Now a week into the January transfer window, the British media is once again lost in a world of hyperbole – despite the entirety of the Premier League making just five signings collectively thus far.
Indeed, there are rumours of a £215million Manchester United spending spree, a three-way tussle for the services of Leicester City record-breaker Jamie Vardy and unimaginable sums being utilised to lure Romelu Lukaku away from Everton.
But not every signing during the January transfer window has to come with an eye-watering price-tag. In fact, the notorious risk of the winter market suggests keeping spending to a minimum is a far safer strategy – even if it means Hollywood arrivals will have to wait until the summer.
And there’s no better way to reduce spending than making loan signings, requiring no transfer fee at all. With that in mind, here are FIVE loan signings Newcastle United should consider this month amid their battle for top-flight survival.
Manchester United are believed to have already turned down a loan bid for lanky midfielder Marouane Fellaini, but the situation could change in a few weeks time if the Red Devils sign a couple of winter recruits as widely speculated.
The Belgium international certainly isn’t the easiest on the eye – more awkward elbows and floppy hair than tiki-taka playmaking – but he’s proved his effectiveness at both ends of the pitch on countless occasions during his near decade in the Premier League.
Newcastle United employ a largely direct style of football and the 6 foot 5 midfielder would be perfect in that regard, either providing added aerial menace from the middle of the park or serving as an emergency striker.
Likewise, the 28-year-old can have a huge impact on the score line from set pieces – which could well be the difference between the Magpies finishing the right side of the relegation zone.
No list of suggested loan signings would be complete without mentioning the MLS, whose biggest stars often take up temporary employment in Europe during the American top flight’s winter offseason.
Newcastle United aren’t exactly overflowing with midfield talent at the moment, so FC Toronto’s box-to-box enthusiast Michael Bradley could prove to be a very shrewd addition.
The 26-year-old is widely regarded as one of the MLS’ top talents and has enjoyed plenty of decent spells in Europe before, with the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach, Aston Villa, Chievo and Roma, so he certainly won’t struggle with the change of pace at St. James’ Park.
He’s also racked up a rather incredible 109 caps for Team USA and his notorious energy seems particularly befitting of the Premier League’s physical brand of football.
Newcastle have certainly shown defensive improvements in recent weeks but the backline remains their weakest department and captain centre-back Fabricio Coloccini is yet to convince that he’s fully up to the task this season. In that regard, Tottenham Hotspur’s Federico Fazio could end up taking a few people by surprise.
No doubt, it hasn’t worked out for the Argentine at White Hart Lane, as he continues to await his first league appearance for the Lilywhites this season.
But the 28-year-old was a Europa League-winning captain at former club Sevilla and widely regarded as one of La Liga’s better defenders – it could well be the case that he simply doesn’t have enough Premier League games under his belt just yet.
Spurs seem more than happy to get rid; there’s even talk of him moving to West Brom in a permanent deal. And although he may not be the most inspiring long-term addition to Newcastle’s squad, the 6 foot 5 South American could make a huge difference to their survival bid.
With the vast majority of their Premier League goals sourced from summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum this season, the addition of a dependable striker certainly wouldn’t go amiss for Newcastle this month.
They’ve already been linked with former loan star Loic Remy, who bagged 14 goals in 26 league outings whilst on loan at St. James’ Park before moving to Chelsea at a cost of £10.5million in summer 2014.
Having seen just 146 minutes’ worth of Premier League action so far this season, the France international will be desperate to secure more regular playing time ahead of next summer’s European Championship on his home soil.
But with loan flop Radamel Falcao reportedly heading for the MLS, the Blues may refuse to part with the 29-year-old during the January transfer window. Likewise, competition for his services is fierce, with Crystal Palace, Swansea City, West Brom, West Ham and several Ligue 1 sides all linked over the last few weeks.
Another frontman well worth Newcastle United’s consideration is Juventus outcast Simone Zaza.
The Italy international joined the Turin ranks in July, after netting twelve goals in 34 appearances for Sassuolo last season, but has found himself stuck behind fellow summer arrivals Mario Mandzukic and Paolo Dybala in the pecking order.
No doubt, however, the 24-year-old is a talented forward. Despite his limited game-time this season, he’s still found six goals in eleven outings across all competitions – including three strikes in Serie A.
Blessed with Italian technique but also a powerful 6 foot 1 frame, Zaza seems well worth the gamble for Premier League clubs in need of added firepower. Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham have all been linked with the seven-cap international over the last few weeks.