With his appointment at St James’ Park seemingly close we’ve taken a look at what Eddie Howe’s Newcastle transfer targets could look like come January.
What do the Magpies need?
Before we delve into the ‘who’ we need to look at the ‘what’. After the takeover at Newcastle the club have bucket loads of money to spend; the trouble is right now they are deeply rooted in a relegation battle. They don’t need mercenaries arriving for a payday, they need players that know the league and know how to roll their sleeves up. On top of that though, they’ll want to bring players in that can help them build to a upper mid table position next season if they stay up.
Even with wads of cash, those players might be hard to attract; no top level pro wants to be playing in the Championship. It probably means there will be a lot of loan deals coming in January with a view to permanent moves coming next summer.
In respect of positions, you’d probably say that Newcastle will struggle to upgrade Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson in the January window. ASM is a class act and Wilson will get you goals; he’s also played under Howe in the past and been successful too. Everyone else might be a tad nervous about their place though.
So, who are the Newcastle transfer targets likely to be?
Although loans are the most likely avenue for Newcastle, this is one deal we can see being completed as a full blown transfer. For starters, Tarkowski is out of contract in the summer so Burnley aren’t going to sanction a loan. Secondly, if he signs an extension with Burnley his Premier League place is far from nailed on for next season anyway. As a defender though, he’s a blatant upgrade on anything Newcastle have in their ranks.
Next up is Nathan Ake. Yes, he’s another centre back but Newcastle need to reinforce their back line. Howe sanctioned a £20m move for Ake back in his Bournemouth days after he impressed on a loan spell from Chelsea. Ake’s form for the Cherries was so good that Man City came calling. In fact, they forked out north of £40m to capture his signature. Game time has been limited under Pep Guardiola though and with just three league appearances to his name this season a temporary move could appeal to club and player.
When Aaron Ramsey left Arsenal his money spinning move to Juventus was supposed to elevate him to be amongst Europe’s elite; it hasn’t quite worked out like that. The Welshman is now seen as an expensive drain on the Old Lady. Newcastle have the money to cover his wages and his star quality would be hugely appreciated by a Newcastle fan base starved of creativity and flair in recent times. He’s every bit a Howe type player too given how he likes to play the game. A loan with an option to buy on survival would be a big statement.
We’ve just touched on one in Ramsey but there have been countless other midfield players linked with Newcastle. Two of them can almost be ruled out now; Dele Alli was one but a managerial change at Tottenham will see him stay put through to the summer at least. The same is true of Jesse Lingard. He might get more minutes at Man United now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tweaked his system. That makes Ross Barkley a serious candidate to move to St James’ Park. Barkley’s career has stalled somewhat with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek having overtaken him in the pecking order; his powerful running and close control would be appreciated by the Geordies for sure.
The last player we’re going to throw out there is Dean Henderson of Manchester United. He proved whilst on loan at Sheffield United what a good keeper he is; at Old Trafford though he’s firmly number two. The England man stayed with the Red Devil’s this summer thinking he was in with a shout of ousting David de Gea in between the sticks. As it turned out, the Spanish international returned in top form. A loan move to get Henderson some regular minutes could work for everyone; especially as Man United have Tom Heaton as a backup.
There you have it, five Newcastle transfer targets for the January window.