Dan Ashworth and the Toon head coach could now use the remaining days left in the January transfer window to bring in attacking reinforcements in order to bolster the side’s chances of retaining their place in the top four for the rest of the season.
Howe has been forced to rely on underperforming players off the bench at times due to the lack of quality in depth in his current options at the top end of the pitch.
Jacob Murphy was brought on as a substitute in all three of the 0-0 draws and was unable to be a difference-maker for the side, which came as no shock given his record in the Premier League.
The former Norwich attacker has produced five goals and eight assists in 113 top-flight appearances in his career and has been directly involved in two goals in the current campaign – starting five matches and coming off the bench in 15.
Quite simply, the Englishman has not proven that he has the quality to come on and win games for the club and that is why bringing in a new attacker could improve the team.
One player who could come in as an upgrade on Murphy out wide is Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech. Journalist Ben Jacobs recently told GIVEMESPORT that the Magpies are one of the clubs who have “looked” at a potential deal to sign the 29-year-old wizard, whilst admitting that the winger “could” still leave Stamford Bridge before the end of the month.
The dynamo, who has been capped 50 times by Morocco, has never been a regular for the Blues, with no more than 23 Premier League appearances in a single campaign, but has shown flashes of quality with six goals and seven assists in 33 top-flight starts since joining the London club.
Ziyech, who was dubbed a “magician” by both former Chelsea TV employee Jake Heasman and journalist Peter Hall, arrived in England after a phenomenal spell for Ajax. He scored 49 goals and assisted 81 in 165 matches in all competitions for the Dutch giants as he produced goal contributions on a regular basis.
Newcastle could now find the upgrade on Murphy that could elevate their attack, off the bench and from the start, by bringing the Moroccan international in and helping him to rediscover his best form in the final third.