With Ashley set to still be at Newcastle in the New Year (even if progress is made on a takeover), Benitez may have to utilise the loan market to get us out of the trouble we find ourselves in.
Now, several fans aren’t fans of loan deals, but given our worrying league position and limited budget, are we really going to be able to attract the necessary quality on a permanent deal? Probably not.
Squad improvements are badly needed at this stage and, whilst hefty loan fees could be involved, this could give the squad the additional quality we desperately need – buying us some time before we hopefully have more funds for permanent arrivals come the summer window.
So, who could be on Rafa’s radar next month?
NUFC were credited with an interest but couldn’t afford his £25m price tag. He’s barely played for the Foxes so far this season so could be keen to secure a loan for some much needed first team football. Had an impressive strike rate during his spell at Manchester City.
He’s a quality striker and one we were linked with at Marseille before he moved to Stamford Bridge. He’s scored goals whenever he has played but has been used sparingly and still hasn’t been picked even when first choice option Alvaro Morata is not fit. He will be keen to get some playing time to keep his slot in the Belgium squad with a world cup around the corner. Benitez enquired about a loan deal over the summer according to the Chronicle so this could be a real coup.
Seemed a long shot until recently but he’s fallen way down the pecking order at Anfield. With Firmino, Salah, Mane, Coutinho, Solanke and now even Danny Ings getting more game time than the England striker, he must be looking for pastures new. A very poor injury record will likely deter the top six teams, so a loan move to Tyneside could be an ideal way to prove himself again and force his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans for Russia.
Newcastle have been linked with the Manchester United full back in recent weeks. He would be a fantastic addition and would be a massive upgrade for us at left back. His wage demands may be an issue as well as sides further up the table beating us to it; most notably a potential swap deal with Spurs and Danny Rose.
The Dutch goalkeeper has found himself on the firnges at Barcelona following his arrival from Ajax. The outstanding form of Ter Stegen means he is likely to move on and is another one we have again been linked with in the press. Could be Rafa’s choice for a new keeper after the Pepe Reina links appear to have went cold.
Finds himself in a very similar positon to Daniel Sturridge and it is unlikely both will remain at the club in January. Seemed destined to leave but has been afforded some sub appearances recently, ahead of Sturridge. I think Sturridge would be a better option for us but either would improve our limited firepower.
The former Barcelona man joined Everton over the summer after they exercises his a £5.2m release clause at Malaga. The Chronicle have claimed since that he was a target of Benitez’s, however NUFC could not compete with the wages Everton were offering. The Spanish U-21 striker has struggled to secure game time on Merseyside and there’s been talk that he could be made available for loan next month. Benitez is said to be a big fan so I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t checking this out. He got 16 goals and 5 assists in La Liga last year.
We have steadily been linked with the Algerian Hitman who arrived at Leicester for a record fee following fine form for Sporting Lisbon. With Puel preferring a system of Vardy up front on his own and supporting by pacy attacking midfielders, Slimani is likely to move onto pastures new. He will be on big wages and may end up returning to the continent but he’s another who’d provide a better option to what is currently available in the NUFC squad.
The ex-magpie would offer great experience and versatility. He would be valuable at left back or the middle of the field and is another Liverpool player who has not played as much this season. Moreno will return to full fitness soon and after being favoured for the most part of this season, the Spaniard’s return may ensure Milner is back to duties on the bench.
The Pacey winger come striker has found himself totally out of the picture at the Emirates this season. Mainly deployed in the Europa League this season, a move surely beckons. He would be an excellent option and a move will do his England ambitions good after he has went stale after over a decade at the Emirates. Teammate Jack Wilshere is another option, but it remains to be seen if he’ll actually be made available next month after forcing his way back into Wenger’s plans recently.
Some interesting options. Who would you like to see arrive?
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About Simon Riddlesden
Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.