Dietmar Hamann makes bold Newcastle United prediction

Dietmar Hamann has backed Eddie Howe to launch a push for European football.
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The club, 19th in the Premier League when Howe took over, finished 11th in the table last season after a remarkable mid-season turnaround.

Newcastle have since recruited Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett, and former ex-United midfielder Hamann believes an eighth-placed finish will be the minimum for the club next season.

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“Nick Pope’s a very good signing, but, if I was Eddie Howe, I wouldn't have looked at strengthening the goalkeeping department,” Hamann told Genting Casino.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

“Matt Targett’s a good signing, and there are probably two or three more coming. There are a lot of names floating around, and we shouldn't forget that they finished in the top five or six in the second half of the season.

“I think Newcastle will finish in the top eight. Whether they can finish higher than that depends on who else they bring in.”

It’s almost 20 years since Newcastle’s last qualified for the Champions League group stage. The club only had one European campaign during Mike Ashley’s time as owner, but Hamann believes that Newcastle’s new ownership group can unlock the “potential” at St James’s Park.

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“Newcastle have a lot of potential, and, with the funds they have available now, everyone expects them to be in the Champions League in the next three to five years,” said Hamann. “Nick Pope has probably signed expecting to play in the Champions League with Newcastle, so I'm not surprised that he chose to sign for them.”

Hamann, signed from Bayern Munich in 1998, spent one season at Newcastle before joining Liverpool.