This Playmaker Likely To Join Newcastle In January As Rafa Seeks Quality

Rafa Benitez brought in an amazing 12 players to the club over the summer transfer window – a full team plus one sub.

So as the January transfer window approaches, the Chronicle are reporting today that Newcastle will be going after quality rather than quantity in the upcoming transfer window.

Rafa will bring in maybe two or three players to shore up some positions in the team.

alan judge brentford

Alan Judge – signing in January?

One player we were heavily linked with in the summer who we didn’t sign was play-maker Alan Judge of Brentford – and it’s a decent bet we will try to sign Alan in January.

By then he should have fully recovered from the double fracture of his right leg he suffered at Ipswich last April,  following a heavy tackle from Ipswich’s Luke Hyam.


The tackle that fractured Alan Judge’s lower right leg in two places

Alan’s creativity would certainly help us in the Championship and Judge could also be a good player in the Premier League.

We’ll also have to hope that Newcastle are very well placed in the league table by the time January rolls around.

Then  we could attract some (very) good players to the club, since it would look like we are heading back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Newcastle were represented at the Genk Europa League tie in Belgium recently and there were a number of good young players playing in the game that Genk won 3-1 against Sassuolo; that was on Thursday 29th September.

As January approaches we will be linked with a number of players – but the most important thing for Newcastle before then is to keep winning our games in the league.

Here are the five league games coming up once we start up against next Saturday after the two week long and rather boring International break:

Sat 15	15:00	H   Brentford				
Tue 18	19:45	A   Barnsley				
Sat 22	15:00	H   Ipswich Town				
Sat 29	15:00	A   Preston				
Sat 05	15:00	H   Cardiff City

How Many Points Will Newcastle Get In Next 5 League Games?

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Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • Jib

    Oct 9, 2016 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #1

    I want to see us have more of a left sided threat .

    There seems little point in playing 4-2-3-1 if you are not strong on both wings.

    So the left footed Judge (14 goals from midfield last season!) should be a good fit.

    Plus more of Achraf Lazaar and the acquisition of the Jamaican left winger from Genk – Leon Bailey would be nice

  • Offkey

    Oct 9, 2016 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #2

    I like this guy but imo we only have space a couple of more bodies e.g a cm/playmaker competition for Shelvey, another winger as arrons just can’t stay fit even though I wish he could and a prem quality striker who can score in that league (in the hope we are promoted).

  • Offkey

    Oct 9, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #3

    It’s then just a case of whether he is worth taking up one of those spots. Of course, I will bow to Rafa’s judgment on the matter.

  • toontaff2

    Oct 9, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #4

    Do 5 people/WUMs/mackems really think we will only get 0-3 points in the next 5 games?
    I went for 9-11,with at least 2 wins, probably 3, maybe the odd draw.

  • Jib

    Oct 9, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #5

    Lazaar must have played OK
    Morocco held Gabon to a goal-less draw
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was playing for Gabon.
    Chancel Mbemba’s DRCongo kept a clean sheet as they stuffed Libya 4-0

    Diamé played as Senegal beat Cape Verde 2 – 0

  • lesh

    Oct 9, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #6


    Maybe you’re suffering ME. Check the symptoms on the web.

    If they chime with yours, your GP might need some persuading though – the medics are split about whether it’s real or imagined.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Oct 9, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #7

    ‘Rafa Benitez brought in an amazing 12 players to the club’
    They weren’t all amazing, Ed, and certainly not Sels.

  • Jib

    Oct 9, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #8

    Spotlight Kid
    Something for you to consider.
    Maybe Ed meant that it was TWELVE players that was amazing – not 12 amazing players.
    Just saying like.

  • Sav

    Oct 9, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #9

    I can’t understand your touting Alan Judge to this extent. He is 28, so no spring chicken, has never played at the top level (where we hope to be in August) and has hardly played for the Ireland side who could surely do with him if he was that good. Crucially, he is recovering from an horrific injury, the like of which often leaves players permanently debilitated or at least a yard short of pace, despite the miracles of medicine. Finally, we have a bucket of money, so we will be able to choose from a much bigger pool of creative midfielders if and when we reach promotion. So, without wishing to be unkind to the lad, what the hell is the obsession with Alan Judge all about?

  • Novocastrian66

    Oct 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #10

    I think Ed is referring to the quantity rather than the quality.


    Oct 9, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #11

    Hes a good player and did very well in the Champ, hes experienced in battling, he was set to come in during the Summer but his recovery wasnt as far advanced as first thought, I think hes home grown, he wont cost much and we need someone in that position

    If Rafa wanted him in the Summer its not out of the question he’d want him in Jan. We do have a load of money but in the Summer when we are back in the PL we have a lot more options than this coming Jan so no need to use it

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 9, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #12

    Not sure about Judge. We were definitely after signing him in the summer – but was that solely for this seasons campaign or did Benitez see him as a player who could step up to the PL.
    Might be in January that Benitez makes a different judgement – based on league position/injuries etc.

    At 28 years old -his game is not going to change much. He’s valued at a couple of million.
    An investment of a couple of million to secure multi million PL cash might be a low risk gamble.

  • AncientC

    Oct 9, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #13

    I have noticed quite a lot of posters seem to believe the club is sitting on a war chest for next summer.

    Yes, the club is £30 million to the good, due to transfers paid/received over the summer, but, are we forgetting that the club’s wage bill isn’t significantly lower, and the club has lost its Premier League revenue? NUFC will receive a £40 million parachute payment, the rest of the parachute payments will be forfeited if we bounce back at the first attempt. Premier League clubs on the other hand will be cashing in £100+ milion. The NUFC wage bill currently stands at at least £60 million, and that does not include Rafa’s wages, or agent & club running costs.

