Despite spending close to £50million over the course of the summer transfer window, and subsequently parting ways with yet another small fortune across the past month, Steve McClaren and his persistent Newcastle United outfit still seemingly have it all to do this season.
The impending threat of relegation remains very real for the Magpies looking into the immediate future, with the overall atmosphere in and around St. James’ Park feeling just as tense and uncertain as it has done for quite some time now…
However, after landing a succession of potential stars on Tyneside throughout the recent January transfer period – have Newcastle United simply spent their way out of trouble this winter?
Seydou Doumbia was the last name to eventually seal his move to St. James’ on what turned out to be a somewhat underwhelming transfer deadline-day truth be told. Although 28-year-old Ivory Coast international didn’t exactly set the world alight when operating for AS Roma amid the Italian Serie A last season, the striker in question could still nonetheless come up trumps for Steve McClaren’s side.
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The former CSKA Moscow favourite arrives with a very impressive goal-scoring record in the Champions League of course – and as Newcastle have admittedly failed to put away several clear-cut chances in front of goal this season – maybe this somewhat understated loan signing could potentially save the Magpies from relegation in the end.
Elsewhere this January, Newcastle United also landed themselves both Henri Saivet and Andros Townsend to help strengthen the team’s cause in the middle of the park this season. The former represents yet another gamble from the French Ligue 1 that could seemingly go either way in 2015/16, whilst the latter has barely completed a full 90 minutes for Tottenham over the past few league campaigns.
Townsend himself will likely help create a fair amount of excitement in and around St. James’ due to his prior reputation with England on the international scene, but arguably fails to go down as someone worthy of such a hefty price tag. The Magpies hierarchy were obviously keen on putting their money where their mouth is this January, for even though the former Spurs winger will nevertheless strengthen the current options available to McClaren, £12million still seems a rather steep valuation.
Saivet however could prove somewhat of a success on Tyneside after seeing his signing slip largely under the radar this January, but only if the Senegalese international is issued with a fair amount of game-time from the current manager down at St. James’.
And last – but certainly not least – the Newcastle United faithful witnessed yet another £12million capture earlier on in the transfer window, but this time in the shape of former Swansea City battler and England international – Jonjo Shelvey.
The creative ball-playing midfielder has already served to impress for the Magpies since his recent departure from the Liberty Stadium, for when this 23-year-old play-maker is truly performing to the very best of his abilities in front of his respective fan-base, the limitations placed on Jonjo Shelvey ultimately prove few and far between.
Via his intelligent style of play in the middle of the park, impressive prowess when sending searching through-balls all across the pitch for his newfound teammates to run on to – and uncanny ability to make things happen just when his side seem to need it most – Steve McClaren may have sourced himself one of the signings of the entire January transfer window in this often effective central-midfielder.
Jonjo Shelvey admittedly carries a somewhat dirtier side to his overall game but as Newcastle have clearly been lacking a sense of fight and passion throughout the current season thus far, maybe the Magpies would in-fact benefit from the addition of such a personality when push invariably comes to shove this term.
So then, despite coming off second best to Roberto Martinez’ Everton last time out in the Premier League, it seems reasonable to suggest that Steve McClaren’s side have all but ensured their Premier League survival between now and the end of what has so far proven a rather unpredictable season.