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The truth about Newcastle United January transfer targets

3 weeks ago

You may have read ‘one or two’ articles about the Newcastle United January transfer targets ahead of this next window.

Many of these endless / countless pieces will have been marked ‘exclusive’, indeed, difficult to find ones that aren’t marked as that.

However, surely the reality is, that the only exclusive thing about the vast majority (all???) of them is that they are ‘exclusive’ of the truth.

The truth that we do know, is that Eddie Howe has just been appointed on Monday as the new Head Coach.

Whilst it is well documented that the new Newcastle United owners are going to bring in a Director of Football. With Michael Emenalo heavily tipped to be the likely man, a post not filled at St James Park since Joe Kinnear left almost eight years ago.

That particularly episode perfectly summed up Mike Ashley’s 14+ years in charge at Newcastle United, as just like the vast majority of managers / head coaches and MDs / CEOs appointed by Ashley, Kinnear’s role was simply all about deflecting blame away from the then NUFC owner.

Newcastle United went 18 months without buying a single player, after the January 2013 window, not one first team squad player bought until summer 2014. The transfer windows of summer 2013 and January 2014 when JFK carried the DoF title, only seeing the loan signings of Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong. Joe Kinnear ridiculed for his inability to buy a single player in his entire time as Director of Football BUT that was the whole point, Mike Ashley having no intention of allowing any players to be bought in that 18 month time period and employing JFK simply for the purpose of taking the blame / ridicule instead of Ashley himself.

Then we have the media questioning why Newcastle fans wanted to see the back of Mike Ashley…quite incredible.

Moving back to the present day and the very fact that Eddie Howe has been given the title of Head Coach rather than Manager, simply backs up the widespread acceptance that a Director of Football is going to come into St James Park.

The vast majority of major clubs work in this way, having a senior person on the football side of things who works alongside the Head Coach / Manager, looking to ensure long-term objectives are realised and of course giving expertise / stability if / when there is a change of Head Coach.

So when it comes to the truth about Newcastle United January transfer targets, what can you believe?

Well, for starters, until a Director of Football is in place, I certainly don’t see major decisions being made on which players to go for.

Similarly, until Eddie Howe has a good look at his current NUFC players close up and assesses what he has and hasn’t got, then surely nothing definitive will be decided.

The media have been absolutely shameless in simply inventing transfer story after transfer story these recent days and weeks. The very worst ones, the most laughable, that claim firm offers have already been made to clubs and / or players, are simply beyond the pale.

The general media coverage / misinformation that claims unimaginable fortunes are going to be spent on buying players to battle relegation, is surely crazy as well. Certainly not stories built on any actual substance but not on logic either.

Claims of a host of massive transfer fees being paid in January, makes literally no sense. If Newcastle do get to the end of December still in serious relegation trouble, then I think it would be a case of maybe one or two players at the most being bought in for sizeable though not massive fees, with the main business coming in the form of loans to the end of the season. The idea of the club and / or a host of ‘big’ names making permanent deals when relegation could strike only months later, makes zero sense.

November is set to be a month of discovery for all, whether it is the Newcastle owners, Head Coach, Director of Football…and indeed players.

After this run of four games, Arsenal away and most importantly Brentford, Norwich and Burnley at home, we will have a far better idea of how things stand after that Burnley game on Saturday 4 December.

Only then will ideas of January transfer targets be getting really firmed up, with the Director of Football the main man overseeing that business, to meet Eddie Howe’s needs in the team / squad.


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