Newcastle United are suffering from a blip in form and with key players suspended and away at the African Cup of Nations, Rafa Benitez may look to bring in reinforcements before the end of the month. However, the Spaniard has four new arrivals, in the form of returning loanees.
Sammy Ameobi, Ivan Toney, Jamie Sterry and Haris Vuckic have all returned to Tyneside this week, but how successful were they at their League One clubs?
In August 2016, Ameobi sealed a transfer deadline day move to Bolton Wanderers on a six-month loan deal.
It was reported a few weeks ago that it was unlikely Ameobi would feature for The Magpies again as Bolton were keen to extend his stay. However, a deal has not been agreed and Rafael Benitez has chosen to recall the Newcastle-born winger.
Benitez told The Chronicle: “He has done well with Bolton. He is a player that can play in wide areas," before adding, "We have players going to the African Cup of Nations. We have to be sure we have some players."
Ameobi signed a new contract in 2015, which is set to keep him at St James’ Park until July 2017, however he has not played for Newcastle since.
Benitez is prepared to give the former England Under-21's international another chance to prove himself on Tyneside. “It depends on him if he can stay here or not. It depends how much he can give us.”
The 24-year-old featured 24 times for The Trotters, scoring four goals.
The 20-year-old striker signed a six-month loan deal at Shrewsbury Town in August 2016.
The Englishman was enjoying a successful season before results started to slip and The Shrews sunk to second bottom of League One. Manager Paul Hurst indicated that it was Toney who chose to end his spell at the club: “I think he’s had that on his mind unfortunately for a little while.”
Hurst avoided the question when asked if he wanted to keep the striker but admitted that he believes Toney will “go elsewhere” and also revealed he is “not going to lose any sleep over it.”
Toney bagged seven goals in 26 appearances for Shrewsbury as well as receiving a red card for a late challenge on the goalkeeper in a game against AFC Wimbledon.
Sterry signed a half-season loan deal with Coventry City on deadline day in August 2016. He featured 20 times for the Sky Blues and bagged his first professional goal for the club.
A statement on Coventry City’s website reads: ”Newcastle loanee Jamie Sterry has returned to his Championship home club following a five month stint in the West Midlands.
The Sky Blues went on to say “Coventry City would like to wish Jamie all the best for the future, and thank him for his contribution during his time at the football club.”
Benitez has made no secret of the fact he likes Sterry and handed him his Newcastle United debut in the 5-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season in 2016.
Before going on loan, the defender was given a start in the first round of the EFL cup in a 2-0 win against Cheltenham Town.
Like Ameobi, Sterry will be cup-tied for this seasons FA Cup games following his appearances in the competition for Coventry.
Meanwhile, Bradford City have opted against extending the loan of attacking midfielder Haris Vuckic. The news comes as no surprise to most Bantam fans with the Slovenian being taken off at half-time on two occasions this season following poor first-half performances.
Vuckic scored four times in 14 appearances for the club.