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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?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.



Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.

Newcastle United boss wants to extend the contracts of two players before losing them.

Eddie Howe has expressed in a recent fan Q&A his intentions to keep two out of contract players this summer, Loris Karius and Paul Dummett, according to the Athletic’s Chris Waugh, with both players current contracts set to end this summer.

6 players are currently set to become out of contract come June 1st, Loris Karius, Paul Dummet, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark. However, it is only Karius and Dummett that appear to be safe of getting the chop.

Loris Karius has spent this season as Newcastle United’s third choice keeper, with only one appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final. Despite the loss, Karius did little wrong and contributed some wonderful saves late on in that game.

Paul Dummett has had the same treatment, with only one appearance coming his way, a Carabao Cup tie in the second round against Tranmere Rovers back in August. The 31-year-old Welshman is an experienced head and will no doubt have great respect within the dressing room having signed for the club back in 2012 making 205 appearances in that time.

Both players can expect new contracts from Eddie Howe as he has made it known that he wants them both to remain at the club next season.


Who would you want to remain at the club from the current out of contract list – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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Top 10 Free Transfers NUFC Could Sign This Summer



Newcastle United Free Transfers - top 10 Summer 2023

10 players Eddie Howe could look towards with contracts expiring at the end of this season.

The free agent’s market is the absolute cheat code for clubs across the board, being able to avoid the rising transfer fees and getting players through the door through verbal agreements makes life much easier for clubs during the transfer window.

We have compiled a list of 10 free transfers NUFC could sign this summer from Europe’s top five leagues giving them a rating of the potential of them signing and the impact they would have.


  1. Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

The 29-year-old full back has his contract expiring this summer and with NUFC already being hinted at as his potential new club, this one is worth keeping an eye on over the next few months. He would slot straight in at left-back to have healthy competition for fan favourite Dan Burn and add a burst of class and pace to that left hand side. The Portugal international already has an impressive CV and would be looking to show that off to the St. James faithful.

Potential – A

Impact – A


  1. Yerry Mina (Everton)

With Everton potentially facing the drop this season, a jump from Merseyside to Newcastle could suit the centre back to a T. The 28-year-old Columbian international would add to NUFC’s already in form back line and bring some South American heat as they look to progress further next season. Mina possesses dominance, aggression, and a great ariel threat and would be a top addition to the magpies this summer.

Potential – B

Impact – A


  1. Jonathan Bamba (Lille)

An explosive winger who made his name known as Lille snatched the league title in 2021 in France, the 26-year-old is still yet to receive a contract extension from the club and could be looking elsewhere in the summer. Adding pace, flair, and drive to an already exciting front three for NUFC could be what fans need going into next season.

Potential – C

Impact – A


  1. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)

Reportedly being close to leaving in the summer window of 2022, Youri Tielemans would be a fine addition to NUFC’s midfield being able to operate in a slightly deeper role to allow Bruno to push further up the field and do what he does best. The 25-year-old has his contract expiring this summer and with him and James Maddison already being linked to the club, this transfer seems to make so much more sense and would add heaps of quality to the centre of the field.

Potential – B

Impact – A


  1. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Drive, power, and flair are the 3 best words to describe Crystal Palace star man Wilfried Zaha. The 30-year-old could be looking to depart his beloved club in the hope for European football next season and NUFC could be just the place for him. Being able to operate either on the left or down the middle, Zaha would thrive under Eddie Howe and be a fantastic addition to the front line.

Potential – B

Impact – A

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Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault



A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.

Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.

His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.

The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.

Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.

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