Most clubs plan their season hoping to avoid getting involved with the bedlam of the January transfer window but injuries and surprise bids can often change that in an instant.
Newcastle are no different in this regard. January meant two more signings, more than likely early on and quickly shutting up shop to push on from our extremely productive start to the season.
Unfortunately the last few weeks have changed all of that. Injuries to some key players and others struggling to get back to full fitness means that the plan may have to be revised, and quickly.
If the summer is anything to go by we should not pay the slightest bit of attention to names mentioned by the media in relation to Newcastle. Most of our signings came relatively out of the blue and those tipped as all but signed by the media turned out to be nowhere near.
In saying that there have been a few names that have come up time and again. As well as that we may be forced to go into the market and maybe even shell out over the odds for once due to departures as some think there may be, namely the likes of Cheik Tiote.
Below I have listed most of the names that have come up linked to Newcastle in the last month and a few who have been strongly linked and definitely scouted over the summer and since.
For the ultimate optimist there are some big names in there and some with smaller names but massive potential. It makes for exciting reading at first, but dig a bit deeper and you will probably see that the list can be narrowed down very quickly.
Anyone linked with a top club, domestically or abroad, will more than likely not be signing. We don’t have the financial clout to start a bidding war and even if we match the highest bid could easily lose out to those clubs with crazy wage structures.
Others virtually rule themselves out with their personal desires to play in certain countries. Marvin Martin and Ryad Boudebouz would be two who fall into this category. The former all but saying he will be moving to Spain and the latter preferring to stay in France, even if he does move club.
Then who have those who are ruled out due to age, stage of career and probably desire to be playing every single week. In this bunch I would include the likes of Sebastien Bassong, Scott Brown and possibly even Liam Ridgewell.
There are umpteen reasons we could hit a brick wall with a lot of these targets and to secure the top prospects of the future included would be a real coup on our part given the interest and competition. You never know what may happen come January and I have faith there will be great signings in the future, just maybe not this soon.
I will spare you the epic read of going through each individually but look forward to the comments and debate on our chances and who people may expect to see in a Newcastle shirt come February. For now I will simply list off the ones I could honestly see us having a chance of getting….
Cyrus Christie or Nathaniel Clyne… Depends on whether Danny Simpson signs contract or moves on and could see either one being good back up for Davide Santon.
Douglas Teixeira… Stiff competition but good chance. Possible pre-agreed contract for move in the summer, in final year of contract. Real talent from what I have seen.
Mapou Mbiwa… No real competition that I know of and rumoured £5m valuation is not out of our ball park. With Taylor out for the season, good chance we could see Mbiwa in January in my opinion.
Cheikh M`Bengue… Strong links in summer but chose to stay but has stated he would like to move to progress career since. French contingent would obviously be a draw. No real competition as yet.
Charles Kabore… IF and that is still a massive IF a big bid comes in for Tiote and we decide to cash in I think of the midfielders linked to date Kabore is the most attainable option.
Alain Traore… If he keeps up the form he is in I could see us making a bid to snap him up before he goes to a big club. Versatile, young, speaks French, all the ingredients we look for.
Modibo Maiga… Seems to be all but a done deal for January. He has been in good form but from what I see is no better than Ba or Best. A strange one for me but seems to be on his way to Tyneside.
Olivier Giroud… Would normally say Arsenal would have the jump on us here but with the formation they play and the fact we would provide more first team football and the French connection I think it`s a realistic possibility we could get him.
To my count that’s nine of a possible twenty seven linked. Obviously we will not sign nine players but those would be the ones I could see us going for either in January or the summer to add to what we have and replace what we may lose.
As always, feedback and comments, and any inside info on those coming or going in January, would be much appreciated.