There will be no new arrivals says Hughton
CHRIS Hughton has ruled out making any signings during the January transfer window, claiming he completed his squad this summer. With Hatem Ben Arfa likely to miss the majority of the campaign, and Steve Harper and Steven Taylor nursing long-term injury problems, it had been expected that Hughton would enter the transfer market at the turn of the year. The Newcastle boss made five signings last summer, but with Sol Campbell, Dan Gosling and Ben Arfa all joining on either a free transfer or a loan, the club's total expenditure was the £4.5m splashed out on Cheik Tiote and James Perch. The sum falls far below the increase in revenue that accompanied promotion to the Premier League, but Hughton will not be investing further funds when the transfer window reopens in January. Whether that decision is his, or the instructions of owner Mike Ashley, is unclear. Either way, though, Newcastle's recent belt tightening is set to continue. We won't be adding to the squad in January, said Hughton. I feel we have a lot of strength in depth with the players we have already and there's no need to add to it. We completed our squad before the last transfer window and I'm extremely pleased with the players we brought in. Mike Ashley and the board were financially very supportive and, together, we did some very good business in the summer. I'm disappointed to have lost a player of Hatem's quality - but we'll not overreact to one injury in what is a very strong squad. Ben Arfa is recuperating after undergoing surgery in Manchester on Monday to repair fractures to both the tibia and fibula in his left leg. The winger, who is on a season- long loan from Marseilles, will remain on Tyneside for his rehabilitation rather than returning to his parent club in the south of France. Hughton maintains it is too early to interpret that as proof that Newcastle will sign him permanently next summer, despite a now certain failure to meet the 25-appearance target that was written into the terms of his loan deal. But while the 23-year-old is unlikely to feature in the first team for at least five months, Hughton is adamant he remains an important member of the squad. I don't know what is going to happen in terms of his transfer, said the Newcastle boss. That will be something we discuss further down the line. It is something for the various parties to discuss when the time is right. At the moment, all we can concentrate on is making sure we get him back to full fitness. The fact he is staying on Tyneside for his rehabilitation shows how much he still wants to be here. There will be times when he does go back to France to do certain parts of his rehab work, but he will still very much be a part of the squad here. The one thing we have always known about Hatem is he was desperate to come here and it is a massive blow for him to be injured so soon after arriving. He has a passion for the place and he had already begun to fit into the team spirit we have. Monday's operation was a success, with Ben Arfa's surgeons satisfied at the treatment meted out so far. However, the winger has an arduous recovery programme ahead of him, with Hughton admitting it will not be easy to overcome such an unfortunate obstacle at such an early stage of his Newcastle career. The hard work starts now, he said. He has had the operation and now he has to start thinking about rehab. This is the really tough time for any player who suffers a serious injury. Most do at some point in their career, most will have a long-term injury, but it's sad it's happened so early in his. It is mentally tough when you know you have such a long time without playing football. What tends to happen, though, is you miss it when you're not playing and when you do get back into training and playing games, you appreciate how special it is. He is trying to stay positive. There is obviously a lot of frustration because he was just settling in at a new club and has only played a few games. We have seen what he is capable of.
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