Lee Charnley has given an all too rare interview to BBC Newcastle, with the main theme being to discuss the club’s decision to give away free season tickets.
However the show’s host Matthew Raisbeck quite rightly posed the question about the upcoming transfer window, and asked our usually elusive MD about potential arrivals this January.
Here’s what Charnley had to say, with him doing VERY little to inspire fans that January signings will arrive:
“We never say never. I don’t want to over promise and under deliver.
“I think you look at the squad and the options that are available to the manager, and he has competition in every position.
“Does that mean if something becomes available we can do it?
“What I’ll say is we will have a look at it. Steve himself has gone on the record and said he’s happy with the group he’s got.
“Florian Lejeune is going to be back, he hasn’t seen him yet. Matt Ritchie is going to come back and Jamaal Lascelles.
“There are players the manager hasn’t seen or been out with injuries which are going to come back and strengthen the squad.”
It’s fairly uninspiring and non committal stuff from Charnley to be honest.
Such is the fan’s mistrust in the current hierarchy, I’m sure many will read these quotes and assume he’s getting his excuses in early and we won’t be seeing any new faces arrive until next summer.
It’s also worth remembering that our squad is full to capacity as we have the maximum 25 players registered already, so there will have to be departures before signings can be made. That in itself won’t be easy.
Ashley and Charnley usually only buy in January out of desperation and panic to preserve our Premier League status, which hasn’t always ended well, and if the current good form continues, it seems more unlikely we’ll make any signings. However, they should think back to one of the clubs only recent successes, and try and pull a similar move to January 2012. It was one of the rare occasions when the club got it right.
Alan Pardew’s team had made a great start to the season, and the signing of Papiss Cisse gave us extra impetus and quality going into the second half of the season and we had our best Premier League year under Ashley’s ownership.
While that 5th place finish won’t be replicated again this year, backing Bruce and delivering an exciting signing or two could really see us kick on in the new year.
Sadly, we know what happens when we get our hopes up under Mike Ashley.