Newcastle will still look to sign at least one international centre-back this summer despite Dan Burn’s impressive start to life at the club, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.
Burn joined the Magpies from Brighton for £13m on deadline day in January, and has made an instant impact at St James’ Park.
How has Burn fared at Newcastle so far?
The 29-year-old has made seven appearances for Eddie Howe’s side, and has helped the team keep two clean sheets.
From those seven fixtures, Newcastle have managed to pick up 13 points to move themselves nine points clear of the relegation zone.
According to WhoScored, Burn is currently ranked as Newcastle’s third-best player this season, having earned an average match rating of 7.04. Only Kieran Trippier (7.87) and Allan Saint-Maximin (7.14) have received higher marks.
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What has Downie said about Newcastle’s summer plans?
While Downie is well aware that Burn has impressed in his opening couple of months on Tyneside, he still thinks Newcastle will want to sign more central defenders in the off-season to further strengthen their squad.
Looking ahead to the summer, Downie told GIVEMESPORT: “I don’t think what he’s done will have any impact at all on Newcastle’s plans for the summer. I still expect them to spend big, and I expect them to bring in at least one, if not two international centre-backs, even with Dan Burn there.”
Should Newcastle prioritise improving their central defence ahead of next season?
Burn has started fantastically well at Newcastle, and Fabian Schar alongside him has also flourished in recent weeks.
Schar provided an assist against Brentford last month, and then scored at home to Brighton the following week. It has been reported that the North-East club are planning to offer him a new contract to keep him at the club beyond this summer.
However, Newcastle will want to kick on next season and target a place in the top half, or even push for a European spot now that they have ambitious owners. Will a centre-back partnership of Burn and Schar realistically help them achieve this goal?
That could be a tough ask, and when looking at what the team has in reserve in this position, it doesn’t make particularly great reading.
Jamaal Lascelles has arguably not lived up to expectations, while the likes of Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark appear to be surplus to requirements and could be moved on when the transfer window re-opens.
Therefore, it is important that Newcastle bring in defensive reinforcements so that they can continue to move up the table next term.