Eddie Howe has tried and failed to sign a striker at Newcastle United this summer, having been linked with Emmanuel Dennis, Gabriel Barbosa, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Hugo Ekitike, Alexander Isak, Armando Broja and Ivan Toney among others without a deal materialising.
Keith Downie of Sky Sports says Howe isn’t giving up on bringing a centre-forward to St James’ Park, however, and believes he would prefer a younger player that can be moulded. Ekitike and Broja are both 20 years of age, but it doesn’t appear either player is coming to the North-East this summer.
Nevertheless, Downie told This is Futbol: “I think what Howe was keen to do, and still is keen to do, is to bring in a young striker to work alongside Callum Wilson and Chris Wood. Obviously, Hugo Ekitike is 20, Armando Broja is 20 and I think these players fall into that.”
Nobody will panic at Newcastle if Howe doesn’t land a centre-forward and has to go into the new season with Callum Wilson, Chris Wood and Joelinton, but the feeling is that the trio won’t be at the club if the Magpies are challenging near the top of the table.
Wilson, while Newcastle’s top goalscorer for the last two seasons, has missed 32 league games due to injury. Wood has scored just two goals from 17 games since joining from Burnley, so he needs a strong campaign or he’s a shoo-in to be offloaded next summer.
And Joelinton, while impressing in midfield last season, hasn’t scored more than four league games in a campaign for Newcastle, so he’s not reliable either.
So if Howe can sign a promising young talent that can learn from Newcastle’s existing strikers and eventually provide years of service after developing, that would be ideal.