Despite the fact their Deadline Day was largely dominated by rumours surrounding the potential return of Andros Townsend, the Newcastle United fans in the Transfer Tavern watched the club fail to bring anyone in.
As strong a squad as the Magpies have in the Championship, they haven’t exactly always been wholly convincing in a league they were widely tipped to dominate. In fact, without Jonjo Shelvey, the Toon Army look like a distinctly average side, so the fact no additions were brought in obviously caused concern.
Still, the January market is a notoriously difficult place to find value for money, so perhaps Rafa Benitez missed a trick in not RECALLING one of his loanees when it became obvious the Tyneside titans wouldn’t be bringing anyone in. Amid the frenzy yesterday, there were suggestions from Times journalist George Caulkin the Spaniard would go down that route.
Clearly, hindsight is 20/20, though perhaps the idea of bringing Siem De Jong back to St. James’ Park isn’t as ridiculous as it first sounds. There’s little doubt the fragile Dutchman failed to wholly convince during an injury-stricken few seasons in black and white, though he has been making appearances during his stint with PSV.
With Newcastle, at their worst, lacking any sort of imagination going forward, the former Oranje ace could have provided that. Cast your minds back to Benitez’s first home game, a 1-1 draw with Sunderland during a ridiculously high-pressure Tyne-Wear derby, when the 28-year-old was hauled on late in the second-half.
At the time, the Magpies were 1-0 down, with De Jong dropping deep to act as a makeshift quarterback, helping dictate play. Though he was initially purchased as a No.10, he could have helped in deeper positions, helping force Newcastle up the pitch if Shelvey is either absent or man-marked out of the game.
Would De Jong have improved Newcastle? Let us know below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!