Had Newcastle won both of their games since Boxing Day, rather than losing narrowly to Arsenal, and dropping three points with ten men at West Brom, much-maligned owner Mike Ashley may well have been tempted to do as he has in the past two January windows, investing in playing staff. Two years ago, Ashley brought currently out-of-form striker Papiss Cisse to the North East with devastating results, and the side almost made it into the Champions League, while last year, the Magpies invested heavily in a number of players to stave off the threat of relegation (and make an unlikely run at winning the Europa League.) Quite whether Ashley will see Newcastle's form - the last two results notwithstanding - as indication that the club have enough in terms of talent, or nearly enough to make a concentrated assault on European qualification remains to be seen, but if he does, one area Alan Pardew needs to strengthen is his forward options. The Magpies could do with a winger, or a wide forward, for an attacking front 3, and a striker, and there are a number of potential options Alan Pardew, Joe Kinnear and Graham Carr should be looking at. The key of course is that none of the players listed here would be considered "bank breaking" by any stretch of the imagination (in all but one case, at least.)
Loic Remy (QPR)
Considering the form he's been in since joining the North East side in the summer on loan from parent club QPR, the Frenchman has been one of his side's chief talents and point winners, and though he is a little off the boil at the minute, he should be considered an essential purchase, whether that's now or in the summer. Remy should not, however, be considered the solution to Newcastle's need to make additions to their front-line: he is a great forward, and he has revitalised the Magpies' attack alongside Yoan Gouffran in particular this term, but if a permanent deal is to be struck in January instead of the summer (perhaps to fend off interest) then it should be done with an eye still on another squad addition.