Premier League: Frugal transfer window a missed opportunity for Newcastle

Hatem Ben Arfa joined Hull on deadline day
Hatem Ben Arfa joined Hull on deadline day

Newcastle United recruited a total of nine players during the summer but it was an ultimately disappointing transfer window, summed up by the departure on deadline day of fans' favourite Hatem Ben Arfa to Hull. Magpies blogger Kevin Doocey analyses the comings and goings...

"When you take into account the sales of Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy, the club spent less than £5m. 'Frugal' in one way, 'unambitious' in another."

The transfer window is always a nervy time for any Newcastle United fan. The memories of Andy Cole departing St. James' Park for Manchester United in a shock move still haunts some Toon supporters.

Then in January 2011 Newcastle saw their star forward, Andy Carroll leave to Liverpool in a £35m transfer which shook British football to its core. 

In other words, fear, anxiety and dread are often at the forefront of the thoughts of the Geordie people when it comes to the transfer window.

When the clock struck 23:00 on Monday, you could be forgiven for thinking Newcastle United had an excellent summer transfer window.

They managed to recruit seasoned internationals in Daryl Janmaat and Remy Cabella, and the addition of Ajax captain Siem de Jong marked one of the better deals of the window.

Additionally, they secured deals for new England squad member Jack Colback, Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere, Facundo Ferreyra, all players with big potential that could establish themselves as Premier League regulars in the Newcastle team.

But, look a little closer, and you'll see that these were all merely replacements for players that have already left the club in past window - in essence, Newcastle aimed to purely fill the quota before locking away their chequebook.

In fact, when you take into account the sales of Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy, the club spent less than £5m. 'Frugal' in one way, 'unambitious' in another.

Instead of seeking one more defender to give his side some security, Alan Pardew spent the entire deadline day trying to ship out two players - Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Hatem Ben Arfa, perhaps two of the better players the club has, but both ultimately unable to show such talents under a manager who is notorious for disrupting a player's progression.

Yanga-Mbiwa left for Champions League-bound AS Roma, while Ben Arfa found a new home at Hull City, both joining on loan.

With Yanga-Mbiwa gone, Newcastle have to rely on just three senior centre-backs, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, and Steven Taylor. In reality, only one of those players is good enough to merit a starting role at St. James' Park - I'll let you figure out who. Should injury strike one of the trio, Newcastle will be playing with fire.

On the flipside, it shouldn't be all doom and gloom for Toon fans as the squad at the moment is in better nick than the previous season. There is exciting attacking talent in the form of Cabella, De Jong and Riviere, while at full-back, Janmaat looks like he could ever surpass Mathieu Debuchy's form on Tyneside. 

Truth be told, we have an ultimately attacking outfit at our disposal, with Papiss Cisse also due to return to boost our goal scoring threat and 2.47/5 on another top ten finish looks like a solid bet. It's true that things could be much worse, but there is no fun in settling for average.

With the right ambition and a capable manager in charge, this club could push the boundaries. It could make fans dream -- something that will never happen under the current regime.

In an ultimately familiar but forever disappointing story, the transfer window offered Newcastle United the chance to move forward, instead, the hierarchy opted to move sideways.

Check out Kevin's Newcastle blog, Tyne Time, and follow him on Twitter @KevinDoocey.


Check out the latest Betfair Sports Update on Timeform Radio where B.B editor Dan Thomas discusses transfer deadline day with presenter Tim Peters.

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