According to journalist Dean Jones, Newcastle tried longingly to sign a creative player during the summer but failed to get a deal over the line.

The transfer insider’s comments come amid the unavailability of Allan Saint-Maximin, whose absence has been felt acutely. He has missed each of Newcastle’s three league games, in which the Magpies have only secured two points and scored just once from open play.

The 25-year-old’s loss has been compounded by the injury of Callum Wilson, with the two of them ranking first and second respectively for goal involvements per 90 minutes in Eddie Howe’s squad this season (FBRef).

Howe admitted following the draw against Bournemouth last weekend that such a game against a ‘stubborn opponent’ would have suited the French winger, who has that ‘bit of magic to unlock the door’.

With another attacking signing this summer, perhaps the Toon would have been able to cope with Saint-Maximin’s absence, like they have with Wilson’s in the form of Alexander Isak, but Jones has claimed that PIF really wanted to bring in a creative force.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “We know that one of the keys to the transfer market was trying to sign a guy that could pick the lock, and that’s why they were looking at people like Moussa Diaby. I’m not sure they found that perfect player in the window, to be honest.”

PIF may spend in January

To that end, the Magpies were heavily linked with a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby in the summer but his reported £60m asking price seemingly ended all hopes of a deal being struck.

Likewise, after multiple bids for James Maddison, Newcastle decided to halt their pursuit with Leicester holding out for a similar price for their creative playmaker.

However, given the apparent struggles of Howe’s side at this time without Saint-Maximin, Dan Ashworth may be prompted to go the extra mile the next time around and spend whatever it takes to solve the Magpies’ creative worries.