Newcastle: Howe now has 'strange' problem at St James' Park

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe on the touchline

Newcastle United‘s squad is a little bit “top-heavy”, believes Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

While summer signing Sven Botman and Dan Burn are both able to play at left centre-back, Downie feels there is not that kind of depth when it comes to Allan Saint-Maximin and the wide positions.

GiveMeSport The Verdict
GiveMeSport The Verdict

What does Newcastle’s squad currently look like?

Thanks to the likes of Botman and Burn, Eddie Howe certainly does have good options in central defence.

Botman arrived at St James’ Park from Lille as one of the best young centre-halves in Europe, while Burn continues to be aerially dominant at the back.

Over the last year, the Englishman has ranked in the 97th percentile for aerials won among his positional peers (via FBref).

Out wide, away from Saint-Maximin, Howe has the likes of Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy. However, the 28-year-old and 27-year-old were not able to make much of an impact before the international break, failing to score or assist in Newcastle’s first seven league games.

What has Downie said about Newcastle’s squad?

Downie finds it odd that there is good competition at left centre-back but not in some other areas like on the flanks.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the Sky Sports reporter said: “I think it’s a bit strange that they’ve got two really solid players in that position fighting for the one position and then you look further forward in the wide areas, you’re missing Saint-Maximin, someone playing on the right, and it feels like the team is a little bit sort of top-heavy.

“They’ve got too many good players in one position and not enough in others.”

How will Newcastle address the issue?

When the transfer window reopens in January, Howe will probably look to sign at least one new winger. The Magpies tried to during the summer but were obviously unsuccessful.

According to The Telegraph, they wanted Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby but baulked at his £60m price tag.

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The same outlet claims that there was also interest in Chelsea star Christian Pulisic but, like Diaby, he remained at his current club in the end.

It remains to be seen whether they go back in for either of those two attackers, but one thing that is for sure is that they cannot solely rely on Saint-Maximin, who has had some injury problems since joining the Magpies.

Therefore, it would be a surprise if Newcastle did not sign a new winger in the next transfer window or the one after.

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