Newcastle United's 2020 January transfer window discussed - will Steve Bruce strengthen his team?
We’re approaching the beginning of December, which means the January transfer window is just around the corner for Newcastle United.
Our Newcastle United writers Miles Starforth and Jordan Cronin discuss the key talking points ahead of the upcoming winter market.
What is the key January priority for Steve Bruce and Newcastle?
MS: “While Bruce, keen to manage expectations, has been coy about the club’s plans for the January window, he’s made it clear that midfield is the area that he would like to see strengthened. He’s looking for legs in midfield, and even a player who can play the No10 role. It seems the club is looking to replace Mohamed Diame, who left in the summer when his contract expired.”
JC: “Unquestionably get Jetro Willems signed up permanently. The left-back has been a complete revelation since his loan move from Frankfurt, proving himself one of the key men in Bruce’s system. Because of United’s form at the moment is strong, it’s hard to envisage many potential incomings. A further priority must be to get the likes of Jack Colback and Henri Saivet off the wage bill, so the club can be a healthier position in the summer.”
How much should the club be looking to spend to compete with their Premier League rivals?
MS: “I don’t think the club will be spending much, in Premier League terms, in January, a difficult market in which to operate. It’s likely that the loan market will be the club’s first port of call, though I wouldn’t rule out a permanent signing. As for how much the club should spend, how long is a piece of string? What is clear is that more investment is needed - both in January and next summer.”
JC: “If you consider United’s relegation rivals, you can’t see the likes of Norwich City, maybe even Southampton, Watford or Crystal Palace spending much money. Aston Villa are the ones to watch as West Ham and Everton will probably pull away from danger with new managers. All in all, I don’t think Newcastle have to spend much, they’ve got enough in the squad to see them over the line.”
Who should the club be looking to get rid of in January?
MS: “As the club comfortably named a 25-man Premier League squad, one or more players will have to leave - or miss out on a place in the squad - if there are any arrivals in January. There’s a question mark over the future of Ki Sung-yueng, who has found his opportunities limited so far this season. Also, the club has three right-backs, and that, surely, is one too many.”
JC: “I’ll be honest, I’d quite like to see Colback given a chance under Bruce but if he isn’t in the 25-man squad then it’s best to offload him in January before his contract expires. You’ve then got your usual suspect, Saivet. But if the club have a somewhat pricey signing in mind, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto are the most valuable fringe players. Someone like Jamie Sterry should move on for the good of his career, he shouldn’t be playing under-23s football, nor should he feature in the Premier League.
Which youngsters will/should be heading out on loan in January?
MS: “There are a few candidates for loans, notably Jamie Sterry, Mo Sangare and Luke Charman. Victor Fernandez, if he can stay fit after recovering from injury, is another player who would benefit from time out on loan. Also, Nathan Harker, used sparingly by Blyth Spartans up to now, might be loaned out to an EFL club for the second half of the season.
JC: “Re Sterry, a loan move would suit both parties. With Harker due back in January, that might free up a loan for either Dan Langley or Jake Turner. The under-23s group is predominantly full of kids who were in the under-18s last season. I can’t think of many who would benefit from a loan at the moment, expect maybe the ones Miles’ mentioned above.”
Should Newcastle reconsider recalling Elias Sorensen from his loan deal?
MS: “I think that, at least in part, depends on the identity of Carlisle United’s next manager. Certainly, Sorensen needs to play, and he hasn’t played nearly enough competitive football in the first half of the season. Shola Ameobi, United’s loan co-ordinator, will make a judgement after speaking Steven Pressley’s successor at Brunton Park.”
JC: “I worry for Sorensen. He wasn’t favoured at Blackpool and Pressley certainly didn’t rate him before his sacking at Carlisle earlier this month. I think it all depends on how the new Carlisle boss - yet to be named - takes to him. A January recall seems logical - but where would his next natural move be after two failed ones in the Football League? I’m not sure.”