From defensive worries to being 'priced out' of moves - The four Newcastle United problems that still need to be solved before the January transfer window closes
On the face of it, they have done well to bring in two players with Premier League experience and the squad is arguably in a better shape than it was when the transfer window opened.
However, failed negotiations and reluctance from clubs to discuss deals with Newcastle have hampered their progress considerably.
Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood have added Premier League quality and depth to the squad, but what else needs to be addressed in the remaining five days of the window?
Ask any Newcastle United supporter and they would tell you that the club desperately needs at least one new centre-back.
Newcastle currently have the second-worst defensive record in the league and have kept just two clean sheets all season.
Of the five centre-backs at the club, both Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark played for Newcastle in the Championship five seasons ago, whilst Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar were purchased in 2018.
The heart of defence badly needs refreshing and whilst Newcastle have pushed for stars such as Diego Carlos and Sven Botman, they’ve seen their approaches rebuffed by Sevilla and Lille respectively.
James Tarkowski has long been linked with a move, however, after seeing Chris Wood depart to a relegation rival, it seems highly unlikely that Burnley will even entertain an offer for the defender this month.
Whether they can rescue deals for Carlos and Botman or they opt to move for someone new this window is unknown, however, Newcastle simply must bring in at least one centre-back before Monday’s deadline.
A loan move for Jesse Lingard has been explored, but Newcastle have been priced out of a move for the 29-year-old.
Dele Alli could be an option, as could Lyon’s Bruno Guimaraes with the Magpies reportedly submitting a £33m bid for the midfielder.
Whilst it may not be a priority for most fans, Newcastle definitely need additions in midfield with ones that can provide goals and assists particularly appealing.
Chris Wood and Callum Wilson are Premier League proven talents. They have both scored goals regularly in the division, but at 30 and 29 respectively, they’ve probably got two or three seasons left at the very top of the game.
A young striker brought in to potentially be Newcastle’s No.9 of the future could be the way to go this month.
Darwin Nunez and Hugo Ekitike are two names being mentioned and whilst both would command big fees, this window may be the best opportunity to secure their services before some of Europe’s biggest clubs come sniffing around.
Balancing desperation with value
As we have seen, Newcastle have found it very difficult to get deals over the line this month.
A mix of desperation because of their perilous league position and the tag of being the ‘richest club in the world’ means teams have upped their demands for players.
Newcastle’s owners have adopted a policy of only paying what they see as good value for money and whilst that is the right approach long-term, it does mean that deals are not being completed in the short-term - deals that they cannot afford to miss out on if they want to ensure their Premier League survival this season.