Even though Newcastle United qualified for the Champions League the previous season—a feat for which Eddie Howe is rightfully proud—the Magpies have found it difficult to duplicate that performance this year.
Rather, Newcastle has struggled to produce results and appears increasingly likely to lose out on a top four Premier League spot, with their squad depth visible to all.
Though the season is still just halfway through, the January transfer window still has the potential to turn around Newcastle’s performance and help Howe with one of his main issues. The former Bournemouth manager will have the difficult challenge of turning things around before the end of the campaign if supporters at St James’ Park support him.
News about transfers to Newcastle
This season, Newcastle’s poor summer hiring decisions have quickly come back to haunt them. Sandro Tonali was handed a lengthy ban for breaking betting regulations, Harvey Barnes is injured, Lewis Hall is out of favour, and Tino Livramento is the only new player who looks like he could make an impact before May.
Howe has been particularly troubled by Newcastle’s failure to find a replacement centre defender, as he has been forced to use Dan Burn to cover for Sven Botman and Fabian Schar’s injuries. But now that the winter window is open, PIF might be able to address that issue.
PIF and Newcastle are apparently considering a move to capture center-back Ben Godfrey from Everton, who has supposedly set an asking price of under £9 million, according to Football Transfers. Godfrey’s versatility, which allows him to play across the whole backline and potentially fix multiple problems at St James’ Park, is something that the Magpies adore.
But if Newcastle wants to pursue a trade, they might have to stifle AS Roma’s interest in a match that could benefit them because Jacob Murphy’s agency is the same as Godfrey’s.
At Everton, “Monster” Godfrey has faltered.
Godfrey has steadily dropped down the ranks, even though Everton has occasionally found their finest form this season. Godfrey has only made one appearance thus far, and that was as a starter in a recent victory over Burnley, a team that is fighting for relegation.
With Jarrad Branthwaite’s ascent, the situation for the former Norwich City player is unlikely to improve, thus he might be forced to look for playing time elsewhere. Newcastle might be able to help with that.
Only three recognised centre backs are available to Howe at this time: Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, and Sven Botman. Newcastle has already experienced a lack of choices this season due to injuries to multiple players in that position, making the addition of a central defence necessary this month.
Godfrey’s versatility to cover at full-back might also be a huge help to the Magpies, allowing Kieran Trippier to get some much-needed rest. Godfrey was called a “monster” by James Whaling of The Mirror, and he may soon turn both Newcastle’s season and his own by leaving Everton as soon as possible in the upcoming weeks. He might contribute significantly as Newcastle aims to make it to Europe as well.