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Newcastle could finally replace Shelvey with Youri Tielemans swoop

Newcastle United have had a phenomenal campaign so far both in the Premier League and Carabao Cup with Eddie Howe‘s side progressing to their first semi-final of the latter tournament in 47 years last night as they beat Leicester City 2-0 at St James’ Park.

There is no doubt that Howe will be thrilled with the complete U-turn that he has performed over his 14 months at the club, considering that they were facing a relegation battle when he arrived in the northeast, and they could even be in contention for a place in the Champions League next season.

The Magpies are currently third in the Premier League ahead of their clash against Fulham this weekend, and after suffering just one defeat over their first 18 top-flight games, it is looking promising that they can deliver upon the dreams of many Newcastle supporters by playing European football next season.

Howe has the golden opportunity to strengthen and add depth to his squad, as the first team might have built a magical connection which has kept the momentum going. However, it became obvious in their FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last weekend that there is a huge drop-off in quality when the manager relies on rotation.

One player who has been linked with a move to Tyneside is Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, and the Belgian talent will be available for no cost in the summer as he becomes a free agent at the end of the season as things stand.

Across 18 Premier League appearances this season, the 25-year-old – who was dubbed “magnificent” by journalist Josh Bunting – has scored three goals, tallied an 85% pass completion rate and created six big chances, along with averaging 68.3 touches, 1.1 key passes, 2.2 tackles and 4.3 duels won per game.

Howe could finally land the Jonjo Shelvey replacement that Newcastle need, with the former England international suffering long-term injury issues which has left him sidelined for almost the entire season so far, but also allowed Joelinton and Sean Longstaff to excel alongside Bruno Guimaraes in midfield.

Indeed, the £35k-per-week Foxes star is an in-demand player, with Liverpool and Arsenal both credited with an interest in acquiring his services in 2023 alongside Newcastle. Therefore, the powers at St James’ Park will need to make a tempting offer to the 25-year-old, and the real prospect of Champions League qualification could be more than enough to seal the deal.

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With that being said, signing Tielemans would be a great piece of business for Newcastle, especially if they can acquire his services for free in the summer, and it would put them in a great position to add quality to their midfield ahead of a potential European campaign next season.