Newcastle: Journalist believes Eddie Howe could soon replace Dan Burn
The Press Association’s Damian Spellman believes Newcastle United could soon replace Dan Burn with a specialist left-back.
The Lowdown: Newcastle always looking to improve
Newcastle have been on a superb journey over the last 12 months, as about this time last year, things began to improve after making five new January additions – and they have hardly looked back since.
The Magpies are yet to lose a home game across all competitions this season and have only lost once in the Premier League this term, which was a gut-wrenching last-minute defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
However, if Newcastle wish to maintain their current spot inside the top four for years to come, they will have to ensure they constantly improve their squad – and that may well mean fading out some fan favourites, including Burn.
The Latest: Howe could soon replace Burn
Despite being a natural centre-back, Burn has been playing at left-back this season to great success, and speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, Spellman has claimed that Howe could soon look to bring in a more natural fit in that position.
He said: “They will need to address the left-back situation, because Dan Burn’s been great, he’s been absolutely great. But Dan Burn – as much as Eddie Howe tried to suggest he wasn’t on Friday – is a centre-half playing out of position.
“And he has done brilliantly there but he’s going to go and overlap Saint-Maximin or whoever else is playing out there, and I suspect they will be looking for a specialist left-back at some point.”
The Verdict: Burn proved to be a solid Premier League player
Many may well have turned their nose up at Burn joining Newcastle last year given he only cost £13m and was hardly setting the world alight down at Brighton & Hove Albion, but he has proved that he’s very capable of playing for a top team in the Premier League.
However, Burn is indeed a huge centre-back playing out of position, and if the Magpies want to cement their spot in the top four and start challenging for honours on a regular basis, he may well need to be replaced.
There is perhaps still a role for him in the squad as Howe clearly rates the defender highly for his footballing ability and what he brings off the pitch, claiming he is a ‘well-liked member of the dressing room’.
But given Burn has only completed seven passes into the opposition’s penalty area this season, to have someone who can operate effectively as a more attack-minded defender could be something Newcastle look to address in the summer.