What’s the latest?
Spirits will be high on Tyneside this week after the Magpies beat Southampton on Tuesday night to secure their spot in the Carabao Cup final.
However, the January transfer window only saw the Toon bring in two new faces across the month in Harrison Ashby and Anthony Gordon.
In addition, Howe also saw one of his veteran midfielders, Jonjo Shelvey, depart on deadline day in a deal seeing him move to Nottingham Forest.
And as a result, speaking on his YouTube channel, journalist Craig Hope has suggested Howe may have been left slightly concerned with this being a “dangerous ploy” from the club:
“Eddie Howe went into the window wanting to add an extra midfielder. As it is, he hasn’t got a midfielder and he’s lost one. So I do think that is a dangerous ploy. You know, we’ve seen now with the Bruno suspension. I do think it leaves them short. I don’t think he’ll be happy about it.”
Leaving themselves short?
There is certainly some merit to Hope’s comments with the game on Tuesday night showing how this may become an issue in the final half of the Premier League campaign.
Howe will now be without his star man, Bruno Guimaraes, for three games in the league after the Brazilian was shown a straight red card against the Saints.
But there will be some comfort taken from the performance of Sean Longstaff in the game on Tyneside with the 25-year-old netting twice at St. James’ Park.
And the addition of Gordon will mean Howe will be able to revert Joelinton back into his central midfield role after the Brazilian has played frequently in the left-wing spot this season.
It must be noted, though, Newcastle have already played the majority of this season without Shelvey who departed on deadline day with the Englishman sitting out all but five games thus far.
But with Guimaraes now out for a handful of games, it does feel as if an injury in the midfield could prove a big issue for Howe going forward.
There were links to the likes of Sander Berge, however, Newcastle did not proceed to bring in any midfield additions so it will have to remain to be seen whether that is something that comes back to haunt them in the coming months.