As the January transfer window comes to a close, many Premier League teams are scrambling for last minute signings. Maybe the biggest splash was made by Newcastle United, who has struggled mightily this season due to injuries, player transfers, and poor play, which has contributed to a lack of results and subsequently sit 16th in the table. Key players such as Hatem Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor, Yohan Cabaye, and Danny Simpson have all been sidelined for a time this season and manager Alan Pardew has been on record saying that the team simply can’t compete with the injuries they have sustained. After finishing 5th last season and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, the Magpies have fallen close to relegation zone status at the midway point of the season. To make matters worse, the Geordies lost their best player and leading scorer, Demba Ba, to 3rd place Chelsea in early January. Ba was 3rd in the league in scoring for the Magpies even with little to no support from his teammates.
Newcastle recently made some huge transfer moves that has Pardew smiling for the first time this season. With five French players on the roster already, the Magpies signed five new French players to help bolster the lineup and try to get one of England’s most famous teams back up the table.
Here are the five Frenchmen and their price (€)
Defender Massadio Haidara from Nancy-2.5m
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse-2.5m
Forward Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux-2m
Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier-8m
Defender Mathieu Debuchy from Lille-6.2m
With an upcoming trip to Villa Park on Tuesday to face Aston Villa, Newcastle will have five new quality players at their disposal. Now the big decision for Pardew becomes which new players to throw into the flow.
It is clear after the departure of Demba Ba that Newcastle needs help up top for Papiss Cisse, which gives Gouffran a good chance to play on Tuesday. Gabriel Obertan has played decently since Ba left, but Gouffran deserves a chance to show his stuff right off the bat.
Mathieu Debuchy should also get the nod as clearly the most well known name of the five transfers. Debuchy has been a star for Lille and for the French national team and has been a target of Newcastle for some time now. The right back can provide a great attacking element for the Magpies and can also play on the wing if needed.
The most expensive transfer, defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa could also see time as the Fabricio Coloccini quitting saga continues to play out. Yanga-Mbiwa is a solid presence and will provide the stability that Newcastle has clearly lacked this season.
Moussa Sissoko, 23, is an up and coming star in his own right and can bring a hard working mentality to a team in need of some grit and gives them a plug in the midfield where Yohan Canaye and Hatem Ben Arfa usually roam. The youngster should get a spot on Tuesday against Villa, but in the end, the lineup is up to the manager and his match card should be something to ponder with all of the new signings.
Newcastle has lost 8 of their last 10 matches in all competitions and need a boost for the remainder of the season. The recent signings have an opportunity to change the course of the season for the Magpies and give Geordie nation some hope for the near future. Manager Alan Pardew will have a tough time choosing a lineup Tuesday against Aston Villa, which is surely a nice change for a guy who has seen his team depleted by injury for the entire season thus far.