Paul Ince Exclusive: Newcastle In The January Transfer Window
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Paul Ince Exclusive: Newcastle In The January Transfer Window

Newcastle's long awaited Saudi-led takeover was completed earlier this month – and everyone appears to have an opinion on what the Magpies should do next. The new owners' first port of call will be to appoint a permanent manager, following the departure of Marmite-like boss Steve Bruce. There is also bound to be an influx of high-profile players arriving at St. James' Park, whether that is in January or next summer, as the club seek to move away from the table's lower reaches. And they are likely to look to Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City as a model for how to achieve domestic and European dominance. But – despite now being one of the biggest clubs on the continent – the Citizens made numerous blips en route to the top. So, as Newcastle enter their first few months under new ownership, we've taken a look at how the Magpies can avoid some of City's past mistakes.


Robinho Regret

Perhaps the most memorable signing in the early years of Abu Dhabi ownership at Manchester City was the £32.5million addition of Robinho from Real Madrid – a British record at the time.

It was undoubtedly a statement of intent from the Citizens. Robinho had been a long-term target for Chelsea, but on the same day that the club was bought, City hijacked the move and made the Brazilian their first signing under new management.

Robinho got off to a great start in Manchester, scoring on his debut – coincidentally against Chelsea – and finishing his first season at the Etihad with 14 league goals. 

But his second campaign did not go as well. 

The Brazilian made just 10 top flight appearances and failed to score for the Citizens, falling down the pecking order under Mark Hughes and then new manager Roberto Mancini. 

After seeking a move away, Robinho was loaned to his hometown club Santos in January 2010 and was never to be seen in Manchester again. 

Coutinho Coveted?

The Magpies have been linked with plenty of players across Europe this month – but with a replacement for Bruce yet to be installed, it is difficult to ascertain how Newcastle will approach the transfer market.

However, the one name that has constantly appeared on the back pages in the last few weeks is Barcelona outcast Philippe Coutinho. 

The Brazilian was one of the Premier League’s best players while at Liverpool, but has failed to impress since moving to Spain.

He made just 12 league appearances for Barcelona last season and has struggled to nail down a starting berth once again this term. 

Any move for Coutinho would certainly echo the signing of Robinho by City 13 years ago.

The club already possess a cluster of attacking midfielders and there is a serious doubt if – on current form – the former Inter Milan man could single-handedly fire Newcastle up the table.

Sensible Signing

A more sensible signing for the Magpies to make would be acquiring James Tarkowski from Burnley. 

If reports are to be believed, the centre-back is likely to become a Newcastle player in the January window.

That move would significantly reinforce a porous defence, which has leaked 20 goals across the first nine league games of the season.

The 28-year-old has been linked with transfers to both West Ham and Leicester in previous windows and will be available for a bargain price because of his rapidly expiring contract.

Burley’s defensive star could form a formidable pairing with captain Jamal Lascelles at St James’ Park, with the building blocks for success ultimately starting at the back.


Someone who is more than familiar with what it takes for a football club to succeed is two-time Premier League winner Paul Ince.

Speaking exclusively to Genting about Newcastle’s aspirations, the former Manchester United and England midfielder said: “It took (Manchester) City time, it was a building process and now they are one of the best teams in the world. 

“Can Newcastle get to that? Only time will tell, but they’re going to have to spend a lot of money – I know they can spend £200 million in January.

"At the moment, you’ve got to think, Newcastle are 19th in the league, are you going to get these top players to come to Newcastle when they’re 19th in the Premier League? That’s another issue.

"I’m looking forward to seeing how they go about it, I’m looking forward to seeing what players they’re going to bring in.”

As January approaches, all eyes will be on Tyneside. It will be fascinating to see if the Magpies follow Manchester City’s lead, or bid to avoid their early mistakes in the market.




V: 1.26.2 All rights reserved. August 2021