There have been many surprises since Newcastle United were relegated. Selling more season tickets than ever, selling out all away games so far and a surge in merchandise being bought - even with the unpopular sponsor slapped on the front of it. However, the most surprising is the resurgence of Yoan Gouffran.
The Frenchman was bought from Bordeaux back in January 2013, and in 117 appearances the most impact he has had has came under the guidance of Rafa Benitez.
Throughout the campaign in the Championship so far, Gouffran has been instrumental to driving the Toon's attack while also managing to net four stunning goals in 18 games. Most of came on the volley, to add a little extra flare for the fans. This has certainly earned him the love of the supporters, but will it land him a new contract?
Despite Gouffran's transformation, Newcastle are yet to even open discussions. And there is good reason for that. The Championship is seemingly Gouffran's level.
His work ethic is in line with that the second division demands. Although promotion for Newcastle would set the bar higher, perhaps out of Gouffran's level and with the winger's contract set to expire at the end, it is difficult to see a renewal should the Mags go up.
January transfer window
The January transfer window will provide an opportunity for foreign clubs to sign a pre-agreement with, as it is difficult to see Benitez let the workhorse go in the midst of the push for promotion. Especially given that Jonjo Shelvey, The Mag's source of creativity, is banned for five games following the FA's racial incident charge.
According to The Chronicle, Rafa is looking to add more options out wide which coupled with the fact that discussions around Gouffran's contract, adds instability to his tenure at the club.
With the start of the African Cup of Nations imminent, Newcastle will also be looking to find replacements for the likes of Christian Atsu when the transfer window opens.It is also claimed that the Toon boss is looking at 'a clutch of' Premier League loan signings.
Despite uncertainty around incomings and outgoings, the situation looks positive this Christmas. Newcastle are top of the table, Dwight Gayle is the top goal scorer in the Championship and the club has reportedly made a profit of £31.2 million. This means that if Benitez should need the funds, and he has proved he can spend wisely, they are available to him.