Gillette Soccer Saturday star Paul Merson believes Newcastle United had a strong transfer window, despite making no permanent signings.

The Mapgies endured a frustrating month-long window, which was supposed to yield the completion of a takeover by Amanda Staveley, and have ended up making three loan signings.


Rafael Benitez has brought in Kenedy from Chelsea, Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague and Islam Slimani from Leicester, all of whom will make their way back to their respective clubs in the summer.

Merson said on Sky Sports, as quoted by The Mag: "Kenedy alone isn’t going to keep you up.

"I’m not being horrible but he won’t, so I’m glad they did a bit of late business on Deadline Day by getting Slimani.

"They needed a forward because they’re not scoring enough goals and someone like him might reignite them."

Merson's assumption that Slimani is a good signing may seem fair on the face of it, but the Algerian is actually injured at the moment and is likely to miss the crunch clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday. He'll also be ineligible against parent club Leicester, meaning he could only feature in 11 games maximum since they're out of both domestic cups.

What's more, Slimani could not force his way in to the Leicester starting line up over Shinji Okazaki or Jamie Vardy, and has only scored eight Premier League goals for the Foxes since his £28m switch from Sporting CP.

Newcastle will be hoping Merson's prediction rings true though, because at the moment they lie 14th just one point above the relegation zone.