The three areas Newcastle United need to strengthen this summer - and the trio of exciting European talents that should be considered
After a hectic, but ultimately transformative January transfer window, Newcastle now have a whole summer to help Eddie Howe shape his Newcastle United squad.
Here, we take a look at the three areas of the squad that Newcastle United need to address first in the summer transfer window and look at what players could be best to fill these needs:
Matt Targett proved to be an inspired addition in January. He arrived as an under-the-radar deadline day addition and left after being serenaded with ‘there’s only one Matty Targett’ by supporters.
Making his loan stay a permanent one seemed like a formality and an easy-win for the club.
Speaking to NUFCTV after the win over Arsenal, Targett revealed his hopes for the future, saying: “I think everyone knows what I want, but it’s up to the club.
“It’s a massive project, an exciting project, and I’m sure everyone wants to be a part of it.”
A deal for Targett would only cost Newcastle around £15million, however, it appears that the club are considering other options.
Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi has been touted as a potential alternative. Lodi was a teammate of Kieran Trippier in Madrid and shares an agent with Bruno Guimaraes and would reportedly be allowed to leave the Spanish club this summer.
Lodi is viewed as a more attacking option than Targett and as a player who has played at the very highest level of European football, is seen as a long-term option for Newcastle as they aim to progress and get back into Europe.
Right now, Jamal Lewis is the club’s only recognised left-back. Newcastle almost certainly will add another left-back to their ranks this summer and who they eventually opt for would be a real window into how they want to play and how quickly they feel they can reach European football’s top-table.
Their 4-3-3 formation has worked wonders this year and looks like being the way forward under Howe.
Ryan Fraser, Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy have all added grit and determination with Allan Saint-Maximin given the freedom to create on the other wing.
Much like their full-back dilemma, Newcastle will certainly add to their options on the wing this summer and how they go about that will be determined by the way they want to play next year.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, who netted 17 goals and 14 assists this season, is the player exciting Newcastle fans at the moment.
If Diaby can replicate his Bundesliga form in the Premier League, whilst slotting into Howe’s side as a winger that works hard and finds the balance between attack and defence, then he would be a tremendous addition to the squad.
The need for a striker is simple. Callum Wilson is a tremendous player but his fitness issues mean Newcastle need to find a like-for-like back-up.
Chris Wood will be a handy option throughout next year, but to get the very best out of the way Howe sets his side up, Newcastle need to bring in a player like Wilson.
Hugo Ekitike has a very similar build to Wilson and as a raw talent, he wouldn’t cost a huge sum of money to bring to Tyneside - it’s certainly a risk, but one that their good finish to the season has afforded them.