Howe has guided the club, which was winless when he took over in November, up to ninth in the Premier League.
And Saha – who had a spell on loan at Newcastle from Metz in 1999 – has backed the club’s head coach for the prestigious end-of-season award.
Asked if Howe was manager of the season, Saha said: "I think so, yeah. When you have competition like (Pep) Guardiola, (Jurgen) Klopp and (Thomas) Tuchel, it’s hard, but it shows he’s done an amazing job.
Newcastle United 'closing in' on £13m striker following St James's Park visit
Supercomputer forecasts surprise finishes for Newcastle United, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Everton after contrasting opening day results
Newcastle United preparing bid for £25.3m striker who scored against them in pre-season
Newcastle United in ‘pole position’ for Tottenham Hotspur ace as Magpies ‘eye’ Chelsea quartet
Newcastle United enquire about England international targeted by West Ham
"When he arrived, they were favourites for relegation, and he’s built a dynamic team, played some very exciting football and defended well. The players he brought in had an impact and credit to him, and to the club who had the guts to make that decision at the right moment. It’s very important to recognise the immense impact Eddie has had.”
United’s new owners want to take the club to the top of the domestic and European game.
Saha told GamblingDeals: “I want Newcastle to take those next steps. It’s not going to be easy as there are a lot of clubs, like Tottenham, Everton and Leicester, (who) have tried, and found it’s not easy.
"Having a big budget is helpful to attract bigger players, as you have the luxury to offer bigger wages, and also Newcastle is a lovely city, so I think there’s a lot of potential for them to reach the top five next year.”
Saha also had a spell at Sunderland late in his career.