Despite our superb start to the season, with us sitting in 7th place nine games in, there can be little doubt that the summer’s transfer window was a pretty underwhelming one for Rafa Benitez.
That being said, there were quite a few players heavily linked with us over the summer who we now look fortunate to have missed out on based on their starts to the new season!
Here’s FIVE bullets we looked to have dodged over the summer:
The England number one was heavily linked over the summer, with several stories suggesting both ourselves and West Ham were in the running for his loan signature.
Benitez made several attempts to sign a new goalkeeper over the summer, and whilst he would have been frustrated that these efforts were all in vein, it could well be a blessing that Hart did not arrive.
The 30 year-old will be on big bucks and Elliot’s form in goal has been much better than Hart’s with the Hammers.
He’s conceded 5 goals from 11 shots on target at London Stadium this season, made a few rash challenges in the box and let in 17 goals in 9 games to Elliot’s 8.
The Spaniard clearly has something about him, often impressing when he was handed a rare chance at Arsenal, however it is now clear that he always wanted a return to Spain – and his return to Deportivo isn’t going all that well either.
He was a player heavily linked and rightfully seen as a player who’d add quality to our forward line, however he’s often started from the bench this season and has only managed the odd goal in a disappointing start to the La Liga season for Deportivo.
His heart may not have been in it if he’d have remained in England, so it’s probably a good job we didn’t sign the ageing Spaniard.
The Republic of Ireland international was reportedly valued at £25m by Everton over the summer, and while we were never going to pay such a fee for him, his start to the season has suggested he wouldn’t have even been worth half that.
He’s not kicked a ball in the Premier League all season, having constantly been ‘ruled out’ through a niggling knee injury that doesn’t seem to be going away.
A decent player when fit, but to think he was valued at almost four times what we paid for Mikel Merino is quite laughable. In hindsight, it’s quite a relief that we went for the Spaniard!
The Liverpool winger ended up going on loan to Fulham, but a move to Newcastle was touted all summer.
I was never particularly sold on the idea of signing a player who looked a little raw to be thrown into top flight football and I stand corrected.
He’s not impressed at Fulham by all accounts and was then sidelined for three months in September, dislocating his shoulder.
The Southampton left-back looked all set for a deadline day move north, but it fell through.
Rafa may have been desperately searching for a left-back, but I’m not entirely sure he would have been any better than what we currently have.
Not only has he been injured ever since, a few Southampton fans have told me that he’s gone backwards in recent years and spends too much time posting on Instagram than he does on the pitch. Sounds like someone else I know (*cough *cough Achraf Lazaar).