Howe’s men have won four of their last five matches in the top flight and are on a terrific run of form which currently has them in contention to finish in a European place.
However, the club’s superb results in the league this season may not stop Dan Ashworth from dipping into the transfer market to improve the squad further in January.
It was recently reported that the Magpies are keen on a deal to sign Christian Pulisic from Chelsea for €45m (£39m), as the 24-year-old is unhappy with his lack of game-time at Stamford Bridge under Graham Potter.
Signing the USA international from the Blues could allow Ashworth to finally ditch one of Newcastle’s biggest underperformers in recent years, namely Jacob Murphy.
The £35k-per-week dud has produced one goal and zero assists in 12 appearances in the Premier League this season, after managing one goal and two assists in 33 outings last term playing as a winger and a full-back at times.
Previously speaking about the competition for his place in the Chelsea team, Hakim Ziyech hailed the former Borussia Dortmund man by saying: “Kai (Havertz) and Timo (Werner) are two big talents, they have proved it at their clubs before. Christian is one of the biggest talents. They have a lot of quality.
“Christian has been here a season longer, and you can see what he is capable of doing on the pitch. He is a crazy winger. It is really exciting to work with them and I can’t wait to be on the pitch, fully fit and doing our thing.”
At the age of 24, he is also three years younger than Murphy and could have more years in him as a player, whilst holding greater potential to develop and improve.
Coupled with the pair’s respective statistics in the top flight, this suggests that Pulisic could be an upgrade on the Englishman, which would allow Ashworth to finally ditch the former Norwich man after joining the Tyneside club in 2017.