Newcastle have only lost one of their 13 matches in the division, winning six and drawing six, and are on course to challenge for a place in European competition next season.
Their sublime form, however, does not mean that Dan Ashworth will be sitting on his hands when the January transfer window rolls around at the end of next month.
The ex-Brighton chief may look to improve Howe’s squad further to increase their chances of finishing in the top six, or four, in the Premier League.
One player the club are reportedly interested in signing at the start of 2023 is Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The Magpies are said to be tracking the talented youngster and he is open to a move to St. James’ Park in January as he is keen on the idea of playing in England.
Ashworth could now land an upgrade on misfiring forward Ryan Fraser by securing a deal to sign the Ukraine international ahead of the second half of the season.
The Scottish winger is in his third season on Tyneside and he is still yet to prove that he can be a reliable option for the club. He produced zero goals and three assists in 18 league appearances in his first campaign with Newcastle before managing two goals and three assists in 27 outings last term.
Fraser has failed to muster up a single goal or assist in eight Premier League games so far this season and these underwhelming statistics suggest that he is a player who the club could find an upgrade on.
Mudryk could be exactly that as he has caught the eye for Donetsk this season, with journalist Hrach Khachatryan describing his performances as “spectacular“.
The 21-year-old has been in fine form in the Champions League and the Ukrainian top flight, producing three goals and two assists in five matches in the former and four goals and five assists in seven outings in the latter. This means that he has as many goal contributions in five European games as Fraser has managed in the top flight since the start of last season.
Mudryk scored two and assisted seven in 11 league matches for Shakhtar in the 2021/22 campaign, with these statistics showing that he is capable of making contributions in the final third on a regular basis.
He is seven years younger than the Scot and has the potential to offer far more for Newcastle in terms of both scoring and creating goals, if he can translate his impressive form over to English football.
Therefore, Ashworth must sign Mudryk as the wing wizard could immediately improve Howe’s options out wide and be a long-term asset who could develop over time.