Following the arrival of Kenedy on loan from Chelsea this week, Newcastle have made their first signing of the January transfer window with a week to spare after many fans have been calling for quality spending in order to equip themselves in the fight against an immediate return to the Championship. Kenedy’s arrival certainly adds to the competition for places for the wingers already at the club. With Jacob Murphy’s recent good form, he seems to have placed himself in good stead for starting matches as far as the near future is concerned whilst his positional rival, Matt Ritchie has struggled with his return to Premier League football. Christian Atsu is another winger who, in my view, has been a little inconsistent of late but looking at how he has performed over the course of the season, he is someone who has impressed me considering I expected him to struggle with the step up to the top division.
In terms of players who are expected to leave come Wednesday is Serbian star, Aleksandar Mitrovic. The latest on the situation is that Brighton have had their £8m bid rejected. Despite feeling sad about the likelihood that Mitrovic will leave us, we should be able to use that money to purchase an almost like for like replacement who has proven their ability to score goals on a consistent basis at a high level. With regards to the prospect of Mitrovic leaving, I hope he does not go to Brighton because I don’t like the thought of aiding a relegation rival. When looking at the situation from his point of view, he is going to need game time in order to prepare properly for the World Cup, something which he has found hard to come by this season and I think he is capable of doing a good job for a good team. If Mitrovic is to reach the potential that he is able to reach, he would be willing to go anywhere even if it means going to Brighton and scoring goals that could strengthen Brighton’s survival bid and thus, potentially weakening ours.
The latest name that fits that bill is our search for a striker is Leicester forward, Islam Slimani. Leicester payed £28m for the Algerian international but has seen himself down the pecking order as the fourth choice striker at the King Power and it seems as if Leicester are prepared to not break even should they sell the striker. As much as I would love to get my hopes up at the possibility of signing Slimani (he’s an upgrade on Joselu, which goes without saying), it looks as if we will need to fight off competition from teams like Chelsea and Monaco who are hoping to land the striker.
Other names which have been circulating through the media is a loan move for Everton flop, Sandro Ramirez (God help us), and target men forwards, Nicolai Jorgensen from Feyenoord and Hertha BSC’s summer signing, Davie Selke. Ramirez arrived on Merseyside from Malaga in the summer for £5.2m and has scored once in his fifteen appearances for the Toffees, the goal coming in Everton’s 5-1 defeat at home to Atalanta while David Unsworth was in temporary charge.
As for Davie Selke, the young German forward has very good goalscoring records at all youth levels for Germany and played a key part in RB Leipzig’s title challenge last season but had to settle for second place and a Champions League place which came immediately after getting promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016. Similar to Mitrovic, Selke is a target man striker with a tall stature. Former German striker, Klaus Fischer described Selke as the next Miroslav Klose with an athletic prowess and excellent heading ability. At this moment in time Selke is up against some good quality competition at the Olympiastadion as fellow striker’s at Hertha include their captain, Vedad Ibisevic (22 goals in his last two seasons) and Salomon Kalou (27 goals in his last three seasons), the latter of which has found his niche in the Bundesliga after failing to be a real stand out figure during his time with Chelsea. In comparison, I’m sure a lot of Newcastle fans would accept him if it means that Joselu’s game time is reduced which, in turn, will increase the likelihood of scoring the goals we need to score. Because Selke is still a young player who has the potential to play at a high level, a loan move might be more of a realistic move assuming that Hertha will be reluctant to let him go permanently.
The latest news with regards to Nicolai Jorgensen is that, according to IB Times, we have had an initial £14m bid rejected by the Dutch side. However, it is not all bad news. According to the Chronicle, the Danish 27-year old striker has been valued at £20m which, should the deal go through, will be the first time Newcastle will break their transfer record since Mike Ashley’s arrival in 2007. Despite being one of the better strikers for Feyenoord, Jorgensen could be easily tempted with a move to St. James’ Park as he may want to move to a big league in order to put in some good quality preparation ready to play for Denmark at the World Cup.