The Lowdown: Quiet January so far
The Magpies are surely looking to bring in a new face or two this month, as Eddie Howe aims to keep gradually building an even more impressive squad.
It has been a quiet January to date on the transfer front at St James’ Park, but it would be a surprise if no business is done, as that could potentially affect their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
However, one recent claim suggests that Newcastle’s approach has changed a little.
The Latest: Midfielder wanted
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Downie said that the Magpies’ attention has now turned to acquiring the services of a midfielder.
The reporter stated:
“I think the priority has changed in the last few weeks, probably since we last spoke. The priority above all at the moment is to add a central midfielder.
“With Jonjo Shelvey coming back, that softened the blow and lessened the need for a central midfielder. But now he’s for another couple of months and there are question marks over his long-term future, his injury record and the fact he’s had two injuries already when he’s not played this season. It will take him a while to get up to speed after having had both injuries.
“Without a doubt, they need a new holding midfielder in there.”
The Verdict: Sensible by Newcastle
Signing someone extra in midfield would be a shrewd move by Howe, especially considering the amount of work that the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton and Sean Longstaff get through. The latter two notably sit among the top five Newcastle players for minutes played already in 2022/23.
As the season goes on, their legs could possibly start to tire, so signing a top-quality operator in that area would help to ease the workload on the current first-choice trio. The recruit would need to be someone who is seen as a long-term investment, though, rather than a quick fix.
James Maddison is a potentially perfect candidate, having been linked with a move to St James’ Park numerous times. His seven league goals this season outline his quality while he also gets through plenty of work off the ball, averaging 1.9 tackles per game.