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Newcastle could sign next Wijnaldum in Youri Tielemans

Newcastle United are absolutely flying; third in the Premier League table in January, boasting affluence unmatched across most of the footballing globe, and yielding a fluid, cohesive squad with a vibrant and calculating manager in Eddie Howe, but that does not mean the squad won’t be bolstered this winter.

What’s the word?

Despite the Magpies’ excellent, sustained form across 2022, Howe is still on the prowl for new additions, and Leicester City’s midfield maestro Youri Tielemans could be the man for the job, with reports linking the northern outfit with the Belgian and his contract sext for expiry at the end of the season.

And now, according to a report from The Athletic, Howe recognises that while his squad might be performing admirably, there is an underlying lack of depth across the park that will give their more established top-level rivals the edge in the quest for Champions League football.

Tielemans is indeed one such player who has been extensively watched by sporting director Dan Ashworth according to the report, and with the likes of Arsenal also desperately vying for his name, a January move for the star might be prudent in the grand scheme of acquiring the best talent on offer.

Wijnaldum 2.0

Should Newcastle pull off a move, they would repel the advances of eminent outfits such as the Gunners, making a statement when asserting their newfound authority and stature among Europe’s elite.

Howe would welcome a midfielder of the highest quality, increasing both the depth and the level of operation from the centre at a thriving St. James Park, much like the past signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from PSV in 2015.

While it’s true that the dynamic Dutchman was often utilised further up the pitch than his time at Liverpool, where he joined Jurgen Klopp’s side in a £25m deal in 2016, Tielemans could certainly look to emulate his European positional peer.

Should Newcastle sign Youri Tielemans?

Yes

Yes

No

No

For Newcastle, the 32-year-old plundered 11 goals and five assists from 40 appearances – notably scoring four goals in a 6-2 victory over Norwich City.

Because Liverpool and Newcastle can actually draw a fair few comparisons regarding their rise to prominence; both teams were languishing below expectations, before external forces swooped in and prompted an ascension towards European qualification, and beyond, in the Reds’ case.

For Howe, who will just take each game as it comes, clinching a spot in the coveted Champions League or indeed falling short and still finding a spot in either the Europa League or Conference League would all be considered an unmitigated success in the early days of a new era on Tyneside.

Having someone like Tielemans, a player of genuine world-class quality, forging their way within the ranks would pay dividends, instilling the cal, composed aura to orchestrate the play and cranking up the gear with his unrivalled ball-playing prowess and resounding knack for striking the net from distance, just as a certain Wijnaldum did.

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First up, who scored Newcastle's first goal of 2022?

His thunderous strike against Chelsea in the 2020/21 FA Cup final clinched the Foxes their first triumph in the distinguished annual tournament, while his tireless performance in the FA Community Shield helped defeat Manchester City in last season’s curtain-raiser.

Having made 178 appearances for Leicester, scoring 28 goals and 25 assists, the 25-year-old is truly one of the Premier League’s best central forces – lauded as “one of Europe’s top midfielders” by boss Brendan Rodgers.

Newcastle must clinch his services, while there are no gaping holes in the booming Magpies side, someone of Tieleman’s ilk could lift the club’s ambitious prospects to the next level, much like Wijnaldum’s tenacious efforts at Liverpool.