Thursday 5 December 2019

Steve McClaren: Newcastle landing Saido Berahino would have been a bonus

Saido Berahino was the subject of a bid from Newcastle
Saido Berahino was the subject of a bid from Newcastle

Damian Spellman

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has admitted a successful deadline day swoop for West Brom striker Saido Berahino would have come as a bonus.

The Magpies tabled a £21million bid for Berahino on Sunday as they attempted to beat off interest from Tottenham and Stoke, but then endured a frustrating final day of the January window as a deafening silence from the Hawthorns killed their hopes.

McClaren nevertheless has seen his squad boosted by four new faces - Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet, Andros Townsend and loan signing Seydou Doumbia - at a total cost of around £29million, and he is happy with the club's business.

Asked if the failure to land Berahino had come as a disappointment, he said: "No, I think it would have been a bonus. The board, when we got together and discussed it, it was ambitious, it was out there making a statement and I think it would have been a bonus if it had come off.

"It's not, so we go with what we have got and it's a very, very good squad now."

The Magpies head for Everton on Wednesday evening sitting inside the Barclays Premier League relegation zone and in desperate need of a run of results to ease their fears.

However McClaren, who will have full-back Paul Dummett available after injury at Goodison Park and midfielder Jack Colback close to a return, is confident they will have enough to avoid the drop.

He said: "We are delighted with what we have got and [it's] enough to see us through and score goals.

"This window was important. I am very pleased with it. I think we have got very good players to add to the squad. Now we have to gel everybody together and the last third of the season, really go for it."

Doumbia will hope for some involvement at Everton, although that was out of both his and McClaren's hands on Tuesday afternoon as the Ivory Coast international awaited the arrival of the visa he needs to be able to play.

Asked what the frontman will bring when he does eventually get on to the field, the former England boss said: "Goals. He's got a record of that.

"He has not played in the Premier League - it might take a while to adapt - and he's not trained for a couple of weeks. It just adds to the squad, competition for places.

"As I've said before, [Aleksandar] Mitrovic has been our only recognised number nine at the present moment; Manu [Riviere] is coming back. With Doumbia and hopefully Papiss Cisse in three or four weeks also, we have strikers who score goals."

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