Will Newcastle United be relegated if they fail to spend this January?
Let’s face it – barring a few surprise results against the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur respectively before the turn of the year – the 2015/16 campaign has so far proven an utterly desperate one for the Newcastle United faithful.
The fans are quite understandably growing more and more frustrated with every passing week, certain players seemingly lack the necessary quality to make it among the English top-flight – and in the former England and Derby County manager appointed in the St. James’ dug-out this season – the Magpies hierarchy arguably landed themselves the wrong man for the job in the shape of Steve McClaren.
So then, with the January transfer period now already upon the Tyneside club as they tentatively enter the New Year, does this month simply represent the most important transfer window in Newcastle United’s recent history?
The answer could very well be, yes. Despite spending roughly £50 million on a succession of potential stars this summer, the Magpies have failed to witness much bang for their buck throughout the course of the 2015/16 campaign, leaving the recently appointed McClaren with an unmistakable cloud of uncertainty lingering dangerously above his head.
Although the former Three Lions boss isn’t exclusively to blame for the current predicament down at St. James’ this season, the 54-year-old tactician has hardly improved the situation at Newcastle United with everything fairly taken into account.
The likes of Georginio Wiijnaldum and Chancel Mbemba do admittedly look like decent acquisitions on the surface – but as the rest of McClaren’s squad hardly manage to produce the same level of quality on a week to week basis – perhaps it’s time Newcastle finally started strengthening their entire starting XI with some much needed urgency for a change.
QPR’s Charlie Austin has subsequently been raised as a major transfer target for the Magpies to consider this January. Although his Championship employers were initially demanding a somewhat inflated £15 million transfer fee for his services back in the summer, the Hoops could be tempted to part ways with the Englishman for far less this time around.
They no longer command a strong negotiating position at this particular stage in the proceedings, it remains difficult to imagine Austin sticking it out in the second tier of English football for much longer – and although the likes of Aston Villa and West Ham were seemingly in for the front-man across the summer transfer window – Newcastle United would nonetheless suit the 26-year-old striker very well with all things considered.
Another potential January target to have emerged for Steve McClaren’s side in recent weeks, also arrives in the form of out-of-favour Tottenham winger – Andros Townsend. The England international has certainly shown glimpses of his talent for both club and country in the past, and could represent genuine value for money on Tyneside considering the range of Premier League experience already tucked firmly under his belt.
Bordeaux wide-man – Henri Saivet – has nonetheless been linked with a move to Newcastle as well this January, but as the North East club have already experimented with plenty of hit-or-miss Ligue 1 stars in the past, isn’t it time Newcastle finally moved for someone with a bit more know-how among the English top-flight for once?
The Magpies also need some serious help within their defensive back-line if they are to stand any real chance of Premier League survival this season. Fabricio Coloccini has been a top servant on Tyneside throughout his several years at the club, yet if his form in 2015/16 is to prove anything to go by for Steve McClaren this January, now is the time to give the Argentinean centre-back a helping hand before his situation becomes truly untenable.
However, although Hull City’s Michael Dawson has reportedly been linked with a possible switch to the North East this winter, maybe the Magpies' scouting system simply have to source themselves a few more defensive options in order to cover all bases.
In the end, Newcastle could just about scrape out of the relegation dog-fight this term if they manage to land just some of the aforementioned assets before the closure of the January transfer window.
If the club nonetheless see fit to let a few of their most important players leave this winter however, then the writing really will be on the wall for Steve McClaren and his struggling Magpies outfit…
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