Can Newcastle spend their way to safety?

12th Jan 2022

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Football can be unfair so spare a thought for Norwich, Burnley and Watford as we head into the second half of this Premier League campaign because the storm up north is about to take off.

The January transfer window has opened and teams in the relegation zone will be looking for shrewd deals that could be the difference between staying up and going down but all will be on limited budgets. But the clubs biggest obstacles will be simple; what established player who could help out these clubs would want to go to them in the first place if the odds of them being relegated is too great? For example no one expects quality players to suddenly rock up at any bottom three club, but for this season that isn't the case and it is advantage Newcastle.

Ever since Newcastle were taken over at the beginning of October only one thing has been on the new owners mind- replacing the dross at the club and of course they haven't been able to do that until now. Not many relegation threatened clubs can persuade an Atletico Madrid and England international player to join the ranks but in has come Kieran Trippier for £12m to add experience to the defence. Hugo Ekitite a youngster who plays for French side Reims has been linked to the club- Ekitite has been compared to Kylian Mbappe and would be quite a capture for the Magpies who are lacking goals this season. But one such option up front has caused controversy and that is the imminent signing of Chris Wood from fellow struggler's Burnley. Newcastle have reportedly reached Wood's buy out clause of £20m so not only do Burnley have to compete with the money of Newcastle but also could lose their top forward to the club.

Newcastle will have to learn quick as this past weekend showed being knocked out of the FA Cup at home to Cambridge, but it could also be a smoke screen and maybe this season the FA Cup was going to be a distraction for a club whose goal has to be to stay in the top flight. With their budget they have every chance to do so.

To be relegated from the Premier League: Norwich 1.05, Watford 1.50, Burnley 1.62, Newcastle 2.10, Leeds 5.00

 

Cambridge's win over Newcastle in the FA Cup third round would have tasted incredibly sweet but Nottingham Forest also turned back the clock and knocked Arsenal out of the competition too. This feels like a setback for Mikel Arteta's side who were showing great form in the last couple of months but perhaps now and without European football the Gunners can fully concentrate on trying to finish in 4th place. All of the usual suspects made the 4th round but Manchester United still look unconvincing under Ralf Rangnick as they squeezed past Aston Villa 1-0. Villa looked to have equalised in that game but after a 3 minute VAR review their goal was chalked off.

One club who could get sucked into a relegation battle if they continue their poor form is Everton who have not played in the second tier of English football for 70 years. The likelihood that the Toffees will go down does look slim but at the same time any club who has just one victory in almost four months is going to get mentioned at one point as being a contender. There have been obvious problems at the club not least Lucas Digne falling out of favour with manager Rafa Benitez. Digne is very close to signing for Aston Villa after a major row with Benitez witnessed Digne being dropped from defence even when in truth Everton needed the player on the pitch. But the club has responded and spent close to £30m on two defenders. In has come Vitaily Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev and Nathan Patterson the youngster from Rangers. Patterson's fee could well rise depending on how successful he is at the club and he has signed a five year contract. 

Currently Everton are 8 points clear of the bottom three but the next 3 games will be incredibly important for them. This weekend they face Norwich away and a defeat in that game really would have alarm bells ringing. They follow that up with a home game against Aston Villa and then will play Newcastle away, Benitez's job is not safe although it is clear that the owners believe in him after sanctioning these latest transfers.

Next Premier League manager to be sacked: Rafa Benitez 2.25, Claudio Ranieri 2.50, Eddie Howe 15.00, Thomas Tuchel 20.00, Ralf Rangnick 21.00



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