Newcastle, here’s the starting XI you could’ve had…

Being a Newcastle fan is never easy and it looks as though the Magpies are bracing themselves for another relegation scrap as we head into the ‘business end’ of the 2015/16 campaign.

Steve McClaren is hardly working wonders up in the north-east, but this January transfer window could have assisted his attempts to clamber their way out of the relegation fight and reach the relative security of mid-table comfort. On the other hand, the current squad at Newcastle shouldn’t be anywhere near where they are so it isn’t saying much to say that McClaren could pull them away from the drop.

Both Newcastle and their dearest rivals, Sunderland, strengthened significantly in this January window, but could it have been so much more for the Magpies?

The players McClaren and Mike Ashley brought in came at great expense, but could they have been more shrewd in this window? Were the real defensive issues met?

Here’s the XI that Newcastle could have had….

Tim Krul

Tim Krul (Netherlands):

Injury has blighted Krul’s season, but the Magpies still look so much more secure when he is between the sticks.

It was a bit of a surprise that Newcastle didn’t look to find another backup for the Dutchman in the January window.

Daryl Janmaat

Daryl Janmaat (centre)

Janmaat’s attacking capabilities aren’t under scrutiny, but the full-back doesn’t really prioritise defending as much as you may hope that a defender would do.

When made to go towards his own goal, large errors can creep into his game.

Fabricio Coloccini

Fabricio Coloccini

Age is finally catching up with the Argentine centre-back, but, as anyone would, Coloccini has benefited greatly from not having Mike Williamson alongside him..

Chancel Mbemba

Mbemba

Mbemba, however old he is, looks like he could become a really top quality central defender.

His performance against Everton is one of the best individual defensive displays of the season and he will need plenty more where that came from if Newcastle are to stay up.

Kieran Gibbs

Kieran Gibbs

As Nacho Monreal has taken the Arsenal left-back role from Gibbs, the defender could have been available in January with the promise of first team football.

Newcastle’s failure to strengthen their left-back role is one of the biggest mistakes from any side in this window.

Jonjo Shelvey

Everton v Newcastle United - Barclays Premier League

Eyebrows were raised at Shelvey’s price tag, but the former Liverpool man has already impressed Newcastle fans with his passing range and is a huge upgrade on Colback or Anita.

Be wary though, Magpies, the former Swan isn’t going to be busting a gut when he’s not in possession.

Moussa Sissoko

Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko is developing a rather undesirable reputation for only performing in televised games. The Frenchman can be destructive on his day, but his performances too often look like a player with very little interest.

Georginio Wijnaldum

Georginio Wijnaldum (centre)

Wijnaldum has had some great performances already this season, but the Dutchman needs to have a more regular effect upon matches.

Much like Sissoko, he can go missing when his side need him and that’s not helping anyone in a relegation duel.

Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend

Alienated at Spurs, Townsend is, as he has said, looking to use this move as a chance to rebuild his own career as much as anything.

The direct running, bold shooting and electric pace will greatly help Newcastle to add an extra dimension to their game.

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

Recently secured for several more seasons with a new contract, Ayoze will be one of the first players to leave if Newcastle do drop down to the Championship.

The changing of his role in the side isn’t helping his development and the Spaniard cannot be left to play as a lone front man.

Alexandre Lacazette

Olympique Lyonnais v Juventus - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final First Leg

It would have been one of the most shocking moves of the window, yet signing Lacazette was not a totally ridiculous proposition.

The Lyon striker has seen a slight dip in form since his brilliance of last season and the Magpies could’ve gambled on him with Mitrovic’s form being so inconsistent.