'Performing miracles' - BBC pundit raves over Newcastle while questioning transfer activity
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has been raving over the club’s achievements this season as he questions why the club have failed to spend money to secure players during the January transfer window.
The Magpies are sitting 15th in the table following their return to the Premier League last season, but are just one point above Southampton who are sitting in 18th, the very first of the relegation spots.
Following promotion from the Championship, pipping Brighton to the league title on the last day of the season, manager Rafael Benitez saw the club bring in just five new players through the door at St James’ Park in what was a relatively quiet transfer window in comparison to their top flight rivals.
The Spanish manager voiced his frustrations at the lack of activity, while in the build up to the January window insisted that the club needed reinforcements if they were to mount a reasonable battle for survival.
However the club have not seen a single signing this month, while there have been no exits from the senior squad, which has left Crooks questioning why owner Mike Ashley is failing to provide the funds for Benitez.
He wrote in his team of the week column for BBC Sport’s website: “The Magpies are performing miracles on the pitch under Rafael Benitez but need reinforcements badly.
“Whether owner Mike Ashley decides to sell or keep Newcastle United will ultimately be his choice, but what he does have at the moment is a fantastic manager, a willing group of players and fanatical support.
“Are you telling me that is not worth investing in?”
Newcastle’s last outing saw them suffer a 3-1 defeat to league leaders Manchester City, Sergio Aguero netting a hat trick while summer signing Jacob Murphy netted his first goal for the club.
In other Newcastle news, the club are in talks over securing a record breaking swoop for a striker.