- Newcastle United’s season started off well, but injuries, fatigue and a 10-month ban for Sandro Tonali have led to a decline in form.
- Eddie Howe needs to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window to address their lack of depth, particularly in attack.
- PSG could provide a solution, with a “special” player Newcastle have targeted before now unwanted in the French capital.
Thrashing Aston Villa 5-1 and easing past Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League for their biggest win yet under Eddie Howe, things were going well for Newcastle United in the opening stages of the season. And then the injuries began to pile up and Sandro Tonali received a 10-month ban. Since then, the results on the pitch have matched the misery away from it, with defeats in Europe against Borussia Dortmund followed by a disappointing loss at Bournemouth to leave the Magpies six points behind a top four place in the Premier League.
It’s clear that Howe needs to add more depth to his squad, and the January transfer window gives the former Bournemouth boss the chance to do exactly that, which could finally see the arrival of a long-term target.
Newcastle United transfer news
When looking back on the summer transfer window that Newcastle had, it’s easy to see why they’ve struggled at times so far this season. Their two big signings were Tonali and Harvey Barnes, one of whom is banned for 10 months and the other is struggling with injuries, to make it a summer window to forget. The Magpies failed to address their attacking depth and remained with just two options to lead the line, which are Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson, who have both had their own problems with injuries.
Feeling the need to solve this issue, however, reports suggest that Howe could have a potential January solution. According to Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider, Newcastle could sign Hugo Ekitike on loan in January. The PSG striker previously rejected a move to St James’ Park in 2022 after Newcastle had reportedly agreed a £30m deal with Stade de Reims. Opting to move to PSG instead, Ekitike has since struggled for game time in the French capital, and the Premier League club could now offer the 21-year-old a winter lifeline with PSG opening the doors to a temporary exit.
“Special” Ekitike could solve Newcastle problem
Attempting to compete on all fronts with just two recognised strikers was always going to be a struggle for Newcastle, especially with their place in the Champions League. Welcoming Ekitike on loan in January would solve that depth problem, however, albeit only momentarily.
The 6 foot 2 forward would also benefit from the move, having played just eight minutes in Ligue 1 for PSG this season. At such a young age, minutes are crucial and it’s clear that the 21-year-old will not receive an opportunity with the French champions this season.
During his time at Reims, Ekitike showed plenty of potential and earned high praise as a result, including from then manager Oscar Garcia. Garcia told the Ligue 1 Show on beIN Sports, via Chronicle Live: “There is something very special about him. He’s young, and he has the quality to become a very good player. He’s a young man with a lot of quality but also a lot to improve on, but he works hard in training.”
We’ve seen Howe get the best out of struggling players before through his work with the likes of Miguel Almiron. Now, he could be handed the chance to get Ekitike back on course for success.