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January Transfer Window: The Halfway Point

Should the Magpies spend in January or wait till the summer?

RCD Mallorca v Real Valladolid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

Newcastle reached the midpoint of the Premier League season today in a victory at home versus a surging Fulham side—with a little help from Aleksander Mitrovic.

While the win strengthens their position in the European places, it’s a reminder that we’ve reached the halfway point of the January transfer window as well, which will lock up rosters by the end of the month until the ending of the season.

While details are scarce on Bruno Guimaraes’s ankle injury sustained in the first half, it doesn’t help that Jonjo Shelvey isn’t slated for a return before February. Combined with a lackluster performance by some players oft-part of the second unit in the FA Cup loss, and a reliance on Kierran Trippier for creativity, the fragility of the Magpie squad has become illuminated.

Now I know, you are probably shaking your head and muttering “Three points is three points! Besides... do you know where we sat last year!?” and I understand. But the reality is that we have some world-class overachieving players now, and with fame comes suitors.

Finishing strong not only puts Newcastle on wishlists this summer but shields players from the incessant noise that continues to get louder every transfer window.

So, where should Eddie Howe look for reinforcements?

I will continue to beat the drum of a new right-back until the last second of this window. According to transfermarkt.com, Trippier is one of only three players who has logged game time in all 24 matches played this season and sits at number two in total minutes played behind only Nick Pope. Matt Targett should be available on the left in February, and Jamaal Lascelles doesn’t need to be moved anytime soon. Securing respite for Trippier must be a priority.

RCD Mallorca v Real Valladolid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Enter Ivan Fresneda. The 18-year-old from Real Valladolid continues to be linked to Newcastle, but unfortunately, those early leaks have now attracted multiple suitors including Arsenal, Dortmund, and Juventus, reports The Sun.

The Gunners were recently outbid for both Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk and will have to make a move to appease the fanbase this window. Rayo Vallecano’s Fran Garcia was briefly linked to the Toon last month, but Real Madrid appears to be at the forefront of that transfer.

In the middle, there is no replacing the tenacity and magic that Bruno provides.

As today’s second half illustrated, Allan Saint-Maximin’s return to the wing will allow Joelinton to slide back and adequately fill his role should he miss further time. But the potential of missing such a pivotal piece and Leicester’s continued downward spiral will amp up the calls to bolster the Magpie midfield with long-rumored targets Youri Tielemans and James Maddison, who seem to be destined for departure, says LeicesterMercury.

Finally, Newcastle continues to be the new club agents describe as “interested” in attempts to drum up offers for players looking for lucrative transfers.

Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio, who has been linked to top teams in Europe during every transfer cycle is the most recent. While I remain highly skeptical, here is the article from The Laziali, for reference. With 18 months left on his contract and Lazio sitting in the same Europa League position they finish every year, Lazio will need a fantastic offer to pull the trigger at this point in time.

Where do you think we need to reinforce? Should we risk the regular starters, or will we blend in reserves for the two EFL Cup matches occurring in the last week of January?

Let us know in the comments section below!