Newcastle HAD to do something to stave off relegation, but did they do enough?
Better late than never? Newcastle United got there in the end.
Almost an hour after the transfer window closed, confirmation came that Islam Slimani had joined on loan from Leicester City. Then came the news than Martin Dubravka had signed from Sparta Prague, also on loan.
So the sum total of the club’s incoming business was three loans. A number of players, notably Aleksandar Mitrovic, left St James’s Park on loan last month.
Many fans feared the worst ahead of the window, but Rafa Benitez got a striker. He also got a winger and a goalkeeper.
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Slimani wasn’t Benitez’s first choice, and he has an injury. He may only be available for 10 games, but he’s capable and can score goals at this level.
What was inexplicable was the delay in going to the market.
Benitez, United’s manager, wanted the club to do its business in the first half of the window. Owner Mike Ashley, bizarrely, wanted Benitez to sign a new deal. There was a needless stand-off.
The priority for Ashley, predictably unpredictable, should have been the transfer market. Once Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley were given the go-ahead to sign players, they were left playing catch-up.
Also predictably, Newcastle’s transfer record – the £16million paid for Michael Owen in 2005 – wasn’t broken. It was done on the cheap.
Kenedy was the first to arrive, and the winger had a promising debut against Burnley on Wednesday night.
So the club simply had to do something, and they did do something.
Only time will tell whether it will be enough to keep the club in the Premier League.