Newcastle United went through a rollercoaster of a campaign in the Premier League as they had to overcome a nightmare start before managing to comfortably get themselves out of relegation trouble over the past few months.
Following a change of ownership last year, Eddie Howe came into the side and made some clever signings in January. The mid-season arrivals of Bruno Guimaraes, Matt Targett (on loan), Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood and Dan Burn helped the Magpies get out of the dreaded drop zone and earn a strong 11th place finish in the Premier League.
Still, with a new season looming on the horizon, Newcastle will hope to build on this campaign by strengthening their squad this summer and trying to push for a European place next year.
Here are four problem areas that Eddie Howe needs to address during the summer transfer window.
The Magpies have relied on Martin Dubravka to deliver some impressive displays over the past campaign. Even though the Slovak talent has been decent at times, there is no denying that Howe would be better off replacing him with a quality keeper in this off-season.
Newcastle’s decision to seal a loan move for Aston Villa’s Matt Targett in January proved to be a good move for them as he helped the Magpies quickly climb up the league table. If the Tyneside club fail to keep hold of Targett permanently, they would be wise to recruit a quality left-back ahead of the new campaign.
Joe Willock, Jonjo Shelvey and Sean Longstaff have carried most of the midfield duties for the Tyneside outfit this season. Howe has also utilized Joelinton’s versatility by playing him as a box-to-box midfielder.
The midfield has been a problem area for Newcastle recently, so it is logical for Howe to spend some of his transfer budget on signing one or two quality midfielders in this off-season.
Chris Wood helped Newcastle with his hold-up play in the second half of this campaign. However, he has struggled to score goals at St. James’ Park and won’t be a good fix to their goal-scoring concerns next season.
A new, prolific centre-forward is a must for Howe to consider during this summer transfer period if he wants his squad to challenge for a European spot in the upcoming campaign.