Newcastle United already working on an “extraordinary” January transfer target, according to The Athletic.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
While perfectly natural given the club have only had two transfer windows under their new ownership (one of which was spent trying to sign players capable of keeping the team in the Premier League), Newcastle lack squad depth.
Though not to criticise the likes of Sean Longstaff and Jacob Murphy, it’s hard to argue that either provide adequate replacement for Bruno Guimaraes and Allan Saint-Maximin for a team who could feasibly have ambitions of challenging the top eight at least.
Clearly, building a squad takes more than two windows and Eddie Howe has yielded a huge amount of improvement from the players he inherited, but the fitness issues that have defined the start to this season underline the lack of strength in depth.
After all, a blow to Alexander Isak leaves Howe with only the injury-prone Callum Wilson to lead the line before Chris Wood becomes the go-to option and the New Zealand international has scored only three goals in 25 appearances.
While there is reportedly an acceptance that it will take at least three summer windows to fully rebuild the squad, the report quotes an anonymous source as saying work has already begun on scouting for January.
The passage reads: “Squad depth remains a “real issue”, admits the senior source, which can only be addressed over several windows. But Newcastle will continue to add quality, with January targets already identified by Steve Nickson, the head of recruitment, including one the insider describes as “extraordinary”.”
Where do Newcastle need to strengthen most?
Although Miguel Almiron’s recent form is certainly something to consider, the club reportedly chased the likes of Moussa Diaby and James Maddison over the course of the summer in an effort to strengthen their options out wide. Everton’s Anthony Gordon, meanwhile, was another target.
With that in mind, it’s tempting to assume that will be the area in which Newcastle attempt to bolster again, such had been the desire to do so in the summer.
The Athletic also hinted last month that a central defensive midfielder was on the agenda, with Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and Ajax star Edson Alvarez tipped as targets. With Bruno Guimaraes recently admitting he preferred to play in a box-to-box role rather than the deeper position he’d be forced to occupy following Jonjo Shelvey’s injury, looking at options there would seem wise.
Having strengthened the back five over the last two windows, adding fresh faces in midfield and attack is a mouth-watering prospect.