Senior figures at Newcastle United conceded that the team would have been relegated had they not splashed the cash in January, according to The Athletic.
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Naturally, after the club’s PIF takeover in October, it was tempting to assume the new owners would start spending money akin to the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Still, the early reports suggested that there would be no major spending spree given the notoriously difficult nature of the January transfer window.
The situation then changed further, however, as Newcastle were starting to look stranded towards the bottom of the league. Eddie Howe, despite getting the team to perform better, had to wait until his fourth game in charge to pick up a first win of the season, and the team’s position in the Premier League looked under serious threat.
An Athletic source was quoted as having said: “We were originally talking about signing (just) two or three players, but we would have been relegated if we’d carried on as we were.”
How much did Newcastle spend in January?
Clearly, merely spending a lot of money will not guarantee success.
Although Newcastle were the highest spending team in Europe (£82m, via Transfermarkt), it’s how they’ve spent their money that looks crucial. Kieran Trippier has already been praised for his impact both on and off the pitch, while Chris Wood, Dan Burn and Matt Targett all boast banks of Premier League experience.
French football expert Julien Laurens, meanwhile, suggested Bruno Guimaraes has the ability to “increase the team so much” in a glowing appraisal of the deal.
Of course, Newcastle could still be relegated, but the change of approach heading into the January has surely given them a much better chance of staying up.