Newcastle United appear set for a busy month of transfer business as Eddie Howe looks to improve his struggling squad.
The Magpies are currently 19th in the Premier League and have only won one of their 18 matches in the division to date, whilst conceding the most goals out of the 20 clubs.
This is why serious action may be needed in January and that could see a number of players coming through the door at St. James’ Park.
So, how could the side look come February 2022? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that Howe will make five signings, with Keiran Trippier, Sven Botman, Cole Palmer, Darwin Nunez and Florian Grillitsch coming in.
Firstly, Botman could join to strengthen the defence. Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that Newcastle are ‘seriously interested’ in the Dutchman, who was dubbed a “leader” by Lille boss Christophe Galtier. The French outfit reportedly want £43m (€50m) for the centre-back, although it remains to be seen whether or not they would be willing to lower their valuation.
Trippier may be another player who comes in to improve the back four. Football Insider reported earlier this month that Newcastle are confident of securing a move to bring him to the club from Atletico Madrid, suggesting that he will be lining up at right-back next year.
In midfield, Grillitsch is a player the club are reportedly interested in. He is out of contract next summer and the Magpies could swoop to snap him up in a bargain deal in January, rather than splashing out on an expensive recruit in the defensive midfield role.
They may also have to make do with a loan deal on the right wing. Manchester City’s Cole Palmer has been linked with a move to St. James’ Park and bringing the youngster in on a temporary deal could add some youthful enthusiasm to the team without the risk of a financial commitment beyond the end of the current campaign.
On the other wing, Allan Saint-Maximin could remain despite being touted with an exit in recent months. This leaves the midfield with two new additions, with Palmer and Grillitsch joining Joe Willock and the Frenchman.
Finally, Howe could complete his new-look side with the signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica to partner Callum Wilson at the top end of the pitch. We previously published an article exploring the possibility of him joining the club and explained how he could develop a lethal partnership with the ex-Bournemouth man.
This leaves the likes of Miguel Almiron, Joelinton and Fabian Schar, among others, to battle it out for their places in the team and show that they deserve to be playing ahead of any new additions.