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OPINION – Realistic January transfers for Newcastle United: Defenders who could potentially stabilise the Magpies at the back



Following the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United in October there have been countless rumours linking the club with potential signings in the January transfer widow – some more realistic than others.

Newcastle currently sit 19th in the Premier League with the joint-worst defensive record this term, having shipped 34 goals – with the Magpies facing a extremely challenging trip to Liverpool on Thursday evening.

Recent abysmal defensive performances were highlighted perfectly once again by the 4-0 away defeat to Leicester on Sunday afternoon, with captain Jamal Lascelles putting in a particularly dreadful display.

The defensive woes continue today with reports that Federico Fernandez is expected to have an extended time on the sidelines due to injury.

The Magpies were in the game last weekend until Lascelles lost the ball before mindlessly jumping into a tackle and subsequently giving away a penalty.

A dive, yes but another example of brainless defending that has again cost the team a chance of getting a result. The away side went on to gift the Foxes two more goals due to defensive mistakes as Rodgers’ side demolished the visitors.

This was just another example in the long-list of defensive issues that Howe’s side have experienced this term and for that reason it’s vital the club improves at the back if they are to retain their Premier League status come the end of the campaign.

Here are the realistic January signings that Newcastle could make to help stabilise things defensively:

Dean Henderson – GK

A good defence starts with a strong goalkeeper who is reliable and does his job on a regular basis. Seems simple right?

This may come as a surprise inclusion in the list considering Newcastle have two decent ‘Keepers at the club who are fighting it out for the No.1 spot. However, the number of errors from both Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow means their position may be in danger. Their distribution leaves a lot to be desired as both goalies have a mistake in them.

Photo credit: Jrppezza

Man Utd’s Dean Henderson, tipped to eventually become England number one, may be available in the January transfer window as David De Gea continues to keep him out of the side.

Yes, he’s perhaps unproven but his time in the Red Devils’ side last season coincided with a decent run of form for Solksjaer’s men who finished second in 2020/2021.

Henderson is a decent shot-stopper, good with his feet and may provide the back-line with more confidence to play it out of defence – the style of football Howe is hoping to implement at the club.

Look at Arsenal, they brought in Aaron Ramsdale much to everyone surprise, yet the England international has been a revelation in North-London, providing some much needed stability in defence.

Newcastle may look to follow suit and if so, could potentially look to bring Henderson to St James’ Park but might have to pay a larger fee given the fact the Cumbrian has a contract at Man Utd until 2025.

The 24-year-old is an exciting prospect and may be trusted to become first-choice at Newcastle in the new era.

Kieran Trippier – RB

Trippier played under new boss Eddie Howe in his time at Burnley, with the English right-back eventually getting a move to Premier League big boys, Tottenham Hotspur.

Credit: Антон Зайцев – Trippier ‘close’ to NUFC move…

From their Trippier moved to Atletico Madrid where he has made 65 appearances since 2019 and helped Simeone’s side to the 2020/2021 La Liga title. He has been a mainstay in the defensive line for Atleti but is thought to want a move back to England, with Newcastle firm favourites to get his signature.

The England international starred at the 2018 World Cup, scoring a memorable free-kick in the semi-final which sent supporters into delirium.

He would bring stability to the Newcastle’s back-line and his vast experience playing in a defensive system may help stop the Magpies conceding so many goals.

Trippier can dribble forward with the ball, provide great support to the attackers with his crossing ability and would be a massive upgrade.

The 31-year-old is used to playing a wing-back role and has previously played for teams fighting for survival – so can bring some much-needed knowhow to an otherwise poor defence. He is expected to be available for around €20million if the Magpies decide to bring him to St James’ Park.

Sven Botman – CB

Lille centre-back is thought to be top priority for Newcastle in the upcoming transfer window and has been widely linked with a move to Tyneside.

Credit: RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

The 21-year-old Dutch defender is thought to be the first-choice centre-back to reinforce a the defensive line  that has the joint-worst record in the Premier League, shipping 34 goals in just 16 games.

Newcastle are expected to have to pay at least £30m for his services but Lille could ask for as much as £40m given the fact they are still in the Champions League and face a difficult tie with Chelsea in the new year.

Other teams including AC Milan are interested in Botman, which gives an indication of his talent as clubs with a high standing in European football also chase his signature.

Botman has been at Lille since 2020 as the French side are currently struggling in Ligue 1 and find themselves mid-table in the lead up to the festive period.

With the lack of quality in the centre-back area at Newcastle, he seems like a realistic option for Howe and would improve the Magpies defensively, while having the ability to play in a ball-playing role.

Boubacar Kamara – CB/CDM 

Despite being one for the future, Kamara would provide some much-needed depth in the centre-back position and is another player who’s contract is set to run out at the end of the season. French giants OM will be open to offers in January to avoid losing one of their star assets for nothing.

The 21-year-old has made over 100 appearances for current club Marseille in his short career so far and is tipped to be one for the future.

He can play in both centre-back and defensive midfield. Kamara is tipped to become better than the likes of Lascelles and Hayden who play those positions but might need time to develop.

Newcastle were linked with the French U21 international last year but with the Saudi-led investment now being pumped into the club, he seems like a more likely signing this time round with Howe expected to bring in reinforcements in defensive areas.

Credit: Supporterhéninois

He is though to be available for around €30 million.

James Tarkowski – CB

The Burnley defender is out of contract in the summer and could be available for a fee of around £3million. He has plenty of Premier League experience and has the ability to help sure up the leaky Newcastle defence.

