Journalist John Gibson believes that if Newcastle United sign a new striker in January, they would secure a spot in Europe for next season.
While this may sound like quite an outlandish claim from Gibson considering that Newcastle and PIF splashed out £63m for Alexander Isak over the summer with a view to him eventually taking over from Callum Wilson as the club’s main striker, he’s already encountered some injury problems.
Therefore, that has left Eddie Howe with very few options through the middle, and if Wilson was to pick up an injury – which is perhaps likely given his record over the years – it would be Chris Wood leading the line, who’s got two goals in 29 league appearances for the Magpies.
This is why Gibson has claimed on the Everything is Black and White podcast that a new striker would ‘nail on’ a spot in European competition for the Magpies next season.
He said: “We have to get somebody of quality in that position. Easier said than done – it’s the toughest position in the world.
“January’s going to be hard, especially for a centre-forward. I’m just talking because that would really nail on Europe in the second half of the season.
“I’ll wait until the summer if necessary, but if I’m greedy, I would like to see it in January.”
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If Newcastle were to bring in another striker after spending so much money on Isak in the summer, it would certainly be a statement of intent, and perhaps the first time PIF will have gone out of their way to flex their financial muscles in such a pragmatic fashion.
Having splashed out over £220m over the course of two transfer windows, PIF may well have been thinking about not spending too heavily in January. However, if Eddie Howe has his Newcastle side in the top four by the new year, they may feel forced into strengthening once again.
The Magpies have clearly wanted added depth at the striker position for some time, as they also tried to bring in Hugo Ekitike over the summer, which would have afforded them further flexibility at the centre-forward position.