The Transfer Window is into its final week and things are starting to heat up with plenty of clubs on the verge of bringing in talent; or they have already done so. Newcastle United started the window as the clear losers as Demba Ba moved to Chelsea; Loic Remy chose QPR and Fabricio Coloccini decided he wanted to make an exit.
However they are now looking like coming out the other end of the window shining as they have completed the signings of French talents such as Mathieu Debuchy, Yoann Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse.
These are top quality players all signed at bargain prices from Ligue 1 but the best I have saved till last; as Newcastle convinced French international defender Mapou Yanga M’Biwa to join the Gallic revolution on Tyneside.
The 23-year-old is a versatile defender who was pivotal to Montpellier’s shock Ligue 1 title triumph last season and had been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal or AC Milan in the summer. However he stuck around with La Paillade to help them on their Champions League adventure; but when that came to an early end the likelihood was always going to be stars like himself, Younes Belhanda and Henri Bedimo were going to ask to leave.
But it was never thought Montpellier would let him go on the cheap; yet Newcastle snapped him up for just £6.7 million. No team is going to find a better bargain this January unless they manage to trade Lionel Messi for a bag of Skips or invent a time-machine and sign the entire Magical Magyars team in exchange for directions.
It is simply an astonishing piece of business for a magnificent young player who can play anywhere across the back line as well as in midfield when necessary and Alan Pardew, Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias will likely be pinching themselves for the rest of the season in disbelief that they managed to get this calibre of player for under £7 million.
When you consider they managed to Jedi mind-trick Liverpool into signing Andy Carroll for a whopping £35 million in January 2011 you start to see that the first month of the year is becoming a good one for the Toon Army; remember they signed a certain Papiss Cisse last season who then went on a goalscoring rampage for the rest of the campaign.
If anybody manages to secure a better transfer this month then Newcastle United’s acquisition of M’Biwa I would be very surprised; in fact I am not even going to contemplate its possibility.
Well played Newcastle.
Are Newcastle becoming the kings of the January window?