Following their defeat against Bournemouth before the international break, things were beginning to look rather bleak for Newcastle United’s European aspirations, as injuries continued to pile up. Two games later, however, and it’s clear that Eddie Howe’s squad are capable of weathering the storm, having smashed Chelsea 4-1 at St James’ Park, before earning a point at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in a game they really deserved to win.
With any panic over just how they’ll cope amid growing injury concerns, reports suggest that Newcastle chiefs are now against the idea of signing a long-term target in the January transfer window.
Newcastle transfer news
Newcastle haven’t exactly been shy when it comes to spending money since the takeover by PIF, which has seen them rise up the ranks in the Premier League to finally regain their place in Europe’s elite competition – in which they could still advance to the knockout stage. When the January transfer window swings open, however, it seems as though the Magpies will remain wise in their spending instead of splashing the cash on reinforcements for Howe. And that has reportedly seen those at St James’ Park pull the plug on the idea of signing one specific forward.
According to TeamTalk, Newcastle chiefs are now against the idea of signing Hugo Ekitike in January and will pursue other targets. Newcastle’s interest in Ekitike dates back to the summer of 2022 when he opted to join PSG over a move to the Premier League side. Struggling for game time ever since, the young forward now needs a fresh start in order to get his career back on track. But that fresh start doesn’t look set to come in the form of a move to Newcastle in the winter window.
Newcastle’s reported decision comes as a surprise, given the injury problems that they’ve encountered so far this season, though their attention seems to be focused on elsewhere when it comes to boosting Howe’s squad.
“Excellent” Ekitike must get career back on track
Choosing to join a side who have Kylian Mbappe playing in your position was never going to result in consistent minutes for the young forward and Ekitike’s stats in Paris don’t make for pretty reading. The former Reims man has featured just once all season, which came in an eight-minute cameo against FC Lorient on the opening day of the Ligue 1 season. At 21-years-old, Ekitike desperately needs game time to get things back on track towards his potential.
Former Reims reserve team coach Franck Chalencon certainly believes that Ekitike is full of talent, previously telling TNT Sport: “Very young, we saw a huge potential, something natural, with a feeling for scoring a goal. He’s a very clever player which has seen him to adapt and understand the expectations of professional football. His main quality? His instinct for goal. It’s very rare that Hugo plays a game without creating a chance himself at any occasion.
“In front of the goal, his ratio is excellent. But he’s not only a striker, he can play on the wing, too. Very technical. He knows what to do with the ball, when to keep it, when to give it. He is very confident about his qualities.”