The January transfer window is well underway and Newcastle United are being linked with players left, right and centre at the moment.
Eddie Howe’s squad is in desperate need of strengthening, and deals done this month could go a long way to helping them to remain in the Premier League for at least another season.
They are currently 19th in the table and have only won one league game with half of the campaign gone, highlighting the need for reinforcements.
CBS Sports recently reported that Leicester, Newcastle and Everton are all interested in signing Morelos from Rangers this month.
By bringing the Colombian to St James’ Park, Howe could brutally axe Dwight Gayle from the club and sell him in the coming weeks. The former Crystal Palace man is reportedly one of the players the Magpies are willing to offload, and the prospective arrival of Morelos could allow them to cash in.
He is under contract until 2024 but has only played 27 minutes of Premier League football this season. This suggests that the £40k-per-week dud is not in Howe’s plans, so signing a replacement in the form of Morelos would mean that they can sell him without worrying about their attacking squad depth.
The Rangers marksman could come in and add plenty of goals to the Magpies. He has proven his quality for the Scottish champions over the years, with 107 goals in 211 games north of the border.
Speaking anonymously to The Athletic previously, an ex-Scottish Premiership defender lauded the striker’s strength, saying: “When he goes to shield the ball it’s so difficult. His body strength and ball control are very good, so he makes it very difficult for you. He is deceptive with his physical attributes, but what I’d say he’s best at is when the ball is played up to him. He lets you think that you can nip in front of him and then his timing to put his body in and spin you is excellent.”
Another player added: “He’s kind of dropping deep now and going out wide. That’s a nightmare for defenders because he’s your player that you’re meant to be man-marking but then you’re dragged out of position and you’ve got midfield runners taking his space.”
These testimonies highlight what Morelos could bring to Newcastle aside from his goalscoring. He has the physical strength and positional intelligence to cause constant problems for opposition defenders, which means that he could open up space for his teammates even when he is not scoring himself. Coupled with his scoring record, that is why he could be an excellent signing.
The Colombian could therefore be the perfect replacement for Gayle and improve the Magpies’ options at the top end of the pitch. It would then be down to the club to find a new employer for the 32-year-old, whether that comes this month or in the summer.