For Newcastle United fans, last month’s transfer window must have felt like a wild dream. Throughout Mike Ashley’s tenure the net spend was always much lower than what supporters would have liked — often relying on lower leagues or pre-contract agreements to bolster the numbers at St. James’ Park. However, the takeover by a Saudi consortium has boosted morale in the North East, and provided new manager Eddie Howe with a transfer warchest, which he certainly put to good use in January.
Despite results not going to plan so far on the pitch, the Magpies can be optimistic of beating the drop and the sports betting odds have increased in their favour after spending nearly £100 million on new players. Read on, as we go through all the new signings Newcastle made in a busy transfer window.
The first move of the Howe-era, Kieran Trippier came in from Atlético Madrid, where he won La Liga last season. Injuries reduced his gametime in Spain and he made a return to the Premier League to join a relegation battle. Having tasted the drop with Burnley before, Trippier moved to Tottenham Hotspur where he established himself as one of the best right backs in the league. With a World Cup on the horizon, Trippier needs to hit the ground running or risk falling further behind in the pecking order as far as Gareth Southgate’s plans are concerned.
Newcastle massively strengthened their chances of survival with the £25 million acquisition of Chris Wood from fellow relegation strugglers Burnley. Not only does Wood offer a physical presence that no one else at the club can provide, but he has a great record in the league considering Burnley’s lack of goal threat over the past couple of seasons — massively denting the Claret’s squad in the process. Wood will need to find the net quickly though or talks of his admittedly hefty price tag will reoccur more with each passing game.
No doubt the biggest coup of the window, highly-rated Brazilian international Bruno Guimarães turned down offers from several clubs, including Arsenal, to join Newcastle in a £33 million move from Ligue 1 outfit Olympic Lyon. Guimarães abandoned all European commitments to link up with Howe and co. in the North East and brings that added bit of quality both in and out of possession that Newcastle’s other midfielders were really lacking. Perhaps the first marquee signing of the Saudi-era, it will be interesting to see how long Guimarães sticks around if things turn sour.
The arrival of Lucas Digne meant Matt Targett became surplus to requirements at Aston Villa, so Newcastle swooping in to pick up the left back on loan makes perfect sense. Hardly the most exciting signing on the list, Targett is a safe pair of hands who is a stalwart in the league, and while he might not be bombing up and down the flank in the same way most modern fullbacks would, the 26-year-old is reliable at the back and loves a tackle, bringing more security to a new look backline.
A Deadline Day deal that went right to the wire, Dan Burn was signed from Brighton for £13 million and can provide cover at either left back or centre back. At 6’7 Burn is one of the biggest defenders in the league, but don’t let his size fool you, the 29-year-old is surprisingly agile. Having spent the last four years with the Seagulls, Blyth boy Burn made the move when his boyhood side came calling, and admitted he wouldn’t have left for any other club. He’ll provide valuable experience defensively.