Other than Arsenal, Newcastle United have been a surprise package this season, but nobody expected such a positive change so quickly from Eddie Howe.
For those not in the know, Eddie Howe is an excellent coach who brought Bournemouth from the fourth tier of English football into the Premier League, and the job he is doing now at Newcastle strengthens his claim as a top coach.
While he hasn’t done it on a shoestring, he hasn’t spent anywhere near the budget that is at his disposal at Newcastle. However, if he can propel the North East team from obscurity to one of the best teams in the country, he may have earned himself a crack at some of the incredible wealth on offer courtesy of Newcastle’s new owners.
They’re having their best season for 30 years, and given that Newcastle hasn’t won the league for over 90 years, they’ll feel like they’re due a team that the region can be proud of and one that can reach more domestic cup finals. They’ve already reached the League Cup final this season and will be keen to go one better in the next few years.
A new era at Newcastle United
The dark days of Mike Ashley seem like a lifetime ago now for Geordies. The team have depth, strength, quality and tenacity in almost every position, and some of the players that Eddie Howe has brought in have been the catalyst for their top-four finish. If they can get through their final few games and keep themselves in decent form, you’d expect them to qualify for the Champions League this season.
But how much of this was done with the current players, and just how big has the impact been from the new faces? Let’s break down some of the big names Howe has brought in and how they are progressing in the North East.
One of the many bargains that the Magpies have landed since Howe arrived, the English right-back and regular England international signed for Newcastle in January 2022. He finds himself ranked as one of the top wingbacks in the league, based on Newcastle’s defensive records and the number of chances he has created.
Trippier is also a dead-ball specialist, evident in his fantastic free-kick goals throughout his career for England and Newcastle. However, the defensive line required serious strengthening, which Trippier brings alongside fellow signing Sven Botman.
Botman is a centre-back who commanded a more significant fee. However, the 23-year-old Dutchman has shown immense promise already – he is a solid figure at the back for Newcastle and still has room to improve. If he can help Newcastle qualify for the Champions League and bring in some silverware, the £37m they paid for him will look like pocket change in the grand scheme of things.
Many believe Pope should be England’s number-one keeper, ahead of Jordan Pickford. Although Pickford’s club form can be patchy, he is one of England’s best performers. However, should Everton go down, Pope will likely get his shot in Southgate’s team.
Pope has been an integral part of Newcastle’s fantastic season. However, the fact that he missed the League Cup final was one of the key reasons the Magpies failed against Manchester United in their quest for silverware.
As one of the marquee signings and a player who will define Howe’s early stint as Newcastle boss, Bruno is a midfielder of pure Brazilian class who has his best years ahead of him.
The four players we have highlighted today form the nucleus of a phenomenal Newcastle United team that has spent very little when compared to some of the Premier League clubs they are now light years ahead of.
One of the most exciting things for Newcastle fans must be that they haven’t even started yet – they have an enormous budget and Howe has already proved he can bring in players for reasonable prices who prove to be bargains and hit the ground running.
It’s clear to see why investment is flowing into Newcastle. It is one of the most vibrant cities in the North, with excellent infrastructure, and Newcastle has a brand new, modern stadium that doesn’t need any refurbishing, which is a huge expense for many new Premier League owners.
If Arsenal lose their momentum and Newcastle United bring in a couple more world-class players, don’t be surprised to see them in the conversation as possible title winners over the next couple of years.