Newcastle United have been linked with a number of players this summer but have only made three signings so far, although a potential transfer target has been revealed who could potentially take the Magpies to the next level.
According to a report from 90min, Newcastle are still in pursuit of finding their perfect centre-forward signing, and Barcelona’s Memphis Depay has been named as a potential target.
The report states that the Dutchman has been offered to the Premier League club as Barcelona are looking to sell him at a price of £17m this summer, but Howe is unsure if the 28-year-old will fit into his future plans and style of play next season.
There is no doubt that Newcastle need to identify a forward who can deliver consistent goal contributions and availability in the team due to Callum Wilson’s fitness issues hampering their chances to score more regularly.
Despite only making 18 appearances for the Magpies last term, the 30-year-old was their top scorer with eight goals. Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser, Jacob Murphy, Chris Wood and Almiron only scored 11 goals between them over the entire season, which is not good enough if Howe wants a top-half finish this time around.
As a result, there is surely an urgency to sign a player who can offer a greater goalscoring threat, and Depay could be the key to unlocking more creativity, shot-creating chances and ultimately goals for the Magpies.
The 28-year-old – who was dubbed a “joy to watch” by Ronald Koeman – joined Barcelona last summer and has been a reliable attacking threat when given the opportunity to play for the La Liga giants last season.
Over 28 league appearances, Depay scored 12 goals, delivered two assists and created five big chances, making 1.6 key passes and landing 1.2 shots on target per game, while also completing the majority of his dribbles (61%).
Depay ranked sixth for big chances created, eighth for shots on target and ninth for goals scored in the entirety of La Liga in 2021/22, proving that he is definitely a player with the potential to be a valuable asset to Newcastle next season.
Howe could even land his very own version of Karim Benzema, with the Real Madrid star being named as one of the most comparable players to the Dutch winger over the last 12 months, according to FBRef.
Despite the Champions League winner delivering more goal contributions (39) and a better pass completion rate (84.7%), Depay outperformed Benzema in other areas with a better shots on target accuracy (51.8%), a better pressure success rate (29.5%) and won more aerial duels (42.9%).
With that in mind, the prospective signing of the Netherlands forward could be a major coup for Howe and the powerbrokers at St James’ Park as they continue to build a squad to compete at the highest level in football.