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Food for thought: Can Newcastle fans be happy with their club’s January business?

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Islam Slimani

Can Newcastle Fans Be Happy With Their Club’s Transfer Business In January?

Truly? Yes and No.

Ultimately the fans are not happy with anything at this football club other than with Rafa Benitez, skipper Jamaal Lascelles and the commitment (if not the ability) of the playing squad.

So, it goes without saying that seeing three players; Kenedy (Chelsea), Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague) and Islam Slimani (Leicester City) arriving on loan and another seven going out on loan without a penny spent hardly makes the Toon Army jump for joy.

With 50,000+ regular attendees, plenty of beer drunk in the stadium, plenty of merchandise bought and of course all of those Premier League TV millions coming in, Newcastle fans refuse to listen to any of the club’s nonsense about low budgets. As one fan recently put it: “We can’t compete with countries, Ashley said. Since when are Huddersfield and Burnley countries”. Quite.

Newcastle is one of the few cities in England who could, in theory, host a title-winning Premier League team on a regular basis given the size of the support, the stadium and all that comes with it.

PCP Partners, for example, know that this club could be huge on the world stage, never mind England, so the state the fans find the club in right now is, of course, a million miles below its potential. With that in mind, of course, the fans aren’t happy with the business done in January.

Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Newcastle?

In mitigation, and the reason I wrote ‘yes and no’ at the top of this piece is that things have been so utterly, drastically bad under Mike Ashley that upon getting to the last week of January, a lot of fans were so pessimistic thinking absolutely nobody would come in to strengthen the side.

Once fans had resigned themselves to the fact that they would have just the same squad of players to watch between now and May, relegation becomes a distinct possibility. However, a hugely positive debut from Kenedy against Burnley where he hit the post, won the penalty and supplied the goal allied to two deadline day signings have people feeling a little better.

It remains to be seen how good Dubravka is but we do know that Islam Slimani is way better than what Newcastle already possessed up front. Leicester City paid a lot of money for the striker who, in any era other than the Jamie Vardy one, would have been a regular at the King Power stadium.

So, with a long-term view this window is sadly indicative of Newcastle’s overall profile under Mike Ashley but, in the short term, it may well have given Rafa what he needed to ensure their safety.