The onus now is for the Magpies to improve on this and challenge for the European places next season, something which should be an annual ambition for a club of their size.
With one signing already confirmed in Matt Targett, and with deals to bring Kilmarnock youngster Charlie McArthur and Reims striker Hugo Ekitike to St James’ Park close to completion, Howe is a man on a mission.
This surely won’t be the last of the club’s spending in the summer transfer window as they aim to overhaul the squad to the manager’s liking.
One player who could be an excellent fit is Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, who according to Chronicle Live has been watched by Newcastle scout Steve Nickson.
Nonetheless, with Luigi Di Baggio describing the striker as “complete”, he could be a major upgrade on Callum Wilson going forward.
Scamacca scored 16 times in Serie A last season, eight more than Wilson managed in the Premier League (albeit in fewer matches), while also having more shots per 90 than the Newcastle marksman (3.27 to 2.08).
For a player who is still maturing and with plenty of years left before he hits his peak, the 23-year-old doesn’t shirk defensive duties for his club either. In 2021/22, the Italian won 17 tackles and made 16 blocks, showing the all-rounded nature of his game, and these returns are much better than Wilson’s six tackles won and nine blocks.
With no Newcastle player hitting double figures for goals last season, it seems clear that Howe is looking to enhance his attacking options. In Scamacca, the 44-year-old might well land a striker who could get close to 20 goals a season for the foreseeable future, which the Magpies boss would absolutely love to see.