Newcastle takeover finally happens
Last week, many Newcastle fans’ dreams were made a reality when Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign in charge of the Tyneside club came to an end, and the Saudi Public Investment Fund took the reigns, backed with a hefty budget.
Now backed by the richest owners in World football, but sitting in the relegation zone without a win, the Magpies are sure to be spending money in January in order to avoid a somewhat humiliating relegation to England’s second tier.
Of course, the club will have loftier ambitions than avoiding relegation going forwards, but for the rest of the season, they will need to just focus on remaining a Premier League team. Therefore, in January, bringing in players with Premier League experience is a must, even just for the short-term benefits.
As a result, 101 takes a look at three Arsenal players Newcastle could target in January.
1. Alexandre Lacazette
In need of a Premier League experienced striker capable of holding the ball up and who knows where the back of the net is? Alexandre Lacazette is your man.
The Frenchman, now 30 years old, has netted 67 times in 174 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, but has found himself a clear second fiddle to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The forward has been limited to just 162 minutes so far this campaign, but just 49 of those have come in the Premier League, and he is yet to get his PL tally underway.
To add to this, Lacazette is down to the last 10 months on his contract, and has not been offered an extension according to reports. This means that he will be leaving for free in the summer as things stand, making an offer in January hard for Mikel Arteta and co. to turn down.
Lacazette would certainly not be a long-term answer to any of the Tyneside club’s problems, but for 10-15 million pounds, would vastly improve their forward line in January should they be able to convince Arsenal to sell.
2. Gabriel Martinelli
Another man who has struggled for gametime this season thus far is Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli. The young sensation burst onto the scene in the 2019/20 season, netting 10 times in 26 appearances for the club, but has since found himself injured or on the bench more often than not when fit.
Blessed with bags of ability, his pathway into the Arsenal first-team right now is not clear, thanks in part to the form of Emile Smith Rowe on the left flank. As such, he could well be available on loan in January, and is one that would offer a low cost solution to Newcastle’s problems going forward.
Martinelli would help take some of the creative and dribbling stress away from the talismanic figure of Alan Saint-Maximin, and would reunite with fellow youth star Joe Willock, who swapped London for the Northeast in the summer after a successful loan spell last season.
The move would be mutually beneficial too, with Martinelli getting plenty of game time while Newcastle United would add a talented forward to their ranks.
Would he help them stave off the drop?
3. Rob Holding
From one end of the pitch to another, and far less ambitious than the previous two on this list, Rob Holding is nonetheless a player Newcastle have targetted in successive summers. Homegrown, experienced at the top level and still just 26 years old, Holding could be a shrewd acquisition even under new ownership.
The Englishman is firmly behind Ben White in the pecking order, and will likely fall further upon the return of William Saliba on loan. For the Magpies, he would provide a very competent centre-back that embodies their no-nonsense attitude to defending.
Valued at 16 million by reliable site transfermarkt, a bid of around 15 million pounds would certainly catch Arsenal’s attention, and land Newcastle a solid defender in the process. The major question is, are their ambitions now much higher after the takeover than Arsenal’s fourth choice defender?
Newcastle fans, would you like to see any of these come in during the January transfer window?