So the transfer window has come and gone for another 6 months. How did Newcastle United fare? 

Our own starting point is to compare with what we asked for at the start of the window here. In short the requirement was based on the business principle that the long term is made up of a series of short terms. 

The immediate priority is to ensure Premier League survival. The longer term can not be neglected and the squad needed some serious investment after years of, more or less, breaking even on the transfer budget. 

It is always useful to look at the wider context. Summer saw the appointment of a new manager. Starting with the transfer budget we have highlighted in these pages, since Pardew’s poor start to last season, that if a new manager came in, there should be around £100m available for incoming players. 

On McClaren’s appointment we stipulated that the club would have to spend at least £50m to stand still, after all, this is a competitive league with other clubs using TV revenues to push ahead. In the summer, £50m was spent. We have indeed stood still and are still competing with the likes of Sunderland. 

We also suggested that the club would have to spend £100m to progress significantly. The final total spent would appear to be in the region of £80m but as a part of that, Thauvin has gone out on loan. 

What did we identify as the main requirements? One of the key sticking points is Premier League experience. Positionally, we saw left back, creative midfield, a winger and a striker as being ideal. 

So who did we get and how did we do? 

Henri Saivet
Which Saivet do we have? He started his career as a winger, moving in to an attacking central midfielder and gradually withdrew. It was in his attacking role that he won the 3 domestic trophies with Bordeaux. Since then, his side became steady upper mid-table performers. 

From his appearance so far, it would seem that he has been signed as a direct replacement for Tiote, arguably more progressive and skilled. We hope he can get up to Premier League pace. He has suffered from injuries, so here’s also hoping that he manages more than the 7 starts that Tiote made in 2015. 

Jonjo Shelvey
This could have been the signing of the transfer window. Arguably the best spell under Ashley was when Cabaye made the midfield tick, finishing 5th in 2012 and suffering injury in the following season. 

In his first outing, against west Ham, Shelvey demonstrated his ability to make his own space as a platform for a fantastic range of passing. Defensively, he also put in a shift. 

In theory, he should have the motivation to add to his 4 England caps in France during the summer. At 23, he is also young enough to have a great future, whether it is at St James’ Park or to use Newcastle as a springboard to other ambitions. 

Andros Townsend
We said that Shelvey could have been the signing of the transfer window, so could Townsend. Where we saw him as potential working on the right, Thauvin’s loan could mean that he plays on the left, which is after all the foot that he uses for taking penalties. 

The beauty of Townsend is that he can play on either side, providing much needed balance to the squad. He tracks back, attacks, can cut in or hit the byeline. We have moaned all season about the lack of chances created. 

Between Shelvey and Townsend, surely there should be more to come, as long as they live up to potential rather than live down to reputation in some quarters. 

Seydou Doumbia
OK so we asked for Charlie Austin or Loic Remy until the end of the season. The former signed for Southampton for a bargain £4m and instantly covered his fee with the extra 2 points at Old Trafford. Remy has ended up staying at Chelsea. 

Dembia’s own scoring record has been impressive is other leagues, notably Russia and Switzerland. He has however found it harder to establish himself at his parent club in a tougher league in Italy. 

There is an option to buy. Cisse has been peddled in recent transfer windows when he has been fit. Here is an ACoN target who could be a long term replacement. 

Other business
Obviously, having asked for a left back, we welcome the efforts to obtain one, either on loan or permanently. Gibbs from Arsenal would have matched the profile of British players who would have strengthened the squad. 

Others slipped the net, notably Jose Enrique. This could have been a platform to show the Enrique of old, especially with the Euros as an incentive. Perhaps, if he was not prepared to take a chance on his place, it is just as well that it all fell through. 

What has been reported as a chase for Berahino, like Austin, also didn’t materialise. Similarly Remy. How much is Berahino worth? If Carroll was £35m, then a natural scorer with a similar rate should be worth more in a market where TV revenues are even further inflated. 

Thauvin on loan is an admission of previous failure. Tiote may still go. We learn that Cabella has triggered his transfer clause so at least some cash will be working its way back to the club. 

Intriguingly, Jordan Rhodes has signed for Boro for £11m. Williamson, Ferguson and Bigiramana on continued loan provide a little to offset the incoming transfers. In central defence, Williamson has returned to the Championship where many Newcastle supporters would recognise is where he excelled. Ayoze’s contract extension is welcome. 

Balance
The club has, generally speaking, kept up the policy of going for players with sell on value, perhaps wisely if relegation remains a possibility. The oldest is the sole striker obtained in loan. 

With a view to Premier League survival, Shelvey and Townsend represent long term prospects. They have also added to the “home grown” element which will be crucial for next season and beyond. 

We can also see some tactical flexibility in the squad. Townsend provides width on both sides, Shelvey the opportunity to get the ball, and players, into danger areas. 

Verdict
Arguably, the most crucial position, up front, has been filled by a gamble. McClaren is drinking in last chance saloon as far as his own Premier League future is concerned. 

Having had over £80m invested on his behalf, it is up to the coach to integrate his new talent. We suggested that after the start of the window he had 5 games to prove himself. With an 18 day break ahead, if he doesn’t get results, Ashley may need more investment soon. 

The fact remains that until Cisse is fit, the top Premier League scorers in the squad are Steve Taylor, Shelvey and Ayoze, all on 12. 

Has the spend been enough, is it too little too late or is it time for a new manager? Whilst we might give 7/10, the verdict will come at the end of the season.