The towering centre-back is said to want a new challenge and with less than a year left on his contract is likely to leave Turf Moor in January. Newcastle are expected to put an offer on Dyche’s table and challenge the hand of the Burnley boss.

Credit: Press-Association

Tarkowski has played in several relegation battles in previous years and would be a far more stable option at the back than the likes of Lascelles and Clark. His small transfer fee makes this deal a no-brainer and would massively bolster the Magpies’ chances of survival.

Nicolas Tagliafico – LB

Ajax’s left-back Tagliafico was close to signing for Premier League rivals West Ham last year for a fee of around £10million and would certainly be an improvement of Jamal Lewis or Matt Ritchie in the full-back position.

The 29-year-old has made over 100 appearance for the Dutch giants and featured heavily in their Champions League campaign where they lost the semi-final in dramatic fashion following a Lucas Moura hat-trick for Spurs in 2019.

Credit: // Кирилл Венедиктов

He is thought to want a move away from Ajax and could be available in January, but Newcastle will face competition from other Premier League sides for his signature.

He is noted for his “lung-busting stamina, excellent technique and continuous enterprise” by his fellow teammates and has been a big part of the Argintinain international set-up, having been selected for the 2021 Copa America.

Nathan Ake – CB

The ex Bournemouth stalwart is used to Eddie Howe’s style of play and has only managed four Premier League appearances this season at Manchester City, including last night against Leeds United where the Dutch international scored after coming off the bench in the 7-0 demolition.

Credit: // Кирилл Венедиктов

Ake is low in the pecking order at City, with Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones ahead of him. Howe may be looking towards familiar faces in his bid to take Newcastle to safety and kickstart the new era.

There is some doubt over the 26-year-olds ability as a defender despite his ball-playing style which does however suit new manager Howe’s style of play.

In terms of defensive stability, his signing may be questionable but nethertheless, the Dutch international has plenty of Premier League experience at his previous club and would be an improvement on the current options available to Howe.

Abdou Diallo – CB/LB

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly offered Newcastle the chance to sign Senegalese centre-back Abdou Diallo in the January transfer window to help bolster their chances of Premier League survival.

Credit: Supporterhéninois

Diallo would be a decent addition for the Magpies and can play both in the centre-back and at left back. The 25-year-old has played at big European clubs such as Monaco and Borussia Dortmund so would certainly provide a strong option in multiple positions and would help prevent there being more defensive woes for Howe’s side.

Mauricio Pochettino has a lot of defenders at his disposal and Diallo has been unable to make the CB or LB spot his so far this season.

Ibrahima Diallo, who currently plays for Southampton, is Abdou’s younger brother and could potentially help to persuade his sibling to join NUFC and play in the Premier League.

Diallo is an interesting target for Newcastle, he’s a big name, but no with a lack of Premier League experience, signing him could be deemed a risky deal move.

Nat Phillips – CB

Perhaps quite an underwhelming option, Nat Phillips is reportedly available for a fee of around £10million and played an important centre-back role at Liverpool when stars Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk were unavailable due to injury.

According to the Evening standard, The Merseyside club have put the £10m price-tag on the 24-year-old who has also been linked with a move to West Ham. Despite being injured in the away victory over AC Milan last week, the towering centre-back represents value for money, could be one for the future and is probably better than the options Howe currently has in that position.

Credit: Jeollo von

His long stint in the team last year helped Liverpool to a respectable third-place finish as the English-born defender got some valuable Premier League minutes under his belt.

Mathias Ginter – CB

Newcastle are reportedly interested in German international centre-back Mathias Ginter from Borussia Monchengladbach. The 27-year-old has had a challenging start to the season at Gladbach as his side currently sit 13th in the Bundesliga table.

Credit: Author, Granada

Fresh from shipping ten goals in the last two games, Ginter is expected to want a move away from the German side and is coming up to the last six months of his current contract.

The demanding defender has featured on 46 occasions for his national team and would certainly improve the situation at the back for Howe. With other Premier League teams interested, Newcastle might have to offer big if the opportunity comes.

Ahead of the 2021/22 season, German legend Lothar Matthaus sung his praises:

“Ginter has become a leader at the back. He doesn’t just give instructions to his teammates, but leads them as well. That’s what Ginter is doing really well at the moment.”

Connor Coady – CB

The no-nonsense, brave and canny operator helped Wolves to consecutive top eight finishes in their first two seasons back in the Premier League and has played in all four divisions of English football. Freshly capped for the National side, Coady leads from the back and could become the rock in the centre of Newcastle’s defence – with Nuno leaving Wanderers at the start of the season a fresh start may be exactly what the 28-year-old is after.

Credit: Source Flickr- U-19 England vs Greece. Author Catherine Kõrtsmik

Coady is a proper leader and carries himself well both on and off the pitch. He is exactly the type of character who Howe could rely on to give his best for the club and help steer the Magpies to safety.

However, given the current predicament at the club, Coady might have to be offered a large contract if he is to be encouraged to want a move away from Wolves, who are currently in the top half and finding some form heading into the festive period.

Thoughts? Who would be top of your transfer priorities? Can Howe bring in reinforcements to help steer Newcastle to safety? Which defensive areas would you be looking to improve on?

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..


“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”


Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.


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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?




The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

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Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)



deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.


Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.


With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?


Toon are charging for Europe


If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.


Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 


In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.


Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed


Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 


Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.


Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.


Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 


On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.


Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.


Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 


With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?


So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?


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