Steve McClaren’s newly established reign on Tyneside certainly hasn’t enjoyed the best of starts, has it? Although Newcastle United currently sit just outside the realms of the dreaded relegation zone, successfully maintaining their position among the English top-flight remains a sizeable task for the Magpies this term.
From failing to pick up as many points as they have perhaps deserved this season, to witnessing several key players equally fail to give a full account of themselves on an almost week-to-week basis – the 2015/16 campaign has so far been a rather testing one for the St. James’ faithful.
The upcoming transfer window could therefore prove massive for the Tynesiders this January, potentially offering the club a way out of their current predicament. Whilst Mike Ashley may not prove the most willing of spenders when it comes to getting the cheque-book out for his respective managers over the years, the club’s reported interest in Ajax winger – Anwar El Ghazi – could nonetheless provide some promising news for Newcastle fans at this stage in the season.
However, is the young Dutchman really going to dramatically improve the Magpies as they aim to avoid relegation in 2015/16, or should Steve McClaren ultimately choose to look elsewhere this January?
Well, Anwar El Ghazi has definitely proven himself to be a rather confident asset just outside the edge of the box this season. His prowess in the long shot department has certainly been impressive of late – and with a decent total of eight goals taken from ten league matches this term – the attacker’s goal-scoring ability has also raised a great deal of attention in 2015/16. Despite deriving from Moroccan descent, the young man has even earned his first international call-up to the Netherlands squad in recent months, marking a very successful start to the new campaign indeed.
As Steve McClaren has in-fact built up a fair degree of knowledge surrounding the Dutch Eredivisie since being abruptly dismissed as England manager in 2007, maybe this potential target could really make things happen for the Tynesiders across the remainder of the current season…
Yet having given such a positive analysis of El Ghazi’s undoubtedly impressive exploits out on the pitch for Ajax, do Newcastle United ultimately need the skilful wide-man right now, in the midst of a clear relegation dog-fight? The answer could well be, no.
The Ajax academy graduate seemingly represents somewhat of a luxury player during these early stages of his career. A team currently operating higher up the Premier League table could easily move for the impressive Dutchman this January with a view to offering him a progressive role within their first team plans – yet as the Magpies have already experienced their fair share of expensive personnel who clearly aren’t ready for the testing nature of the English game just yet – Steve McClaren must ultimately see fit to cast his mind elsewhere for now.
The talented 20-year-old may well offer some truly promising signs for the future, but he nonetheless remains a raw talent in need of further development right in the here and now. Unfortunately for the St. James’ faithful these days, their club must now prioritise when it comes to the January transfer window, and only sign players who are desperately needed – as opposed to up and coming youngsters with pretty hefty transfer fees.
Newcastle have evidently been crying out for some stability throughout the spine of their team for quite some time now in all honesty. The likes of Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote simply prove unable to dictate their respective midfield battles on nearly every given occasion, and several members of the current Magpies back-four could arguably do with an update with everything duly taken into account.
As each of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum have actually impressed up-top for Newcastle this term, McClaren really shouldn’t be wasting his club’s resources on further attacking talent like Anwar El Ghazi, when the rest of his desired starting XI seriously needs improving.
When all is said and done, Ajax’s emerging star looks like he’ll definitely do the business for another big club somewhere later on in his career – whether within the Premier League or not. Yet because Newcastle United have ultimately wasted too much money on hit or miss foreign stars in the past, Steve McClaren must revaluate his club’s often questionable transfer policy this January, and finally sign some experienced pros who simply know how to get the job done.
It really is do or die time on Tyneside now…