'Not being horrible' - Merson delivers surprise verdict on Newcastle's transfer business
Former Arsenal star and current Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has handed Newcastle United a respectable mark for their January transfer business despite not making a single permanent signing.
The Magpies had to wait until late on in the window to see any new arrivals, with a loan for Chelsea winger Kenedy followed up by a duo of temporary deadline day deals for Leicester City striker Islam Slimani and Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
In terms of those leaving St James’ Park, there were a handful of senior exits, with the likes of outcasts Aleksandar Mitrovic, Henri Saivet and Jack Colback all sealing loan moves away from Tyneside.
However, despite what many will deem to be an underwhelming window, with no actual transfers sealed and just three additions to an already thin squad, Merson has handed the Magpies a surprising ‘B’ for their activity, suggesting the capture of Algerian hitman Slimani could make the difference come the end of the season.
He wrote on his blog for Sky Sports: “Kenedy alone isn’t going to keep you up.
“I’m not being horrible but he won’t, so I’m glad they did a bit of late business on Deadline Day by getting Slimani.
“They needed a forward because they’re not scoring enough goals and someone like him might reignite them.”
Newcastle passed up a handful of gilt-edged goal scoring opportunities on Wednesday night, which resulted in them having to settle for a 1-1 draw with Burnley, meaning they have scored just 23 goals in their 25 appearances in the top flight this season.
They will travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday hoping to secure a double over the Eagles, having seen them off at St James’ Park back in October thanks to a Mikel Merino header.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, a title winning midfielder has given his verdict on his deadline day switch after a snub from the Magpies.