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Did Newcastle get it right in the January transfer window? We're about to find out

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The January transfer window is essentially there as a half-term help for clubs striving to achieve their goals whether it be championships, European qualification, or survival.

Newcastle United have boosted their close-knit ranks with three loans, so what will they bring to Steve Bruce's drive on two fronts, Premier League and FA Cup?

Well, we're about to find out as Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro, and Nabil Bentaleb gear up to make the most of a potentially limited stay upon the Tyne.

It's far too early to guarantee automatic lift off, not too early to hope and pray, because all help will be gratefully accepted.

What we need is the impact of Martin Dubravka and not that of Islam Slimani or the ever-decreasing influence of Kenedy.

The loan system is something Mike Ashley readily backs (I wonder if it is because it's cheaper!) but it doesn't give players from foreign leagues too much time to adapt. Rose, of course, is a very different case.

Dubravka has been exceptional and we will be lucky to have found another on a short-term lease.

Yes, we could have done with a striker coming in - why on earth didn't one? - but at least those who did are intended to have their greatest impact upon United's attacking limitations.

Danny Rose of Newcastle United in action against Norwich City at St. James Park on February 1, 2020

Even Danny Rose, a left wing-back, lends a lot on the hoof.

Arsenal on the road Sunday tea-time before a nation's gaze on live television is an early intense examination of new credentials.

It's an accepted saying in football that sides are only as good as their strikers.

If that is so then we may well wonder how Newcastle and Arsenal have the same number of points because the extravagantly named Pierre-Emerick Emiliano Francois Aubameyang has plundered 14 PL goals in 23 appearances for Arsenal already this term and his consistency is emphasised by the fact that his career figures are a staggering 253 goals from 488 games.

Six times Aubameyang has notched more than 20 goals in a campaign - 39 and 41 his best for Borussia Dortmund while he has enjoyed a 31-goal season with the Gunners.

In comparison the man United have had up top virtually every match, Joelinton Cassio Apolinario de Lira, has one PL goal from 25 outings and career figures of 42 goals in 181 games with his best return 13 at Austria's SK Rapid Wien (only eight league).

As a consequence United have to spread the load whether that means pacy outriders Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin or hoped-for reinforcements like Andy Carroll or Yoshi Muto. Maybe even the new boys bussed in on loan.

I know Carroll and Muto provide extra bodies rather than fresh hope, but having resisted signing a front man because he believed none available were better than what he has, Bruce has to rely on old faces at last producing elusive goals despite their career stats.

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It is galling to many Geordies that strikers jettisoned by United are currently piling up goals elsewhere, albeit lower down the pecking order.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has 21 Championship strikes with Fulham from 29 matches while Adam Armstrong is Blackburn's top scorer in the same division with 10. Meanwhile a young and promising Ivan Toney has stockpiled 27 goals for Peterborough with 23 coming in Sunderland's League One out of 31 outings to herald his arrival as the newest target for bigger clubs.

Both Newcastle and Arsenal are on an unbeaten run - yet another Gunner draw which they specialise in would retain both records.

However the Mags ought not to travel in the usual fear when they have been heading for the Emirates and can aim beyond a point.

Arsenal despite Aubameyang have won only two of their last 17 Premier League matches and while Mikel Arteta has been hailed for bringing organisation to their tactical play, his eight PL games to date have brought only one victory with six draws and one defeat.

United may have lost seven of their 12 away matches but they have been capable of producing occasional big victories on the road as at Spurs and Sheffield United.

Of course it can all go horribly wrong, but just maybe it could go spectacularly right. That is the hope if not the mass expectation.


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