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Eddie Howe: ‘Newcastle United must find balance in January transfer window’

Eddie Howe: ‘Newcastle United must find balance in January transfer window’

Eddie Howe has suggested that Newcastle United will be active during the January transfer window, albeit not at the same level as 12 months ago.

In the first transfer window after the club’s well-documented takeover, Howe was able to spend £90m on four players, as well as securing a loan deal for Matt Targett which was later turned into a permanent transfer.

That financial outlay enabled the Magpies to quickly move away from the relegation zone and eventually finish in 11th position, the foundations laid for another spree in the transfer market in the summer.

Newcastle spent well in excess of £100m in acquiring the services of Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Alexander Isak, and the club now sit in third place in the top flight.

Eager to see their team cement themselves in the top four and earn Champions League football in the process, there is a level of anticipation among supporters ahead of Newcastle’s latest business.

Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier and teammates celebrate after AFC Bournemouth's Adam Smith scores an own goal on December 20, 2022© Reuters

While Howe has attempted to play down expectations regarding the coming weeks, the Englishman also hinted that he wanted to make additions to his squad.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Howe said: “I don’t really know. We are in a very different position to last year where we knew we needed to act to lift the group.

“Financially it is different; we didn’t have a legacy of transfer fees so we could attack a gap in terms of the Fair Play rules.

“You’ve got to be careful not to unsettle the group, but you don’t want a group that is stale. Getting the balance right is crucial.”

Alexander Isak celebrates scoring for Newcastle United on September 17, 2022© Reuters

In the same media briefing, Howe spoke on club-record signing Isak, who has been restricted to three appearances due to injury, but Howe remains confident that the Sweden international will eventually make an impact at St James’ Park.

Howe added: “It has been a difficult time for him. I’ve had a feeling of that, I moved to Portsmouth and played two games, there were a lot of emotions running through me.

“Guilt, letting people down. Alex will no doubt feel those same emotions to some degree. You want to prove yourself, and he hasn’t been able to do that due to injury.

“There can be benefits; getting to know a new club away from the spotlight. You can begin to feel at home, so you are more comfortable when you are back on the pitch. We hope he makes a real impact.”

With Manchester City not playing Leeds United until December 28, Newcastle can move into second place in the standings with victory at Leicester City on Boxing Day.

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