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Newcastle: Keith Downie drops transfer claim

A big Newcastle United transfer claim has emerged regarding the club’s plans for Eddie Howe’s squad.

What’s the talk?

Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie has revealed the positions that PIF will be targeting in the upcoming summer transfer window.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think they’ll bring in a centre-back, a forward, like a playmaker, and a striker. They’re also looking at the goalkeeping department, and then it all depends on players going.

“If they lost a centre midfielder or they don’t manage to sign Matt Targett, then they’ll look to bring in more on top of that.”

Howe will be buzzing

The Magpies head coach will be buzzing with this claim from Downie because it shows that the club want to strengthen key areas of the starting XI.

Firstly, he will be delighted by the prospect of a playmaker coming through the door. Out of all the players who have played 20 or more Premier League matches for the club, Allan Saint-Maximin (1.5) is the only player who is providing at least one key pass per game.

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This suggests that Howe is in dire need of more creativity in his squad next season as he does not have enough in his team at the moment, as evidenced by their performances in the top flight. Saint-Maximin is the only player providing his teammates with chances on a somewhat regular basis and bringing in a playmaker will, therefore, improve the volume of opportunities that are being created for the forwards to score from.

Secondly, Howe could be buzzing to add competition for Martin Dubravka between the sticks. The Slovakian has struggled in terms of sweeping up at the back as he ranks in the seventh percentile in Europe’s top five leagues for defensive actions outside the penalty area and in the second percentile for the average distance of his defensive actions – as per FBRef.

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This suggests that he is rooted to his line too often and is not dealing with balls in behind his defenders as often as the majority of goalkeepers in Europe. Therefore, Howe will surely be keen to bring in a shot-stopper who can excel at that side of the game to challenge Dubravka for the number one position.

The head coach will also be buzzing to bring a centre-back to the club as the Magpies do not have a single player in that position younger than 28. He will want to add some youth to the mix to ensure that they do not end up needing to replace their entire defence in one summer as they all head into their 30s.

AND in other news, Bid planned: Howe must seal NUFC deal for £30m “monster” whose “simplicity is genius”…

Article title: Newcastle: Keith Downie drops transfer claim

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