As it stands, the Magpies will qualify for Champions League football if they can retain their top-four spot over the remainder of their top-flight campaign and strengthening the team in January could be the perfect opportunity to add depth to key areas in the squad in order to achieve this.
It is no secret that Newcastle have been long-term admirers of Leicester City and England star James Maddison with bids rejected in the summer and continuous links suggesting that the player remains a leading target for the North East club.
Indeed, there is no doubt that Maddison would be a major coup for Newcastle in their efforts to deepen their already aggressive attacking threat over the second half of the season, however, with a reported price tag of at least £60m the club could potentially be put-off a move next month and look at other players who possess a similar profile.
One player who has been recently linked with a move to Tyneside is Ajax and Ghana ace Mohammed Kudus, a versatile attacking midfielder who can play a wide range of roles just like Maddison and would cost a fraction of the price at €40m (£35m).
The talented 22-year-old – who was hailed “sensational” by sportscaster Akosua Adjei – ranks in the top 1% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for pass completion and dribbles completed, as well as ranking in the top 10% for non-penalty goals, shots on goal, touches and progressive passes.
Kudus was the recipient of high praise for his performances for Ghana at the World Cup in Qatar with Ajax teammate Calvin Bassey hailing him a “star boy” after the African side’s victory over South Korea:
“[Mohammed Kudus is a] star boy. He’s on fire. Good player.”
The Ghanaian machine can play in a number of positions including attacking midfield, central midfield and centre-forward which would give Newcastle depth in multiple roles if he was to join the Magpies in 2023, allowing Howe to rotate his players as the season progresses without compromising on quality.
With that being said, the signing of Kudus would be a great piece of business for Newcastle and could save the club millions on Maddison to invest in other areas of the team that need addressing.