Mike Ashley will be keen to spend around £60m in January.
That is the confident forecast of Mark Lawrenson.
The BBC Sport pundit believes the Newcastle United owner will want to ‘speculate to accumulate’ in the next transfer window.
Lawrenson’s reasoning is that simply Mike Ashley won’t want to miss out on the ever greater Premier League riches, which he forecasts would be set to be worth around £160m to Ashley/NUFC next season, IF they remain in the top tier.
The former Liverpool defender reasons: ‘Why wouldn’t you be spending £40m, £50m, £60m in January?’, in order ‘To make sure you will be in the Premier League for the next season.’
Of course, as we all know, Mike Ashley rarely follows conventional football logic.
Despite being in major relegation trouble last January, the NUFC owner refused to allow any players to be bought.
Instead, on a very tight budget Rafa got Newcastle out of jail with two out of three loans proving inspired.
A born gambler, who is to say that Ashley will allow anybody to be bought this January, when the previous two seasons he’s allowed no buys in the mid-season window.
As for spending something like £60m, whilst Lawrenson claims this would ‘make sure’ Newcastle avoided relegation, many supporters feel that this kind of money might need to be spent just to give the club a chance of staying up.
With a profit on transfers of some £40m whilst Rafa has been at the club and no net investment in the squad since promotion, the team/squad has been so starved of investment it has been left in a desperate state.
Brighton have had a net spend of some £110m since promotion, Fulham £100m, Huddersfield £78m – for Newcastle to spend £60m in January would be more of a case of trying to go some way towards filling some of the glaring gaps in quality, rather than being any guarantee of Premier League football in 2019/20 and beyond.
Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live:
“Mike Ashley is much maligned by most Newcastle supporters.
“In January, I do feel Mike Ashley will speculate to accumulate.
“Next year being in the Premier League is worth somewhere in the region of £160m.
“Why wouldn’t you be spending £40m, £50m, £60m in January?
“To make sure you will be in the Premier League for the next season.
“He won’t be able to sell the club for as much as he wants, if come February or March they are bottom of the Premier League.”