When your main/only hope of a transfer, Andros Townsend, ends up playing for another club 356 miles away as the  final stages of the January transfer window pass by, I think you have to accept that there was never going to be anything happen today.

Certainly, once the winger stepped onto the Crystal Palace coach on Tuesday afternoon to head to Bournemouth, that must have been when any sane person would have lost hope, when looking back in retrospect at the very least. Townsend playing the final 14 minutes and supplying an assist as Benteke made it 2-0 to Palace in the final seconds.

With Rafa making clear that he wanted players this transfer window, it is impossible to give any other spin than to say that this window has been a major disappointment for Newcastle United.

That doesn’t necessarily equal a disaster, and this Newcastle squad is certainly still good enough to win automatic promotion, but the bottom line is that all of our competitors have strengthened.

Maybe you look at some/most of the dozen deals done by our four closest competitors (see below) and wonder just how many would get into Newcastle’s first eleven, but that is immaterial, what is important is that the other promotion hopefuls believe that these signings have improved their teams/squads.

New signings undoubtedly are going to give any club and their fans a lift, this window will be no different.

What is important for Newcastle though, is that they simply get on with winning games of football against teams that are undoubtedly inferior, with the possible exception of Brighton.

CLUB BY CLUB JANUARY SIGNINGS:

(Nul Signings) Newcastle United

(Three) Brighton

Fikayo Tomori [Chelsea – Brighton] Loan, Chuba Akpom [Arsenal – Brighton] Loan, Glenn Murray [Bournemouth – Brighton] Undisclosed

(Four) Reading

Tiago Ilori [Liverpool – Reading] Undisclosed, Jordon Mutch [Crystal Palace – Reading] Loan, Reece Oxford [West Ham – Reading] Loan, Lewis Grabban [Bournemouth – Reading] Loan

(Three) Leeds

Pablo Hernandez [Al-Arabi – Leeds] Undisclosed, Alfonso Pedraza [Villarreal – Leeds] Loan, Modou Barrow [Swansea – Leeds] Loan

(Two) Huddersfield

Izzy Brown [Chelsea – Huddersfield] Loan, Collin Quaner [Union Berlin – Huddersfield] Undisclosed