Newcastle United would like to sign ‘at least one’ striker during the January transfer window but ‘it’s proving tricky’.
That’s according to The Athletic‘s Chris Waugh, fielding questions in a recent matchday forum.
Eddie Howe revealed following the shock FA Cup defeat to Cambridge United on Saturday that Callum Wilson was facing eight weeks on the sidelines after sustaining a calf injury against Manchester United in December.
In a Q&A on The Athletic on Saturday, Waugh was addressing the possibility of Newcastle bringing in attacking reinforcements this month, while also hinting that the club’s PIF ownership are dissatisfied with current reserve option Dwight Gayle, who was brought to Tyneside by Rafael Benitez in 2016 for £10m.
The journalist outlined: “In terms of strikers, they are very much actively looking to recruit at least one but, as you say, it’s a very difficult window and hard to secure one even during the summer, so it’s proving tricky, but they will keep attempting to lure one. I don’t believe anything is close, though, and I think they see beyond Gayle now.”
Perhaps it’s difficult to persuade a quality striker to join the Magpies when they may fear playing second fiddle to a fit-and-firing Wilson once he returns.
One option might be for Eddie Howe to consider changing shape – over the course of his managerial career, he has favoured a 4-4-2 ‘double six’ formation.
When Wilson – who would have played in that system at Bournemouth – is back in action, the Newcastle boss could play him alongside a new recruit and keep both players happy. However, for that to happen, any prospective new centre-forwards must also be well suited to playing in a strike partnership rather than as a lone target man
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