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Opinion

Where Newcastle United need to improve ahead of next season and who should leave…

2 weeks ago
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Absolutely no doubts when it comes to judging whether Newcastle United improved their squad in January, with the additions of Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn, Chris Wood, Matt Targett (loan) and Kieran Trippier.

These additions to the squad have been a bonus on top of the improvements seen in longstanding players, such as Joelinton, Fabian Schar and even Emil Krafth, under the new Eddie Howe regime.

However, if Newcastle are wanting to push on, there are still serious measures that need to be taken.

Measures that include a mass exodus of many of those in and around the squad, with starting positions needing to be improved if the Magpies are wanting to gain a top half finish next season.

Below are players I feel need to be replaced in order to help the side / squad to take the next level

Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez – The two veteran defenders have served the club well in recent years, Clark being a part of the Championship winning squad in 2016/17 and Fernandez joining in August of 2018. Both have, as of late, been frozen out of the action altogether, deeming to be not good enough for Howe and the way he wants to revolutionise the side. These two defenders are also the wrong side of 30 and have taken up valuable squad places for potential new signings, so departure from the club makes sense for all parties.

Centre half – With the departures of the two aforementioned, centre back will need coverage. To compete next year with the new five substitute rule, a team will need four or five solid and competent defenders that will be regularly rotated, something I feel Newcastle currently do not possess.

There have inevitably been may names thrown around in the rumour mill, Diego Carlos and Sven Botman being the two main ones mentioned. However, it looks as though Botman will move on to AC Milan with Carlos being a potential no go after the Sevilla president set a huge price tag on the 29-year-old.

Striker – To succeed you need a consistent goal scorer, an area in which Newcastle have struggled in since Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba left the club. Currently Chris Wood leads the line after his January move with long-term absentee, Callum Wilson on the sidelines, nearing his comeback.

Wood has not hit the ground running, scoring two for his new outfit and with Wilson being unreliable due to injuries, the new owners should certainly dive into the market for a new number nine.

Once again, names have circulated, such as Hugo Ekitike, Darwin Nunez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a new rumour being the Portuguese talent, Rafael Leao from AC Milan. Whoever NUFC acquire it is sure to improve the frontline, but it’s paramount that someone is brought in to bolster their options.

Winger – Now this one could come as a surprise as we have several options, all showing their qualities this year but as said, if Newcastle want to make the leap into Europe these options are substandard, lacking end product and too often not making a difference coming off the bench. Players such as Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy could / should well see their time at the club come to an end after being great servants to the team.

If this were to happen then bodies would need to be brought in of course but there are a fair share of options out there, as well as the chance to give a chance to youngsters such as Elliot Anderson who has excelled out on loan. However, I see the sensible option to be to send him out on loan once more.

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