asked if Christian Atsu was leaving:
“I am in contact with the three players in Africa and especially Atsu.
“I will tell you now that he is really pleased and really happy here, we have the player on loan with an option.
“Nothing has changed: the player is happy, we have the control and a very good relationship with Chelsea.
“So everything is fine.”
I think that Newcastle fans’ expectations/hopes this month, were to shift out Cheick Tiote and maybe one or two others who have nothing to offer in this promotion effort, then bring in one or two players (loans or buys) good enough to go straight into the first eleven.
Newcastle aren’t desperate for new signings but a little bit of extra quality would help tip the balance towards making promotion more likely, the only conundrum of course being finding the right player and then how much that is going to cost in terms of perceived value for money.
The only thing we can be sure of if that having Rafa Benitez with the final say, is infinitely better than having a clown such as Charnley, Carr, or some other Ashley goon, deciding Seydou Doumbia and/or Henri Saivet is the answer.