The January transfer window is inching closer to opening and it could be a particularly busy month for those of a Newcastle persuasion.
This means that a vast improvement is going to be needed to avoid relegation in the second half of the campaign, which could come through new signings being made in the winter market.
One player the club have been linked with a move for is Everton’s versatile defender Mason Holgate. According to Sky Sports, he is one of a number of defensive options Howe is considering as the ex-Bournemouth boss plots signings to bolster his squad.
Newcastle could find their Steven Taylor 2.0 in the former Barnsley man as he is a player capable of playing at both centre-back and right-back. He has played in both positions throughout his career and has established himself as a Premier League performer, with 120 games for Everton in all competitions – 100 of those coming in the top-flight.
Taylor made 268 appearances for the Magpies during his time with the club and mainly played as a centre-back, but was also able to play at right-back, holding midfield and left-back. He managed 194 Premier League outings for Newcastle, highlighting how he was a crucial member of the side over the years as he was consistently selected to play at the top level.
In Holgate, Newcastle could bring in a similar player who is able to improve the side at centre-back whilst also being able to switch out to the right when needed. This also means that he could suit playing on the right of a back three, as he is comfortable being in a wider role in defence, which would be useful if Howe wants to switch up formations from the start or during a game to counter the opposition.
Toon legend Alan Shearer previously dubbed the £64k-per-week gem as “impressive” and that shows that he has been able to catch the eye in the top-flight, as an ex-pro of the Englishman’s stature was glowing of him.
Then, speaking earlier this year, the former Toon star called him “outstanding” on social media.
At the age of 25, Holgate also has plenty of room to grow and improve as time passes and that is another reason, along with his versatility and experience, why Newcastle must swoop for him.
They could land their next defensive gem by signing the Everton man and PIF must splash the cash to get a deal done in January. He has the positional flexibility and the Premier League experience akin to Taylor in the latter stages of his career at St. James’ Park and he could be a useful player for Howe to call upon.