Alan Pardew failed to bring in the defender Newcastle desperately needed at the club – can any of these free agents help him avoid the sack.
That meagre return in the league, coupled with a busy summer of spending on Tyneside has seen reports emerge suggestin the Magpies boss has just two games to save himself from being sacked.
But with fixtures away at Southampton and at home to Hull coming up, Pardew needs to fix things quickly, with the statistic that Newcastle have shipped five goals in three games already in the top-flight particularly concerning.
The Toon’s failure to recruit another defender, coupled with the surprise departure of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to AS Roma, has left many worried the club could be battling at the wrong end of the table this term.
And with the transfer window closed, Pardew could be forced to recruit from a select group of players currently without a club to call home.
Here are five of the best options available.
Recently released by Fenerbahce following a four-year stay in Turkey, Yobo would bring bags of Premier League experience to St James’ Park, having spent nine years at Everton as well as the latter half of last season on loan at Norwich City.
Still only 33, the Nigerian international was a solid presence for the Super Eagles at the World Cup and could be open to the idea of a Premier League swansong with the Magpies, though they may face competition for his services.
A key component of Uruguay’s march to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2010, the past four years have not been kind to Lugano, with troubled moves to Paris Saint-Germain, Malaga and most recently West Brom all proving disastrous for the 33-year-old.
While the most recent World Cup in Brazil saw him recover some of his form and composure, the Baggies’ decision to release the South American should be cause for concern, though his experience makes him a good option to have on the bench at the very least.
While Yepes stands tall as the oldest of the bunch at 38, the Colombian could prove to be the most canny option available to the Toon, having excelled for Los Cafeteros at the World Cup, where he featured for them throughout their run to the quarter-finals.
A big game player with experience at PSG and AC Milan, his age appears to be the biggest concern for many sides but with Yepes open to the idea of a move to England, Pardew would be wise to take a gamble on the ex-Atalanta star by offering him a short-term contract.
A name familiar to Magpies fans, Faye previously spent a single season on Tyneside during the ill-fated Sam Allardyce era, playing 22 times and scoring once in a largely forgettable campaign for the Magpies in the Premier League.
But with little in the way of options left, the 36-year-old, who was released by Hull City at the end of last season, having also spent time at Bolton, Stoke and West Ham, could provide decent cover in the Toon squad and is more than capable of putting in the occasional solid display when required.
Arguably the most left-field option available, given that he has just spent a season in Australia with Perth Glory, Gallas carries a Premier League pedigree few other free agents can match, having played for Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham during his time in England.
At 37 he also remains a short-term solution and would head to Newcastle off the back of a miserable time down under. But as they say: form may be temporary, but class is permanent and his experience and leadership qualities could prove a major asset.
Which of these free agents would you like to see at Newcastle? Should the Toon sign another defender?