Fantasy signings will have to wait at Newcastle, according to Eddie Howe, as he assembles a team of fighters.
Fantasy signings will have to wait at Newcastle, according to Eddie Howe, as he builds a team of fighters to keep them in the Premier League.
Since the new Saudi-led ownership took over in October, there has been talk of superstar signings and hundreds of millions of pounds being spent this month.
Howe, on the other hand, has led the charge to bring in two Premier League veterans in the form of Kieran Trippier, 31, and Chris Wood, 30, both of whom are expected to start in Saturday’s relegation battle at home against Watford.
‘There was a lot of excitement about what lay ahead when the takeover happened,’ Howe said.
‘However, the team’s immediate needs are quite different from what was initially anticipated.
‘It was my job to filter out a lot of the background noise and focus on what the team required.’
In our current situation, that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do: find the right players.’
Newcastle have been linked with a £25 million deal for French teenager Hugo Ekitike after signing Trippier and Wood for a combined £37 million.
‘There’s nothing wrong with signing younger players for the future – I’ve done it for the majority of my career – but there’s a time and a place for those types of signings,’ Howe cautioned.
‘With my squad’s current needs, the two players we’ve signed were the best fit.
‘There’s no doubt about it, they’re two players I wanted to sign.’
They improve the squad and have the right playing and attitude characteristics.
And they’re ready to play, which is critical in our current situation.
‘The players must want to join your fight to stay in the league, and that is not an easy sell when they are at the top of their game.’
‘Newcastle has a lot of clout in a lot of ways, but I don’t think our league position is one of them.’
‘For me, the most important thing is to bring in the right characters into the group, who want to play and fight for Newcastle United now and in the future,’ says the manager.
Newcastle were touted to make fantasy signings after the club’s Saudi takeoverBut manager Eddie Howe insists he is looking for players the Magpies needThe club have brought in veterans Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood this monthThe duo are set to start in Newcastle’s relegation showdown at home to Watford