Ranking Newcastle's January Transfers in Order of Impact
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There is no doubt that Newcastle United's Premier League season turned a significant corner when Alan Pardew secured the signings of no less than five new players in the January transfer window.
Mathieu Debuchy signed from Lille in the first week of the transfer period, before Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Massadio Haidara all joined in the space of four days later in the month.
Since then, the Magpies have pulled themselves almost clear of the relegation zone and have a talent-filled first-team with improved depth sure to help them in upcoming seasons.
The five new stars on Tyneside have certainly helped Newcastle's cause, settling into life in England quickly and helping their new Club to some vital wins.
But who has made the biggest impact since pulling on the famous black and white shirt? The upcoming list is compiled based on performances and potential, so read on to find out who I've ranked as Newcastle's latest cult hero.
Feel free to get involved by commenting in the comments box below, or hit me up on Twitter: @91Marley
5. Mathieu Debuchy
Debuchy joined Newcastle from Lille early in January
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Propping up the rankings in terms of impact is right-back Mathieu Debuchy.
Since becoming Alan Pardew's first January signing and finally ending almost a year of speculation, Debuchy has gone slightly unnoticed in Newcastle's first-team.
Perhaps he has been slightly overshadowed by the instant impact of his fellow new arrivals, but Debuchy has showed nothing like the form he produced for France in last summer's European Championships.
It takes time to settle into life in a new country and a new style of football, and Debuchy's love of attacking down the right flank has gotten him in trouble on a number of occasions in his Magpies career so far.
The emphasis on attacking play from the 27-year-old smacks of something that he regularly got away with whilst playing for Lille, but his gung-ho style of play will have to change if he is to be a hit in England.
His defensive play has also been found wanting at times, but Debuchy has showed in the past that he can be an exemplary defender and a real asset to his side in other areas of play.
My prediction is that Debuchy will enjoy a more successful season next year as he comes to grips with the tempo and style of the Premier League, much like Vurnon Anita did for the first six months of his arrival from Ajax.
4. Yoan Gouffran
Gouffran celebrates his goal against West Brom
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An acquisition brought in to share the workload of Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran has been a solid signing from Pardew and Co.
Hard-working and clever, Gouffran has netted twice since switching from Bordeaux for a nominal fee and looks to have displaced Jonas Gutierrez on the left wing.
Not a natural centre-forward, Gouffran is always a threat on the flank and has shown signs of a good partnership with Cisse, as proved when he converted the Senegal international's cross with a deft header last week against West Bromwich Albion.
Next season, his place could be under threat from the fit-again Hatem Ben Arfa, but if the form continues, he could be the third striker in a three-pronged attack for Newcastle.
3. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Yanga-Mbiwa has been a growing force in Newcastle's defence
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A near £7 million arrival from Montpellier, Yanga-Mbiwa was Newcastle's biggest outlay in the transfer window.
He certainly arrived with a glowing reputation, too. Yanga-Mbiwa captained his former side and led them to a surprise Ligue 1 title last season and participated in the Champions League this year.
The 23-year-old had to wait to make his Newcastle debut, as Alan Pardew continued with his pairing of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini in the heart of defence. But when Coloccini broke two bones in his back, it opened the door for the French international.
Since coming into the side, Yanga-Mbiwa has been improving every week and now looks like a good partner for Taylor. His pace and impressive reading of the game compliments Taylor's strength and aerial ability, and the pairing could be Newcastle's long-term solution to the void which will be left when Coloccini leaves in the summer.
With his ability seeming to defy his age, Yanga-Mbiwa's impact on Tyneside has impressed many since crossing the channel and next season should see him start to build a reputation similar to the one he enjoyed while playing for Montpellier.
2. Massadio Haidara
Haidara has been superb since signing for Newcastle in January
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Perhaps the surprise package of the January signings, Massadio Haidara has been superb since leaving AS Nancy.
Newcastle fans can be forgiven for having never heard of the 20-year-old before Graham Carr gave Alan Pardew the heads up on him, but everyone now knows of the obvious talent that Haidara possesses.
Pace, strength and an asset in both attack and defence, Haidara has enjoyed more first-team appearances than perhaps he would have expected.
A regular in Newcastle's Europa League campaign, Haidara is now making the left-back slot his own in the absence of Davide Santon on the domestic front.
Haidara's season could have been cut short by Callum McManaman's horror tackle just a month ago, but the Senegalese has bounced back and picked up where he left off in the wake of the incident.
His instant impact in the Newcastle first-team should set him up for a good season next year, with Pardew knowing he can rely on the youngster should he need him.
1. Moussa Sissoko
Sissoko has been an instant hero since joining from Toulouse
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How could anyone else top this list?
Moussa Sissoko—a £2 million signing capture from Toulouse—has proverbially set the world alight with his fantastic start to his Newcastle United career.
Two goals on his home debut against Chelsea earned him a place in the Toon Army's hearts, and chants of the 23-year-old's name can be heard ringing around St James' Park regularly.
Even more impressive is the fact that Sissoko has been so good from a position unfamiliar to him, as Alan Pardew utilises his man in a "No. 10" role, supporting Papiss Cisse.
Normally allowed to push forward from a deeper position, Sissoko has took to his new role brilliantly and earned himself plenty of plaudits with his powerful displays.
If Newcastle are to overcome their current troubles and push for Europe again next season, Sissoko will be the driving force from midfield that many teams will struggle to contain.