What a way to kick Wednesday off.
Chris Waugh of The Athletic ($) cooked a very comprehensive report in which he shared all of the information he could obtain from different sources close to Newcastle regarding the club plans for improving the squad in future transfer markets.
We have gathered the most important bits from the full report and will share some information with you here, split into two halves.
This is the first one, covering the overall approach of Newcastle to future transfer markets and how different things can impact them. A second part will focus on different transfer targets identified by Newcastle and revealed by The Athletic in their report.
Ins, outs, and lines to bolster
Starting strong, Waugh makes clear that Newcastle will seek reinforcements “in defense, midfield, and attack,” while also adding that “around five new players” are believed to be “required to add depth.”
All of those arrivals, of course, might mean that “members of the present squad must be moved out.” That, in turn, could lead to “some surprise exits,” according to Waugh.
Positions and attributes getting prioritized
In terms of the key attributes part of the skill set of the players targeted by Newcastle, following Eddie Howe’s demands, performers with “speed, size, technical excellence, and athleticism” are the ones getting priority attention.
According to Waugh’s information, “technical proficiency is a prerequisite,” although Newcastle is always going to consider “physical and aerobic attributes” key when targeting potential additions.
On top of that, Howe wants players “who are under 25,” although he will also seek the addition of “a couple of more experienced” players, though still in “their mid-to-late twenties.” Howe also seems to favor players “with experience in Europe’s top-five leagues, especially the Premier League.”
When it comes to the positions the potential arrivals will strengthen, it is believed that Newcastle is going to chase the following ones:
- Orthodox Left-Back
- (Right-sided) Center-Back
- Defensive Midfielder (No 6)
- Box-to-Box Midfielder (No 8)
- Two Forwards
While those positions/players/skillsets have already been identified, Howe is still “focused on finishing the season strongly,” according to Waugh.
That said, it is believed that “discussions have taken place” already when it comes to some future transfers, and “long-term targets” have already been “identified” by the club’s scouting departments in order to get into negotiations as soon as possible.
Potential constraints and solutions
Of course, Newcastle will need to keep their budgets under the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules without breaking them if they don’t want to suffer from penalties in the future. That could lead to the sale of current-squad members, such as Allan Saint-Maximin.
According to Waugh, ASM’s style of play and “his off-the-ball work” do “not fit Howe’s pressing style,” and could lead to a transfer out of the club “if Newcastle received a decent offer for the 26-year-old.”
Senior figures of Newcastle insisted that “FFP restrictions are a major constraint” in the transfer plans getting plotted by the club. They are also quoted saying that those restrictions “will affect their business.”