Newcastle’s business in the transfer marketwill be the key to their chances of staying in the Premier League over the next few months.
The Magpies arenow widely thought to be the richest club in the world after a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium bought the club from Mike Ashley for £300million in October.
Eddie Howe took over a month later but the scale of the task on his plate has been evident for all to see, with Newcastle still in the relegation zone with just 15 points from 21 games so far the season.
The Toon have given themselves a great chance of staying up though, after spending around £90m on four new players in January.
Joe Willock had joined from Arsenal for £25m last summer and his recent performances have started to justify that outlay.
But it’s the even newer faces that could prove the difference between Premier League or Championship football at St James’ Park next term.
LeoVegas, the sportsbook with some of the best bonuses per this LeoVegas review and many others, showcases odds of around 8/15 for Newcastle to stay up which fans may think is generous given the fresh talent that has been brought to the club.
England right-back Kieran Trippier was the first player to join the Magpies upon the transfer window opening last month, for a fee of around £12m plus add-ons from Atletico Madrid.
Imposing striker Chris Wood – who stands at 6ft 3in – followed suit after Newcastle activated the £25m release clause in his contract at Burnley.
A few weeks of limited activity followed (despite many, many rumours) before Howe landed Brazilian international Bruno Guimaraes and Brighton defender Dan Burn just before the window slammed shut.
Guimaraes is the most exciting new arrival on Tyneside in years, with the highly-rated midfielder joining from Lyon for around £33m.
Burn completed the quintet on deadline day with an initial £11m plus £2m in add-ons agreed with Brighton.
Now it’s over to former Bournemouth boss Howe to craft a team able to stay in the division with only 17 games left.
Two home games straight up are a boost to him and his squad, first hosting new Everton boss Frank Lampard before Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa side head north.
And former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand was confident of Newcastle’s survival chances, even before Guimaraes and Burn joined.
“I think Newcastle will stay up and then do big business in the summer,” he said. “I think they’ll go big in the summer.
“They seem to be doing it [their transfer business] more meticulous and strategic and less gung-ho than other teams who have had money straight away.
“Before Norwich went on this run they’re on at the moment I had them as certainties to go down. They’ve come out of nowhere but this break has killed their momentum.
“I think the bottom-five are cut adrift. I’m going with Burnley, Watford and I think Norwich will get dragged back into it too.
“If this break hadn’t of happened I would give them a chance, but I think the break will ruin their momentum.
“I think Newcastle get out of it. I think they add one or two players [during the rest of the January transfer window] who will make an impact.”
Howe was in similarly bullish mood after his side beat Newcastle 1-0 at Elland Road before the winter break, saying: “Today we learned that there’s a resilience in the team. They are fighting for each other and fighting for the club.
“They have belief that we’re not dead and buried and there’s more to come. I’m so pleased for everybody connected with Newcastle that we won the game. It was a big match and hopefully it can transform our season.”
“Wood and Trippier were magnificent for the team. I thought they made huge contributions to the match and that’s the power if you can get [recruitment] right, you can elevate the team.
“We’re still looking to do that, but I do back the players that we have here already.”