Feb 4, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
Window Shopping: Newcastle United entered the January window with two major issues: finding somebody to help Loïc Rémy with the scoring load; and trying hold on to Yohan Cabaye. Sure, the club had questions elsewhere, particularly in an often injured defense, but with the Magpies unlikely to undergo any major shakeups midseason, the club’s best player and a potential forward solution were always going to be the focus.
And to a certain extent, Newcastle solved one of those problems, though in agreeing to take Luuk de Jong on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach, there’s nt guarantee the Magpies have gotten somebody who will make a significant impact. After seeing his playing time wilt in Germany, the Dutch attacker will be looking to rekindle his chances of joining the Oranje in Brazil. Unfortunately for Newcastle, the 23-year-old is still an unproven commodity outside the scorer-friendly confines for Eredivisie soccer.
Newcastle weren’t so fortunate with their other problem, though in selling Cabaye, the Magpies got top dollar while embracing the inevitable. After nearly moving to Arsenal this summer, Cabaye looked destined to leave St. James’ Park sooner rather than later. Accepting Paris Saint-Germain’s bid means the Toon make more than the Gunners had offered while sending Cabaye outside the Premier League. While that still leaves Alan Pardew without one of his key cogs, it also means Newcastle made the best of an unfortunate problem.
“Oh my God, they sold their best player and they get a B,” that guy you know from Twitter’s about to say. They do, and the grade would be higher if the Magpies had done more to augment their other holes. Though Cabaye’s departure arguable creates another problem, their ability to work $30 million out of the situation is a huge positive.
The negatives: They’re left hoping a three-man middle of Vurnon Anita, Cheik Tioté, and Moussa Sissoko will work (a reasonable guess); they didn’t get a proven scorer to augment Rémy; and their lack of depth at the back could still see Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa utilized as a full back, when injuries or suspensions arise.
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