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Newcastle’s January Transfer Deadline Day 2018 In Review

Posted on February 2nd, 2018 | No Comments |

Islam Slimani
Islam Slimani – On loan from Leicester.
Transfer deadline day saw Newcastle United welcome two new arrivals to Tyneside, plus a number of departures from St James’ Park. All of these deals were just temporary, though, and came late on with the January transfer window slamming shut at 23:00 GMT on January 31st.

Magpies manager Rafa Benitez finally secured a new striker in Leicester City’s Algeria international Islam Slimani, and got another goalie with Slovakia’s Martin Dubravka joining from Czech club Sparta Prague until the end of the season.

Newcastle missed out on England frontman Daniel Sturridge, who chose to make a temporary switch from Liverpool to West Bromwich Albion – a team more fancied in the Premier League betting on relegation with bet365. Feyenoord’s Denmark international Nicolai Jorgensen was another rumoured forward target.

Slimani, 29, became Leicester’s record signing when arriving from Sporting Lisbon in August 2016, and scored seven Premier League goals in 23 games last season. He has found it difficult to force his way into current Foxes boss Claude Puel’s plans at the King Power Stadium this term however, after starting just three league games. Upon signing for the Magpies, Benitez pointed to Slimani’s Premier League experience and hopes he will offer different attributes to the existing attacking options in his squad.

The arrival of Slimani allowed Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to move on loan to Championship club Fulham, where he will be coached by compatriot Slavisa Jokanovic. Mitrovic, 23, has made a sole start for Newcastle this season and that was in the Carabao Cup. With Serbia reaching the World Cup finals in Russia this summer, a desire to secure regular first-team football and not risk his international place is likely to be behind his temporary switch to Craven Cottage.

Jack Colback
Colback – Off to Forest on loan.
Left-footed midfielder Jack Colback, who has been also been frozen out of the first-team picture under Benitez, joined Nottingham Forest on loan meanwhile. The Newcastle native, 28, is one of several players with Premier League experience to arrive at the City Ground on transfer deadline day. New Reds boss Aitor Karanka should benefit from Colback’s versatility as, like injury-prone Forest club captain Chris Cohen, he can play the holding role, on the left and at full-back.

Signing Slovakia keeper Dubravka, 29, has in turn afforded young goalie Freddie Woodman a chance to continue his development on loan at Scottish Premiership club Aberdeen. The Dons were runners-up to unbeaten league champions Celtic last season and Woodman, 20, challenges one-time England call-up Joe Lewis for a starting spot at Pittodrie under Derek McInnes.

Dubravka, meanwhile, kept goal for his country against England in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley in September 2017 which Slovakia lost 2-1. Benitez cited his agility and ability to play with both feet as reasons for signing him, but also warned Dubravka he would need to settle into life quickly at St James’ Park.

The January transfer window deadline day activity at Newcastle also featured academy graduate right-back Jamie Sterry, 22, being sent to League Two team Crewe Alexandra on loan. He links up with fellow Magpies loanee Dan Barlaser at David Artell’s Gresty Road outfit.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 23 articles on this blog.

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