According to reports from Shepherds Bush, Wayne Routledge had just about put pen to paper to sign for Boro ... until Hughton realised the player was available.
With Hughton saying he had THREE priorities - first and foremost a central defender; then a full-back; followed by an out-and-out striker ... he sprung a major surprise by bringing in a WINGER!
In Peter Lovenkrands and Jonas Gutierrez we have arguably the best two wingers in the Championship - one is going to the World Cup with Argentina and the other should be going with Denmark.
Then we have new signing Fabrice Pancrate - bought by Hughton (unless Mike Ashley knows different) - and Danny Guthrie, who was an out-and-out winger on Liverpool's books.
Next up we have Kazenga LuaLua - like shit off a stick and destined for the big time.
So why did Hughton suddenly spring Routledge on us?
The winger has signed on a three-and-a-half-year contract from QPR and is now in contention for the Palace game.
Team news ...
Peter Lovenkrands missed Saturday's FA Cup defeat to West Brom to be on compassionate leave following the death of his father earlier this month, but the Danish striker is available to return to the Magpies line-up.
Shola Ameobi sustained a shoulder injury at the weekend and is rated 50/50, but midfielder Nicky Butt (calf) has a chance of coming back into the fold.
Ryan Taylor is unavailable as he prepares to serve a one-match ban following his dismissal against the Baggies on Saturday.
But Steven Taylor (knee) and Danny Simpson (ankle) have been ruled out of the clash, while long-term absentee Joey Barton (foot) is still sidelined.