The one priority Newcastle had in this transfer market was to get a center-back in.
Adrian Mariappa – fee couldn’t be agreed with Watford
And Newcastle failed to do that, although it seems they came fairly close to signing Adrian Mariappa of Watford, as cover for Coloccini and Williamson, but we are no better off in defense than we were when the transfer window opened on January 1st.
In our book this is poor planning by Newcastle, because we are now at the mercy of suspensions or injuries to either of the two first choice center-backs, with no real specialist center-back to come in – with James Perch being the preferred replacement.
If both Fab and Williamson are both out, we suppose Danny Simpson could switch to center-back, although there’s also Tamas Kadar, who will likely leave Newcastle when his contact runs out at the end of June.
Injuries to Colo or Williamson could now seriously affect how high we can end up in the Premier League table, and it didn’t have to be that way.
These are the deals Newcastle made in the January transfer window:
Papiss Cisse – £9M – SC Freiburg
Alan Smith – loan – MK Dons
James Tavernier – loan – MK Dons
And very late in the window, Glasgow Celtic came in to try to take Leon Best on loan to the SPL, but it wasn’t successful, and we were half expecting Fraser Forster to be transferred to Celtic, but that didn’t happen either.
Newcastle are in the driver’s seat with Fraser, because there’s no real need to sell the goalkeeper until they get a better offer than the £2M Celtic are offering, and we even think Norwich City could be interested in Fraser in the summer.
Late news that Ryan Nelson’s contract at Blackburn has been canceled so he is now a free agent, but it looks like he will be joining Spurs, and he can be signed at any time as a free agent. Late news that Ryan has signed for Tottenham.
It’s almost like we were last year at this time with strikers, when we couldn’t get a replacement in for Andy Carroll, who scored the first goal for Liverpool tonight at Wolves, in the 3-0 win that takes them above Newcastle in the league.
We wonder if Alan Pardew will now look at free agents to get some central defensive cover in – but probably not.
The good news is that we kept all our good players, and there were sufficient rumors about both Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba, that a lot of supporters were concerned the same thing could have happened this time around, as happened so dramatically a year ago.
That’s when we lost Andy Carroll to Liverpool, who came in with a late daft bid of £35M – cash up front – which Newcastle just couldn’t turn down.
So in that sense it’s been a good window, and there’s no doubt about it – the acquisition of Papiss Cisse for around £9M was a tremendous deal for the club – and we should see the benefits of that through the end of the season, in Newcastle’s enhanced ability to score goals.
However, it’s the defense that now may be the weakness, with very thin cover if any of the starters are injured or suspended.
How do you think this window has been for Newcastle?