Journalist Craig Hope has stated that he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if Newcastle United signed a new midfielder in January.
Speaking on Adam Pearson’s YouTube channel, the Daily Mail reporter thinks a deep-lying or holding midfielder could be brought in to allow Bruno Guimaraes to play further upfield.
The Magpies currently have a number of other midfielders at their disposal, including Joelinton, Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey.
Speaking about Eddie Howe’s potential transfer priorities in January, Hope believes adding a midfielder would not only allow Guimaraes to play further up, but would offer Newcastle a more defensive-minded player in front of the back four.
He stated: “In terms of really improving the starting XI, I think a deep-lying midfielder or a holding midfielder – that’s a position which has been occupied by Bruno during the first half of the season.
“Now, Bruno is fantastic, he’s tremendous. But I think if you’ve got someone in that position that perhaps allows Bruno to go out and play further up the park, I think [Howe] wants someone to screen the back four, someone with more aggression, more defensive-minded.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that as the position which they perhaps prioritise.”
TIF Thoughts on Hope’s comments…
We believe that Newcastle should look to bring in a holding midfielder in the near future. However, they could hold off until the summer before going in for one.
Howe will not want to disrupt the spirit of the dressing room with things going so well, so he’ll need to be very careful if he chooses to bring in players for the starting XI.
Guimaraes, Joelinton and Willock have been the go-to trio in the middle of the park for the Magpies, so one of them would have to be dropped.
Of the three, Willock is probably the one you’d drop to the bench given Joelinton’s resurgence on Tyneside. Having said that, it would be pretty harsh on him, as he’s been an underrated component of the Newcastle midfield this season.
The 23-year-old has four goal contributions in the league for the Magpies. Additionally, he’s been very efficient on the ball, with an 86% passing accuracy.
Newcastle are third in the Premier League, but that doesn’t mean they should necessarily rest on their laurels. Howe will need to make sure that any players signed in January are going to improve the squad, but also have the right character and mentality in and around the dressing room.