The big Newcastle United hope after extraordinary summer transfer spend
Why? Because the club had already spent around £120million on four players – Alexandar Isak, Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett – in the window. And whatever happened in the final hours, the window was always going to be viewed as a successful one for the club.
Never before have Newcastle spent that much in one window.
Yes, Eddie Howe would have liked more players through the doors, but the club, which also spent heavily in January as he attempted to stave off the threat of relegation, must work within the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.
United’s hierarchy are keen to leave themselves some room for manoeuvre in future windows, having seen other clubs, notably Everton, become hamstrung by over-spending in one part of the cycle.
And what’s clear is that the club’s new owners, looking to address 14 years of under-investment, will back him in the next window – and the one after that. The rebuild won’t happen overnight – or even over one year. It’ll take several windows to build a squad capable of challenging for Champions League football.
In the meantime, Howe still has a very competitive team, as shown by the performance in last night’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Howe was without three of his best players – Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson – because of injuries, yet United were only beaten by a 98th-minute strike from Fabio Carvalho.
“We were right in that game – from beginning to end,” said Howe.
What’s more, Isak got off the mark at Anfield. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke about Newcastle being the Premier League’s “most improved team” before the game, and the striker, signed last week from Real Sociedad in a club-record £60million deal, can improve them further.
The closure of the window will allow How to fully focus on improving his team.
Behind the scenes, of course, work will start ahead of January's window.
In the meantime, the team, bolstered by the likes of Isak and Botman, can hopefully push up the Premier League table.