Given just how few marquee signings Newcastle have made over recent years it’s difficult to decide who exactly deserves the badge of best and worst.
Owner Mike Ashley has been notoriously tight with his money when it comes to supporting his club, but a little less so when expanding his collection of department stores – to fans widespread dismay.
An uncharacteristic flurry in the January window has recently seen the club smash their longstanding tranfer record held by Michael Owen back in 2005.
Miguel Almiron, the man who now holds the record, was signed for a relatively huge sum of £21m (as per the Guardian) from MLS champions Atlanta United and will be hoping he can set a standard for future market activity.
Until then, however, we only have their most recent signings to discuss.
So how have they done?
Here are our choices for the best and the worst…
Best: Fabian Schar
Switzerland international Fabian Schar has proven himself to be one of the bargains of the season costing only £3m (via the Daily Mail) from relegated Deportivo La Coruna.
Schar has already formed a strong partnership with fellow centre-back and captain Jamaal Lascelles, and the club are looking better off for it. He can play out from the back, provide creative contributions in offensive movements, and even score goals – as he showed against Cardiff City.
The fact that Newcastle’s defensive record stands tall against most of the teams surrounding them, and even some in the top half of the table, goes to show how much of an influence he has had this season. And, really, how little of the responsibility he should carry for their current predicament.
Worst: Yoshinori Muto
Newcastle United fans probably would have forgotten all about Japan international Yoshinori Muto if it wasn’t for the reported £9.5m they spent on him (source: BBC Sport).
The forward has gone totally under the radar since signing from Mainz last year managing only 462 minutes on the pitch and one solitary goal in that time.
Despite Rafael Benitez trying to reassure fans, telling Chronicle Live that he expects the player to have a pivotal role in the remainder of Newcastle’s season, there’s genuinely little evidence to suggest this is possible. And, for the club’s most expensive signing this season, until recently, this simply isn’t good enough.