Recent events have brought back down to earth those dreaming of a season to remember. With injuries beginning to stack up and a hectic Christmas schedule ahead the strength of the Newcastle squad is about to be well and truly put to the test.
Chances are that a couple more injuries will be picked up in that time. Add to that the fear of a couple of players leaving for pastures new in the January window and Newcastle may find themselves in a much more difficult position than our start to the season would suggest.
Plans were in motion to bring in two players maximum in January but with the recent injuries and ever-growing rumours of departures, Alan Pardew may have to revise that plan and push Mike Ashley to dig a bit deeper into those rather sizeable but hard to get into pockets.
The names linked with us already have hit double digits and no doubt that will accelerate over the next month or so. Of course we all hope for potential stars to grace the St James Park pitch in future and most at this stage have faith in Graham Carr and his team.
In saying that I do harbour concerns when it comes to the January window. Foreign talents are not too pushed on moving country mid-season and neither are their teams. This poses a problem for Newcastle given the fact our scouting seems to be mainly in Europe.
Stumbling block number two is something that naturally comes with talent that is known to the mainstream, competition. Arsenal and Liverpool have been linked with over half of names linked with Newcastle and unfortunately for the moment at least, chances are we would lose the race to sign.
That aside, the main problem for Newcastle is something else that comes with the January window, inflated prices, certainly not something Big Mike likes. With all of that in mind I wanted to leave the speculation on foreign or proven talent for now and concentrate on homegrown potential.
The English leagues and Premier League reserves are bulging with promising young talent at the moment, especially since the bigger clubs have resorted to buying proven stars. Chances for youth to break through are becoming more difficult at big clubs and some real talent gets overlooked as a result.
So instead of listing the names we know, I have put together a table listing the youth I personally rate and think would be attainable. Most of the players listed are at big clubs but some are plying their trade in lower leagues and could potentially be snapped up for the right price.
Although aware of their potential for the most part, my knowledge on some listed would be fairly limited. For that reason I will leave the paragraphs of hype about each for now. Hopefully those who comment can pick out who they like and maybe provide some info.
To follow up, I have put together my own 1st and 2nd choice selections of the players mentioned.
Pure speculation I know but with the mood being low at the moment and the papers recycling the same names from the summer for the most part as regards transfer targets, I wanted to do something a bit different. Anyway, see if you agree…
To conclude, personally I think many of the players listed would be worth going for either in January or come the end of the season. With the focus these days being on acquiring promising young talent for cheap it would be a smart move on Newcastle’s part to try and snap up some of the above before someone else does.
Apart from that what it would give us is what we do lack, especially when the injury list starts to grow, real squad depth, and more so quality within that depth. With no player listed being a proven star, big ego or getting much top flight first team football either right now, I think these are the type of players who we should be looking at.
As much as we would all like to see a 2nd team as strong as our first, it is virtually impossible to keep a squad such as that happy, unless of course you can afford to pay a bunch of reserves £50K a week!
I think for all the talk of the Cahills off the world coming to Newcastle, could you really see him or players in that stage of their career being happy to sit on the bench? Only a matter of time before someone gets upset.
Anyway, cheers as always for the feedback and comments. As I said, anyone with good info on players listed above or other talent they might like to see at St James, would be good to hear.