    If you look at the transfer incomings and outgoings, since the last time we were in the championship… between then (2008-2009) and where we are now (nearly midway 2006-17), you would probably find a zero net spend on players. That is 7 years of Premier League football within that time frame.

    Is Mike Ashley suddenly going to act out of character, and start investing in the club? By the time we get back to the Premier League, we will not be equipped with more funds than the 17 teams who survive this season. I would assume this is going to be a bone of contention for Benitez in the future, but I guess for now… let’s just get back there first.

  • Bryan

    Oct 9, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #14

    i agree entirely. We have far to many championship quality players already. If we are in a good position come Jan we should be looking for players who can complete comfortably in the premier league.

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #15

    Don’t think there are going to be any multi million pound PL ready superstars being bought. Maybe players on the periphery/those who may have potential.
    Apart from PL status has Benitez got any goals for glory in his 3 year tenure. will he stay after 3 years -can he win anything in three years. would lofty ambitions be proportionate to how much they spend.
    Still a lot of interesting questions.
    Interersting that they are planning for the next three windows which obviously they should be.
    Looking forward to January to see who they get in.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #16

    Ancient, I think – hope – that when Rafa sat down with his plan that the next couple of seasons were part of the discussion. How i see it is that apart from the 30m we’ve made, there was still 70 left over from McClaren fiasco. He said he had 150m to spend over three windows remember. He spent 80 of it, messed it up and Ashley said no more. That must be tucked away somewhere and likely made up a large part of their agreement. I’m pretty sure Rafa wouldn’t have signed unless some sort of financial agreement was in place. He couldn’t stage an assualt on the top eight without money being available. That’s how I see it anyway.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #17

    Just curious, but have any of you seen Judge play? He really is a quality player you know? At 28 he’s still got five years minimum in his legs and when I’ve seen Brentford play, he’s been far and away their best player. Stood out a mile. He’ll bring a lot to the game for sure. Goes past defenders easily enough and a wicked range of passing skills.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #18

    Toontaff. You’re right. Not people, mackems probably 🙂

  • Offkey

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #19

    Ancient – I thought the wage bill would have been slashed almost in half, but that’s just a guess like without much thought into it.

    Lesh – think it’s just insomnia mate, that’s not the one joke kinnear used to refer to 😉

  • AncientC

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #20

    Bobby, I would say the scenario you proposed is very likely. I would have thought that during the negotiations with Benitez, Charnley was sanctioned to give Rafa promises regarding future outlay etc, and it may have even been intended with genuine intention at the time. The problem is, the position the club was in during negotiations. I get the impression Mike Ashley would have promised Benitez the world to get him to stay, but what happens if the club is back in the PL next season – old habits die hard.

    I view Mike Ashley’s term at the club, as a term of bare minimums. I am not so certain that getting an expensive manager in signaled a change in approach, more so than it was the bare minimum required to get the club back into the Premier League, where being in that league seems to be the owners only ambition.

  • expatmag

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #21


    Premiership quality or experienced already:

    Elliott Krul Yedlin Anita Lascelles Clark Mbemba Dummett Ritchie Shelvey Tiote Colback Diame Gayle Mitrovic Perez

    Jury out on:

    Sels Darlow Hanley Atsu Hayden Aarons Lazaars Thauvin Dejong Armstrong Saviet

    Not premiership quality

    Murphy Haidara Woodman Ameobi Vukic Riviere

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #22


    Yeah I was going to say the same, we’d really have to hit the buffers to only get that few points.

    On the fence as far as Judge goes, I think we’d just have to accept that Rafa knows best.

    As for Ashley’s money he’s going to have to put more into the retail side for his workers to get a fairer pay deal if he keeps his word, so I am wondering if that will have a knock on effect re the football side.

    I see Vuckic scored yesterday for Bradford, I doubt if he is coming back to us but if he ever improved to the level he was expected to he could be similar to Barclay (Everton)

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #23

    Ancient, I’m no big fan of Ashley – couldn’t care either way, my only concern is the team. His running of the club was a disaster , but to be fair, he made the money available to the wrong people, which was a shame really. He accepted responsibility and took a different approach. He’s now took a back seat and things are going smoothly. You’re right of course, that he could revert to type, but there’s no sign of it yet and I think he actually wants a well run club so he can turn his skills elsewhere. It would make no sense to change tack now imo. Obviously, that doesn’t mean he won’t, but Rafa was more than happy when he signed and remains that way. I think Ashley wants to win something, he just didn’t know how. Not like selling tat is it? 🙂 I’m willing to bite my tongue and see where it takes us. We’re a club on the up now, respected again. I really see this as the start of something really good. Can you imagine the irony if Ashley achieved where so many other owners have failed? 🙂 Like I say, Ashley could easily go backwards, but there’s no evidence of it yet and Rafa is also happy. Happy owner, happy manager, happy players, happy fans. Wow, is this really Newcastle? 🙂 Just a slight warning there, I am the eternal optimist! 🙂

  • Jib

    Oct 9, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #24

    As well as the profit on Sales this Summer the club was paid nearly £80 million in June (we still get PL tv money even though relegated ).

    So we certainly do have a war chest.

    Our wages bill for 2015/16 was £75.8 million but for this year , while still high for the Championship , should be halved and covered by Stadium and ancillary income .


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