Alan Shearer has revealed that Newcastle United decided against signing Javier Hernandez and Tammy Abraham in the summer, despite coming close to completing the two transfers.
However, the Mexican international, who left Manchester United for Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, returned to the Premier League after joining West Ham United before the start of the current season. Meanwhile, Abraham moved to Swansea City on loan from Chelsea after signing a five-year deal with the Stamford Bridge club in July.
Newcastle were interested in securing the services of Hernandez and the England international before the strikers moved to West Ham and Swansea, respectively. Both have scored four goals each in England's top flight so far in this campaign.
The Magpies manager Rafael Benitez signed Joselu instead, who is the joint top-scorer for Newcastle in the Premier League with three goals, along with Dwight Gayle.
The Tyneside club have had a tough time in the league so far, managing only five wins out of the 19 games played.
Earlier, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager had admitted in the summer that he was forced to offload deadwood at St James' Park before bringing in new faces to the club. He had also predicted at the time that Newcastle would find it tough to compete in the Premier League.
Shearer gave his opinion on the matter on Saturday, 23 December, claiming that having Mike Ashley as Newcastle's owner makes it "a very, very difficult club" to manage.
"I think he's definitely got the vast majority of the backing from the Newcastle fans. Newcastle, with the current owner, is a very, very difficult club to manage and we've witnessed that in the past," Shearer told BBC Match of the Day, as quoted by the Newcastle Chronicle.
"He wanted to bring players in – I know he had Javier Hernandez and Tammy Abraham ready to come in, those deals were pulled at the last minute, which is why he had to spend £5m on Joselu to bring another body in.
"But if you have a look at the money that he has made Newcastle in the 12 months he has been there, he has made them £12m nearly in profits and transfers.
"So he's doing a very, very good job – it was always going to be a struggle, and if new owners are to take over, then there is no doubt they want him also, which is great news," Shearer added.