Eddie Howe has requested that a centre-back and full-back be signed in January amid Newcastle United’s defensive struggles.
That’s according to Chris Waugh, the club’s correspondent for The Athletic.
Newcastle find themselves rock bottom of the Premier League after suffering a seventh defeat in 13 matches on Saturday.
Their tally of 15 goals scored is actually better than seven teams, including Wolves and Tottenham in sixth and seventh positions respectively. However, it’s their league-worst defensive record which is costing them – they’ve shipped 29 goals so far, an average of more than 2.2 per game.
Continue at the current rate, and they could concede 85 before the end of the season. For context, Derby County’s 11-point side in 2007/08, statistically the worst in Premier League history, shipped 89.
In tweeting a link to his article for The Athletic outlining the Newcastle manager’s transfer wishes, Waugh said that “Howe wants defenders in January” but fears that it “could be too late by then” to fix a “porous, ageing & error prone defence”.
A further tweet from the journalist claimed that centre-backs and full-backs are ‘being scouted’ heavily by the club’s recruitment staff, with Howe regarding these reinforcements as crucial.
Waugh added that scouts have been scanning Europe for players entering the last six, or last 18, months of their contracts, while the manager also has some British-based targets in mind.
It’s hard to argue with Howe’s assessment, but who could Newcastle actually end up signing?
The club are said to be ‘reasonably confident’ of striking a deal for Burnley’s James Tarkowski, who has failed to agree a new deal at Turf Moor. The Clarets defender is valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, while one potential full-back target in Kieran Trippier is rated at £18m.
Tarkowski featured in the WhoScored Premier League team of the season for 2020/21, while the Atletico Madrid right-back has been capped 35 times by England.
The duo also boast plenty of English top-flight experience, with 171 and 107 appearances respectively in the division, so both could be ideal recruits for January if Newcastle can persuade them to join the Howe revolution.
In other news, this Newcastle trio struggled against Arsenal
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience