Lee Charnley has been doing the rounds lately. Yesterday he spoke about the plan to get St James Park full. While we love the idea of having 52,000 fans cheering on the boys, it is concerning that the attendance is so low despite recent results.
The managing director has come out today and hinted that it’s likely to be a quiet winter transfer window. This is what Charnley had to say about January to BBC Newcastle.
“What I don't want to do is over-promise and under-deliver.
“But… if there's an opportunity that makes sense for us, that may well be something we would look at.”
— Matthew Raisbeck (@raisbeck10) December 11, 2019
This sounds awfully familiar to us as this is precisely Steve Bruce’s stance on the winter window. Bruce has been saying over the past few months that he’s not seen his entire squad just yet, and they’ll only bring in someone if it’s the right deal.
The age-old adage of ‘like a new signing’ also comes to mind with Lee’s comments here. While he’s correct about Bruce not having seen Florian Lejeune this season, we were hardly going to strengthen at center-back.
We certainly hope this pertains only to the first-team. They should be bringing in some youngsters to the Academy at the very least.
A lot is going to depend on how the team does over the next few weeks and also if there are any fresh injury concerns. We still don’t know how long Allan Saint-Maximin is going to be out. If it’s for an extended period, then Newcastle could really suffer in his absence.
Right now, both Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles are due to be back next month. Ritchie will be a big boost as he can provide cover for Jetro Willems at left wing-back and also play up top on the right-wing.
With around £20m left in the budget for January, that would likely be enough to get Jarrod Bowen in from Hull City. He would be an astute signing and make sense as a January addition.
There are also some outgoings that Newcastle should be working on. We’d like to see both Jack Colback and Henri Saivet out the door next month as a bare minimum.
While Charnley is playing down the expectations, there’s plenty that needs to be done in January. A couple of youngsters and Jarrod Bowen would be a decent window and should be enough to keep us mid-table.
However, if we continue to win over the next month and steadily climb the table, why not just go for it? Spend the money on a top goal scorer in addition to Bowen and some youngsters. That might help fill the stadium.
If Ashley and Co. really want a full St James Park, then spend the money next month on a push for Europe.