The January transfer window has finally arrived, and not before time for Newcastle United.
It seems an age since Amanda Staveley and her board were able to announce that they’d taken over the club from Mike Ashley.
In the intervening period, Eddie Howe has been appointed as manager, and although there hasn’t been a huge upturn in results, performances have improved immeasurably.
With the addition of a handful of studious additions during the window, there’s every chance that the Magpies can haul themselves clear of the relegation zone.
By staying up at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, Newcastle’s immediate future would look markedly better than having to spend at least a year in the Championship, given that the club would be able to, theoretically, attract a much higher standard of player.
Kieran Trippier has already agreed to become the first signing of the new era, with Newcastle managing to agree a bargain fee of just £12m.
So who’s next?
With so much money in the Magpies coffers, it won’t be a surprise to understand that the agents of just about any unhappy player in Europe will be beating a path to St. James’ Park.
22 – Since the start of last season, Kieran Trippier has been involved in 22 sequences of play that have ended in goals in La Liga; the second-most of any full back in the competition, after Barcelona's Jordi Alba (28). Influential. pic.twitter.com/O1HPsZu01S
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 5, 2022
If there’s one word that Eddie Howe has repeated in press conferences over the last few weeks, it’s ‘control.’
Newcastle have often been combative in their play and excellent in their attacking transitions, but they’ve fallen short when it comes to grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck and keeping control of it.
An experienced head is needed to sit in central midfield and dictate play, and those players are hard to come by at a reasonable price.
Help may well be at hand in the form of Aaron Ramsey (Evens), however.
Having just turned 31, the former Arsenal man has a good few years left in him yet, and, importantly, his Juventus manager, Max Allegri, has confirmed that the Welshman will shortly end his Serie A nightmare.
A transfer that’s a perfect fit whichever way you look at it.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri: “Aaron Ramsey’s now set to leave Juventus. We’re working on it. There are no other changes/transfers in our plans, this is 99% sure”. ⚪️🏴 #Juventus
“Again, Álvaro Morata will stay. That’s for sure. End of the topic”. #FCB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 5, 2022
At present, Allan Saint-Maximin could be said to be the only Newcastle player to get bums off seats.
When the ball arrives at his feet, something always tends to happen, but Newcastle can’t just rely on the Frenchman’s attacking intent to get them out of trouble.
His countryman, Anthony Martial (3/1), on the opposite flank would afford Howe the power and pace he needs down either channel, and at just 26 years of age, he is approaching his peak playing years.
Whilst he hasn’t impressed at Man United of late, he’s rarely been given chances to do so.
An entirely different Martial is likely to emerge if the Toon Army welcome him as one of their own.
The ultimate confidence player, but one who will make a difference at Newcastle.
With 42 goals conceded, Newcastle have the joint-worst defensive record in the English top-flight, along with rock-bottom Norwich City.
It’s clear that by shoring up the backline, things could improve overnight in terms of the Magpies turning losses into draws or wins.
Burnley are struggling badly this season too, and with Tarkowski (2/1) long touted for a move away from Turf Moor, this could finally be the perfect time to make the leap.
A strong, powerful and mobile exponent who can provide the Magpies with a great defensive foundation.
Potential Newcastle United January signings:
✅ Kieran Trippier
⏳ Georginio Wijnaldum
⏳ James Tarkowski
⏳ Divock Origi
⏳ Sven Botman
— BetVictor (@BetVictor) January 6, 2022