Newcastle United supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing the Magpies go down 1-0 at home to Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday night, thus suffering a seventh defeat in their last eight matches.
Rafa Benitez’s men made a solid start to life back in the top tier by winning four of their opening nine games, yet they have since failed to register a single victory in a run of form that has plunged them into a relegation battle. And they were unable to stop the rot against Sam Allardyce’s Everton on Wednesday night as well, as a Wayne Rooney strike midway through the first half was enough to secure a 1-0 success for the Toffees, thus inflicting a fourth successive home defeat on the Magpies, and tenth of the season overall.
Thus, there have been many deflated Magpies fans in the Tavern in the last few weeks, several of whom are begging for the January transfer window to arrive in the hope that manager Benitez can add much-needed quality to their squad as they seek to avoid relegation come the end of the season.
And two men they have been linked with in recent times are Liverpool’s Danny Ings and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, both of whom could hold the key to Newcastle’s survival chances in the second half of the campaign.
Ultimately, although Ings has struggled with injury since making the move to Anfield back in 2015, the one-time England international did prove his credentials at top-flight level with 11 goals in 35 appearances for Burnley in the 2014/15 campaign.
That goal-scoring form was ultimately what earned him an England call-up back in 2015, as well as the move to Liverpool, but more importantly for Benitez and Newcastle fans is that most of those goals came in a similar situation for Burnley as what it is likely to be for the Magpies – namely under pressure and in a relegation battle.
And given their current lack of options going forward, adding Ings would certainly bolster their attacking ranks, while a move for Shaw would be a very welcome one indeed given that they have struggled somewhat defensively in the last few weeks.
Much of that could be put down to the immense pressure placed on the backline from the lack of goals at the other end, but bringing in someone like Shaw, who when fit is arguably one of the best left-backs in the country, can only help them shore up at the back.
And with the 22-year-old likely harbouring hopes of an England call-up, he needs Newcastle just as much as they need him, as the Magpies could offer him the minutes he needs to prove to his fitness and capabilities to Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, at the same time bolstering Benitez’s left-hand-side.
Ultimately, when one looks at the current Newcastle squad, it’s made up of players that helped the club win promotion from the Championship last season, and as such there are question marks over whether it is strong enough to stay up – recent evidence would suggest not.
But bringing in players of the calibre of Ings and Shaw, both of whom have had injury issues but have come out the other side of those, will seriously enhance their survival chances, as well as send a clear statement of intent to the other teams battling against the drop.
Who knows, landing this talented duo could be enough to keep them in the division.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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