Transfer Deadline day in North East football: How did our clubs fare?

All three North East clubs were active on Transfer Deadline day Credit: PA

Football clubs in the North East have wrapped up their January transfer business -with the window for activity closing at 11pm on Monday night.

It means football clubs will now have to make do with what the players they have in their squads until the 2021 summer transfer window opens.

ITV Tyne Tees Sports Correspondent Simon O'Rourke has been taking a look at the business done by Newcastle United, Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland AFC and assessing how he thinks it will impact their seasons.


INS: Joe Willock (Arsenal) LOANOUTS: Deandre Yedlin (Galatasaray) PERMANENT, Rolando Aarons (Huddersfield) PERMANENT

Joe Willock arrived at Newcastle on loan from Arsenal Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images

VERDICT: Move along, nothing much to see here. Willock is an interesting player, an England U21 International with plenty of first-team experience. He's also plug and play: he's match fit and ready to go. But does he move the dial? I don't know.

Yedlin has served the Magpies well and the genuine good wishes he's received from both the club and the supporters are well-deserved. But his move to Galatasaray made complete sense for all parties.

It felt like Aarons had been at the club forever. He's a nice player, but he's one of those who looks good in preseason friendlies then disappears for months. He should've left years ago. Newcastle would've liked to shift more of the deadwood (Saivet, Atsu) but you reap what you sow in the transfer market. Sometimes the Newcastle owner Mike Ashley surprises people in the January Market (Almiron in 2019 and the French Invasion of 2013).

But not this year. This is probably what we all expected, especially given Ashley's ongoing beef with the Premier League over the proposed Saudi/Staveley/Reuben takeover


INS: Jordan Archer (Motherwell) PERMANENT, Yannick Bolasie (Everton) LOAN, Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) PERMANENT, Neeskens Kabano (Fulham) LOAN, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Unattached) PERMANENT

OUTS: Tomas Meijas (Ankaraspor) PERMANENT, Dejan Stojanovic (FC St Pauli) LOAN, Stephen Walker (Crewe Alexandra) LOAN, Lewis Wing (Rotherham United) LOAN, Nathan Wood (Crewe Alexandra) LOAN, Patrick Roberts (Manchester City) END OF LOAN

VERDICT: Blimey, lots going on and a big trolley dash right at the end. This is Neil Warnock working his contacts book and looking for marginal gains without stretching Steve Gibson's budget too far. Fisher is a solid Championship player and should do fine, but the success of this window stands or falls on the attacking reinforcements. Warnock wanted more options and creativity in wide forward areas and he's largely gone with what he knows here. He's worked with Bolasie (at Crystal Palace) and Mendez-Laing (at Cardiff) before.

Kabano was a last-minute swing for the fences. Keeping Britt Assombalonga was also important. It made business sense to move him on now and get a bit of cash in for him. His contract ends in the summer and there's no way on God's Earth Boro will pay Assombalonga the same money again, so he'll probably leave at the end of the season.

A move away yesterday fell through for one reason or another, but whatever the circumstances, Middlesbrough are better off having him around over the next few months.

This is a potential promotion season and the more options they have, the better.


INS: Carl Winchester (Forest Green Rovers) PERMANENT, Jake Vokins (Southampton) LOAN, Jordan Jones (Rangers) LOAN, Ross Stewart (Ross County) PERMANENT

OUTS: Morgan Feeney RELEASED, George Dobson (AFC Wimbledon) LOAN, Danny Graham RELEASED, Will Grigg (MK Dons) LOAN, Elliot Embleton (Blackpool) LOAN

VERDICT: Wait and see. Sunderland have brought in a steady-away midfield man (Winchester), a promising young Premier League full-back (Vokins), a fast, exciting, inconsistent bolter (Jones) and a complete unknown quantity (Stewart).

At this stage, Black Cats Fans have to trust the judgement of the new management team (Lee Johnson and Kristjaan Speakman) and hope the new arrivals help propel them to, at the very least, a playoff place in League 1.

In terms of the outgoings, Feeney was unlucky with injuries but hadn't been a factor. Dobson's form had made him unplayable and he needed a change of scene. Danny Graham's second Sunderland Spell proved every bit as uninspiring as his first. Embleton is a slightly odd one - he's one of the few genuine attacking midfielders on the books and the fact Sunderland have extended his contract shows they haven't given up on him.

Will Grigg is the one that gets people's attention, but really, what else was there to do? Sometimes things just don't work out. It's not his fault the Black Cats overpaid for him (as shown in vivid detail in Season 2 of "Sunderland Till I Die" on Netflix). It IS his fault he hasn't scored goals or held down a regular first-team spot. But the whole thing had become an uncomfortable, distracting sideshow. A loan move was sensible for all parties: Grigg gets a fresh start. Sunderland hopes he catches fire somewhere else and either comes back rejuvenated or boosts his value in the summer transfer market.