Newcastle United midfield addition made official - could make debut v Aston Villa as squad number revealed

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Newcastle United transfers: Eddie Howe has confirmed Joe White will not be loaned out again this month despite interest.

Newcastle United midfielder Joe White will remain with the first-team squad until the end of the season after returning from a loan spell at Crewe Alexandra.

White spent the first half-season on loan at the League Two club but returned to Tyneside with Eddie Howe's side in dire need of midfield reinforcements. The 21-year-old made 25 appearances for The Railwaymen after joining in September, scoring three goals and making three assists.

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He was unavailable to feature in Newcastle's 2-0 win over Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday due to being cup-tied but will be eligible to feature in the Premier League at Aston Villa on Tuesday night (8:15pm kick-off). White has featured for Newcastle's first-team in friendly matches but is yet to make his competitive debut for the club.

While the youngster was subject to plenty of Football League loan interest this month, Newcastle wanted him back at the club for further assessment due to having only three fit midfielders available in Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff and 17-year-old Lewis Miley. Explaining White's return earlier this month, Howe said: "We'll bring him back and see where his game is at and then make a decision based on that with what we do with him."

But after a week's training with the first-team, Newcastle have decided to keep White with the first-team at least until the end of the season.

Howe told The Gazette: "Joe will stay with us for the rest of the season. We're light on bodies in midfield and it's a really good opportunity for him to come in and show he's at the level.

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"He's certainly improved, the loan spell has been a really crucial period for him and this could be a great opportunity."

White has been listed as part of Newcastle's first-team on the club website and has been handed the No. 40 jersey.  

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