How many signings Newcastle United need to make in January and how much they should spend in transfer window

With the much anticipated January transfer window fast approaching for Newcastle United, we answer the burning questions surrounding Eddie Howe’s plans.

Here, our Shields Gazette writers Miles Starforth and Dominic Scurr look ahead to the January window how it is shaping up for The Magpies…

How many players do Newcastle need to sign in January?

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MS: “I’d say two or three good-quality signings are needed. The club could sign more, but, for me, it’s about quality over quantity. Howe needs players who can improve this squad, and not make up the numbers.”

Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on December 27, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

DS: “As it stands, Newcastle’s squad isn’t quite good enough to stay in the Premier League. A couple of top-level loan signings combined with a few solid permanent additions would be ideal.”

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How much money do you expect the club to spend?

MS: “That’s a tough one. There’s money to spend, and, potentially, we could see tens of millions of pounds invested in the squad given what’s at stake. The new owners will have a good go at it next month, but some of the speculated net spend figures look to be way over the top.”

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Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United acknowledges the fans prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on December 27, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

DS: “Several figures have been thrown out there, ranging from £50m all the way up to £300m. If Newcastle are serious about staying in the Premier League, a transfer investment of around £70m, spent wisely, should do the trick.”

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What obstacles could the club encounter in the transfer market?

MS: “There are a number of obstacles. Firstly, many players will not be prepared to move to a club which is 19th in the Premier League. Others will take some convincing. Also, clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League won’t want to strengthen a rival, while other teams may be reluctant to deal with United in the wake of the takeover.”

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DS: “Managing expectations will be difficult for Newcastle this window. We’re so used to frugal or non-existent spending in January so there is an expectation things will be significantly different this time around with signings of real quality – but that’s easier said than done. Patience will be required.”

Jesse Lingard and Kieran Trippier of England interact during a training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on October 11, 2021 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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Has the injury to Callum Wilson impacted the Magpies' transfer plans?

MS: “If the injury is as bad as we fear, then strengthen the case for another striker. The club can’t afford to be short up front in the second half of the season. If Dwight Gayle isn’t the answer when Wilson isn’t fit or available, then there needs to be another solution.”

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DS: “Wilson’s goals will be crucial to Newcastle’s bid to avoid the drop so being without him for an extended period makes a proven striker a key priority, even if it’s just a loan move to help fill the void.”

The ball hits the hand of Raphael Varane of Manchester United following a shot from Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on December 27, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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Who are Newcastle's key targets/areas to strengthen?

MS: “I think the spine of the team needs looking at, though Joelinton’s re-emergence as a midfielder gives Howe an extra option in that central area. The forward and defensive areas, certainly, need looking at.”

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DS: “With 42 goals conceded in 19 Premier League games this season, it’s clear where Newcastle’s problems lie. Getting Kieran Trippier in at right-back would be a great start and a statement of intent but it’s the central positions where they really need reinforcements. Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth and Sven Botman are two names that have been doing the rounds. While both would be solid youthful additions, a proven and experienced centre-back in the mould of Conor Coady or James Tarkowski is a must.”

What is the latest on them?

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MS: “Kieran Trippier looks to be the deal which is closest, but Newcastle aren’t the only club looking at the right-back, and there’s still work to be done on this one.”

DS: “The Magpies are reportedly looking to secure the Trippier deal by early next week but, as Miles says, there remains a number of interested parties who aren’t under serious threat of the drop. This will be the first real test of Newcastle’s transfer pull. There remains plenty of noise regarding other names but nothing concrete yet.”

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Do you expect Gini Wijnaldum to return to the club in January?

MS: “I’m not expecting a move for Wijnaldum, though he’s the calibre of signing I’d hope the club to be competing for in the coming seasons if it stays in the Premier League. I know Wijnaldum is fond of Newcastle following his season at St James’s Park, but the club has other priorities.”

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DS: “Since leaving Newcastle in 2016, Wijnaldum established himself as a world class midfielder at Liverpool, winning the Premier League and Champions League before joining PSG in the summer. That move hasn’t worked out as planned and he is understood to be available in January – but I can’t see a player of his calibre risking putting a second Newcastle relegation on his CV when more attractive options are available.”

Are there any players you expect to leave the club?

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MS: “I’d expect a goalkeeper, most likely Freddie Woodman, to leave on loan next month to make space for a new signing in the club’s 25-man squad. Matty Longstaff, back from Aberdeen, could also be farmed out again, though he may just add depth to the squad as he wouldn’t have to be named in the 25-man squad given his age.”

DS: “If Newcastle are to bring in players as expected, there will be a few going out in the other direction. There is plenty of interest from Championship clubs in Dwight Gayle in particular which is no surprise given that he hasn’t started a Premier League match this season yet boasts a strong pedigree of scoring goals in the second tier. Callum Wilson’s injury could prevent a quick departure for Gayle as The Magpies could be reluctant to get rid of a striker without sufficient alternatives in place. His new contract signed in the summer could also cause some issues regarding a permanent move but an initial loan next month for Gayle is certainly one I’d expect to happen.”

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