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Sep 3, 2014

How did Newcastle do in the window?

A look at some of football's biggest transfers during the 2014 summer transfer window.

Ins and Outs

Players in: Remy Cabella (Montpellier, £12m), Siem de Jong (Ajax, £6m), Jack Colback (Sunderland, free), Ayoze Perez (Tenerife, £1.5m), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord, £5m), Emmanuel Riviere (Monaco, undisclosed), Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Karl Darlow (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar Donetsk, loan)

Players out: Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal, £12m), Shola Ameobi (released), Dan Gosling (Bournemouth, free), Sylvain Marveaux (Guingamp, loan), Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest, loan), Karl Darlow (Nottingham Forest, loan), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Roma, loan), Hatem Ben Arfa (Hull, loan)

Summing up the window

Despite nine signings the squad looks weaker than the one that started last season with Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, and last season was one I would rather forget.

Newcastle were very suspect defensively last season and options in that area have been further reduced. The club also lack a goal scorer. This does not bode well for the next nine months.

On a positive note Siem De Jong looks a steal at 6 million pounds in the era of the 12 million-pound Shane Long, whilst Daryl Janmaat looks like a more than adequate replacement for the outgoing Mathieu Debuchy at less than half the price. Cabella should also help add to the creativity that Newcastle were badly lacking when Cabaye left for Paris in January. Jack Colback looked excellent on his debut and has since been rewarded with an England call-up. He could prove to be a huge signing. The club look to be building for the future too with the acquisitions of Perez, Darlow and Lescelles. Rating: 4/10

Best piece of business?

Siem De Jong, who looks to be a huge upgrade on his brother, Luuk, after his dismal loan spell in the second half of last season. Siem can play in midfield as well as just off the front man and he adds great movement and hopefully a few extra goals. Newcastle have been regularly criticised for their "buy abroad" policy but they've proved time and time again that it makes a lot more sense than paying the vastly inflated fees of British players.

Siem De Jong appears to be a significant upgrade to a Newcastle attack that lost Loic Remy.

Worst piece of business?

Yanga-Mbiwa has struggled since he arrived in England but he has not been given much of an opportunity in his natural position. Allowing him to depart without any replacement, leaving only three senior central defenders, two of whom have regular injury problems, is absolutely crazy. A very weak defensive pool has been made even weaker.

And allowing Hatem Ben Arfa to go to another Premier League side on loan? Unbelievable.

What remaining issues are there?

There are still gaping weaknesses at centre-back and centre-forward despite the arrival of nine players, which just goes to show how badly Newcastle needed strengthening. It is bemusing that they haven't strengthened in the centre of defence when they had one of the poorest records for goals conceded in the Premier League last season.

The fans' preseason concerns about a lack of a proven goal scorer seem to be justified, with no Newcastle players having found the net in any of the first three games of the season.

Who can help in January?

By January Newcastle will be desperate for defensive reinforcements, and with Matija Nastasic set to drop even further down the Manchester City pecking order, would a loan deal be out of the question?

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