That may well raise alarm bells amongst some Newcastle fans given that Kieran Trippier has been the undisputed first-choice in that position since signing and could raise doubts over his long-term future, but Waugh believes it would just be cover that the club look to recruit.
This is mainly down to the fact Trippier is the wrong side of 30 and has had his injury problems since joining Newcastle in January, and with Emil Krafth still out injured, it appears the club are planning for the long term by trying to sign a younger alternative.
Waugh believes that Trippier’s injury woes are what may drive Newcastle to sign a right-back in January, albeit one that won’t likely be pushing to start ahead of the vice-captain.
He said: “They also would like further cover at right-back. As important as Kieran Trippier is, I think there’s a fear that given his injury record over the last few years – he has had quite a few injuries – if they were to lose him…
“So they may be looking for a younger right-back.”
Do Newcastle need to sign a new right back?
TIF Thoughts on interest in a new right-back at Newcastle…
This news may not come as much of a surprise to some Newcastle fans, as on deadline day in September, the Magpies tried to sign a young right-back to provide cover for Trippier in the form of West Ham United’s Harrison Ashby.
Newcastle didn’t end up signing the youngster, however, he has since refused to sign a new deal at the London Stadium and reports have suggested they may look to cash in on him this January rather than risk losing him for free in the summer.
To come and play for Newcastle, who are currently pushing for the top four, would likely be a dream move for someone like Ashby at such a young age, while the prospect to learn from Trippier – one of the most in-form and experienced right-backs in the league – would likely only improve the youngster further.