TRANSFER WINDOW (January 2018)
A busy end to the winter transfer window, thankfully, saw some welcome new faces as fell as some shipped out. Details of all Newcastle United’s transfer business is right here…
Islam Slimani (31/01/18, from Leicester)
A match made in heaven? For so long now Newcastle have been missing someone who is truly deadly in front of goal. In Islam Slimani you can only hope that that wait is over. On loan until the end of the season Islam will be 30 in June and hardly at the start of his career. What he has got however is goals! 26 in 55 games for Algeria for a start. And whilst is record a Leicester City doesn’t look amazing on paper with 13 in 46 some of that has been due to where he sits in the pecking order at the former Champions. At senior level he has 98 goals in 233 games including 57 a Sporting in just 111 games. Whilst he joins Newcastle with a slight injury niggle Rafa will be hoping to get him into the 1st eleven as soon as he can given his current options up front continue to fire blanks. We can but hope that Slimani is the man to fire us to safety.
Martin Dubvranka (31/01/18, from Sparta Praha)
The second of the 11th hour signatures for incomings at St James Part was the Slovak international goalkeeper Dubvranka. It has long been known that Rafa wanted to strengthen between the sticks and several stories circulated before deadline day with a number familiar names, like Joe Hart, and many less so, such as this guy. At 29 he’s certainly not old for a goalkeeper and Newcastle are said to have paid the thick end of £2m for his services for the rest of the season. With 8 full international caps for Slovakia he’s not been a regular for his national team since making his debut back in 2014 although he has been more of a fixture in recent years including playing against England in the World Cup qualifying campaign. It’s not thought there is an option for a permanent option on this loan deal and only time will tell if he, and indeed Newcastle, do enough to turn this one into a long term Premier League stay.
Kenedy (23/01/18, from Chelsea, Loan)
The first of what will be hoped is two or three in at the club is Brazilian left footer Robert Kenedy Nunes do Nascimento, or Kenedy as he likes to be known. The 21 year old can operate at full back or on the left wing joins on loan with no option to buy as far as we know. Rafa Benitez has been chasing this lad for the past few transfer windows however so should Newcastle stay up and the lad takes his opportunity you’d think this is one that the boss would look to secure long term at a later date. Kenedy is contracted to Chelsea until 2020 so you’d expect something to be sorted one way or another in the summer. The Brazilian has represented his country at U17, U20 and has made 2 appearances at U23 level. With just 5 starts in the Premier League for Chelsea under his belt the player has been used sparingly, mostly in the cups or coming on as a sub. In total he has played just 60 senior games in Italy and England. This is hopefully an opportunity the lad will grasp with both hands.
Aleksander Mitrovic (31/01/18, to Fulham, Loan)
Mitro had a truly mad transfer deadline day. Fitting really! Having been frozen out by Rafa for most of the season it was clear that he was going to have to move on for first team football. Moving into deadline day he finally got the call to hop on a flight to join up with his old club Anderlecht and was pictured at his old stomping ground hugging club officials. What happened next was bizarre to say the least. First, at around 8pm UK time the news that the deal was off. With Slimani yet to be confirmed news spread fast that it was due to the Algerian failing his medical. No such drama in the North East of England however and it turned out Anderlecht had pulled the plug after getting another player in instead. With the prospect of 6 months sitting in the reserves ahead of him in a World Cup year it was with some relief to him then that his people managed to find him a move back in England with Fulham. Quite how paperwork and medicals were completed we will never know (perhaps it was all done in good faith). It will at least be good to see how the lad gets on in London and most Newcastle fans will wish him well.
Jack Colback (31/01/18, to Forest, Loan)
If you thought the Mitro loan was a little crazy this one takes the biscuit. If stories circulating on Wednesday are to be believed Colback ‘could’ have gone back to Sunderland, turned down a loan move to Hull ‘because it was too far South’ to then join Nottingham Forest (yea, we know). We’re pretty sure that Newcastle will still be paying most of his £70k a week salary but hey, if Forest are picking up any percentage of that and it also increases the possibility of him moving in the summer that it has to be good news.
Henri Saivet (31/01/18, to Sivasspor, Loan)
After a couple of cameo performances of late Henri will get his chance for regular football for the remainder of this season elsewhere. A more to Sivasspor in the Turkish Super Lig for the 27 year old how joined Newcastle back in 2016 from Bordeaux for over £5m.
Freddie Woodman (31/01/18, to Aberdeen, Loan)
An interesting night for U20 World Cup winning starlet Woodman saw him start on the bench for Newcastle United against Burnley before completing his move on loan to Aberdeen. With a loan keeper on his way into he club and Elliot nursing another injury Rafa had little choice but to delay the move which will be invaluable for the player if he get the game time that Rafa must have insisted on before sanctioning this one.
Rolando Aarons (31/01/18, to Verona, Loan)
Maybe the warmer climes of Italy will suit young Aarons who has been troubled with injury after injury at St James Park. A loan move until the end of the season will hopefully see him stay fit and get a run of games before some tough choices are made this summer on a lad who has real talent but just doesn’t get enough time on the park to prove what he can do.
Ivan Toney (11/01/18, to Scunthorpe United, Loan)
Ivan Toney cut short his loan spell at Wigan yesterday, but no sooner had he arrived back at St James Park than he was sent back down to A1 and a left turn to Glanford Park until the end of the season. The striker returns to Scunthorpe following a successful stint at the same club last season where he netted 7 times in 11 starts. There will be some relief around Tyneside that his recall was not cover the the impending departure of Mitrovic, not necessarily due to the sale of the Serb but more that this lad looks like he’ll never cut it in the Premier League.
Adam Armstrong (09/01/18, to Blackburn, Loan)
Arms continues his long list of loan clubs, following his return from Bolton in the first half of this season, to embark on a spell at Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season. More valuable experience for the your Lion who is yet to make such an impression on the Newcastle hierarchy that would mean him being in and around our squad as yet.