The two areas of concern for Newcastle United - despite successful January transfer window

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Newcastle United signed five new players during the January transfer window as they battle to retain their Premier League status.

And relaaaaax. Well, at least for the time being anyway until Everton at home comes round!

That was 31 days of blood, sweat and tears for everyone associated with Newcastle United - but was it really going to play out any other way?

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It’s been a ‘different’ January transfer window experience to say the least following a painful 14 years of expecting very little under Mike Ashley.

Despite the relentless links to players, frustrations in chasing certain names and everything else that perhaps felt a little draining - you’d rather this than Ashley.

For once, Magpies fans finally awoke on a transfer deadline day excited, genuinely anticipating meaningful business to get done.

Overall, despite its obvious challenges at times, the first window under the new ownership has been a successful one.

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You have to appreciate that the club’s recruitment panel has worked all hours to improve the playing squad. And they’ve done just that.

The simple fact of the matter... Newcastle United are in a better position than when they started the month.

Five new signings

It all began with a statement signing - England international Kieran Trippier a £12million arrival from Atletico Madrid.

Then came Chris Wood after United activated a £25m release clause in his Burnley contract.

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A fast start but the transfer business dried up for 17 days. Some panicked, but it wasn’t through a lack of trying.

Lille refused to sell title-winning defender Sven Botman and then focus turned to Diego Carlos.

Newcastle were encouraged that a deal could be completed but Sevilla consistently moved the goalposts. In the end, United understandably walked away.

With morale low, and perhaps some losing hope, a 1-0 victory at Leeds United restored belief.

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And a little over a week later, Newcastle confirmed one of their biggest signings in years as Brazilian international Bruno Guimaraes checked it.

A fee of around £33.5million saw United clinch one of the most highly-rated midfielders in Europe, which was hailed as a massive coup by many.

And onto deadline day. Matt Targett, on loan from Aston Villa, underwent his medical early doors while Dan Burn agreed personal terms.

Burn’s return to North East to join his boyhood club was confirmed at 10:45pm, concluding the club’s January business at over £80m spent.

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But was more needed?

Five new signings and plenty of smiling Geordies. Some, however, feel United have left themselves short in a few areas.

And you suspect Howe knows that too as late bids went in for attackers Hugo Ekitike and Jesse Lingard.

Teenager Ekitike wasn’t convinced that a move to Tyneside was the right move at present. Lingard, meanwhile, wanted the move but Manchester United wouldn’t budge.

Another central defender remained on the agenda but Burn is the only addition to a defence that has conceded 43 league goals this term.

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Only time will tell if the business Newcastle have done is enough to stay in the Premier League but the new owners have more than done their bit.

They’ve essentially tried to do a summer rebuild in a four-week window that is historically difficult to do deals in.

And that is ignoring opposition clubs quoting Newcastle ridiculous figures due to their new-found wealth and their uncertain league position.

The aim was to make the squad stronger by January 31 and that’s run true.

Now, it’s over to Howe and the players for the remaining 17 games of the season, beginning with Everton at St James’ Park.

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