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Opinion

Is the January transfer window simply fools gold or an illusion for Newcastle United?

10 months ago
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The January transfer window is upon on.

Already 10 days into it and the only really active party appears to be the media.

As of close of business on 9 January, only one Premier League club had done an incoming deal from another club, Danny Drinkwater moving on loan from Chelsea to Aston Villa.

Just think of all the media reports you have read about potential Newcastle United deals, then times it by 20, before comparing that figure to the one actual completed move in nine days.

Is the mid-season transfer window simply a red herring, an illusion, maybe fools gold?

How many incoming Premier League deals actually happen and more to the point, how many of them can be deemed successful in any way?

You probably have to differentiate between permanent deals and loan ones, with of course the latter making up the bulk of the signings that happen in January, with no doubt 2020 being no different.

Bringing in a player on a temporary basis who is likely to have 13 Premier League games at the most to integrate into the squad and impress, is a big ask.

Maybe we have been a bit blinded as well by the remarkable success of Martin Dubravka, who stepped up from the Czech league to play against Manchester United and has played every single PL match since then, being Newcastle’s best player.

Kenedy was also a decent success initially when arriving in that same January 2018 window but just think of all the failed loan players such as Doumbia, Slimani and that left-back in January 2019 who no doubt you can’t even remember the name of.

Newcastle United obviously need more creativity and goals but you just can’t see £40m Joelinton left out in favour of a loan player, whilst of course both ASM and Almiron automatically start when fit.

Unless the formation is changed and no wing-backs, where is there room for another attacking player, with of course Andy Carroll a big contender…if fit.

The reality as well is that if you aren’t buying, then you are almost certainly bringing in loan players who clubs are happy to let them go out because they aren’t starring for them.

If a club has an injury crisis then they may have no choice but to go into the January market and find a player or players for a certain position(s).

Otherwise, are you in reality simply looking for fools gold, players not good enough to get a game elsewhere and brought in on loan with unrealistic expectations they can be better than what you have already got?

The reality is that almost certainly for Newcastle United, unless Mike Ashley allows money to be spent, NUFC’s fortunes this season will depend on how the current squad perform in the remaining games.

Maybe the question that should be asked is when Steve Bruce will change his negative tactics and allow this team the chance to see if they can be more creative and more of a threat in the attacking third, rather than thinking a loan player or two can come into that same negative set-up and do any better.

If buying, the likes of Almiron, Townsend, Woodgate and Cisse do suggest you can get players who can hit the ground running but is Mike Ashley prepared to allow any spending, when the relegation threat is a worry, rather than already a full on emergency.

Three more weeks remain of media speculation, prepare yourself.

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