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Cheaper transfer options for Newcastle’s reported budget

A look at transfer targets from teams recently relegated from the EPL

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Netherlands v USA: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Chris Brunsklil/ISI Photos/Getty Images

While the last week has seen several exciting potential transfers linked to the Toon, the reality is that Newcastle will be competing with multiple clubs for signatures in the quest for glory next season.

The news being reported yesterday by outlets like The Express indicated that Eddie Howe’s summer budget had been “cut” to £75m due to FFP.

For reference, last summer the budget was reported to be £100m, but £123m was spent for the recruitment of Isak (£63m), Botman (£35m), Targett (£15m) and Pope (£10m). That said, here’s a look at some of the cheaper options Newcastle has been linked with from Premier League squads that were relegated to the Championship this season.

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Let’s get Leicester’s Youri Tielemans talk out of the way first, as the gossip here is most likely osmosis from the James Maddison/Harvey Barnes rumors. Tielemans burst into the limelight with his game winning 2021 FA Cup screamer that saw Leicester defeat Chelsea 1-0. At the time he had just turned 24 and seemed poised to anchor central midfield for both Leicester and the Belgium National team for years to come. And yet, like Belgium’s disjointed early demise in the World Cup this Fall, he is symbolic of a Leicester who sleepwalked into relegation during a season lacking leadership and heart.

Tielemans has also refused to sign a contract extension with Leicester for longer than a year, a move that has made him immensely unpopular with supporters.

While he has been a rumored target of Newcastle and Arsenal since January, current links also align him with a move to Aston Villa (and a potential medical taking place on this very weekend). It was always hard to see a move to St James' Park making sense in Howe’s run and gun system. Contrast his listless appearances this Spring to the passionate performances of midfielders like Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, and Bruno Guimaraes who attack and defend the middle with ferocity, and it seems like this is one to avoid.

Up the Leicester team sheet is a winger who makes a lot more sense for Newcastle. No, not Maddison, although he would be a great (albeit more expensive) choice.

Surprisingly, the Foxes top goalscorer this season was 25-year-old Harvey Barnes (13). Valued around £30m, his performances this season were overshadowed by the negative headlines involving Jamie Vardy and Tielemans.

The Telegraph links him to West Ham, but there are other suitors in Tottenham and Aston Villa. Assuming the £75m budget of NUFC is real, Barnes represents a cheap left sided winger/attacking midfielder who can score goals and could greatly benefit by being at the end of the endless crosses coming in from Kieran Trippier on the right.


Back to center midfield, there are two defensive midfield options who would easily slot into Howe’s structure. These are Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and Leeds FC’s Tyler Adams, two players at different places in their careers who both need a new start.

Lavia happens to be another Belgium international, who came through the Man City system. While Southampton suffered a brutal season, the 19-year-old was a full-time starter in the middle of the pitch and received his first international Cap last May. If you didn’t catch much of Southampton this season, their entire offense revolved around midfielder James Ward-Prowse. Lavia partnered with him in the center and was responsible for defensive duties when Ward-Prowse went forward.

Americans and Newcastle fans alike know Tyler Adams well. Adams made international headlines as the captain for the US National Team in the World Cup, providing a sturdy backbone for a team who needed to rely on defense while they struggled to score goals without a true number 9. Off the field, the 24-year-old demonstrated poise and leadership when faced with local media members trying to deflect the Qatar human rights issues on to current American Politics.

At Leeds, he was instrumental to the squad’s defensive scheme, clashing and fighting with the Magpies during the 0-0 draw at St James' Park last December. This article on Goal paints a nice picture of how quickly Leeds season collapsed once a hamstring tear sidelined Adams for the season in March.

While I don’t see either as a full-time starter, Newcastle absolutely needs more center-midfield depth. Guimaraes can’t be expected to play in 38 league games, the Champions League, and multiple cups, and while Jonjo Shelvey was a disaster at Nottingham Forest, he was never truly replaced.

Lavia is valued around £22m with a release clause of £40m, and Adams could go for as little as £30m. Leeds (78) and Southampton (73) gave up the two-highest Goals Against totals this season, and both men would have to relish the opportunity to play in front of a Newcastle defense who tied Man City for the least allowed (33).

The Dominick Szoboszlais and Gabriel Veigas of the world who we looked at earlier in the week are definitely the spicier prospects, but at the very least Howe should grab one of these midfielders from the bargain heap and give them a fresh opportunity across Premier League grounds.

And let’s avoid Tielemans, wouldn’t you agree?