Eddie Howe makes Newcastle United transfer admission as double bombshell confirmed

Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United summer transfer plans have impacted in the last fortnight or so.

Eddie Howe admits long-term injuries for Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles will force Newcastle United to consider signing a central defender this summer.

The Magpies have lost both players to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries last month and have been given a recovery time between six to nine months. Best case scenario is a return during the early part of the 2024-25 campaign, though it could be that neither player is back until December.

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United fielded Fabian Schar and Dan Burn together, a partnership that served them so well during the second-half of the 2021-22 season, for Tuesday night's 1-1 draw against Everton - but back-up is thin on the ground.

Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Emil Krafth can cover at centre half but is currently required at a right-back in Kieran Trippier and Tino Livramento's absence. A similar situation applies to Paul Dummett - who is out-of-contract this summer - after the long-serving defender came on at left-back in place of Lewis Hall before conceding a late penalty.

And below that senior experience is 19-year-old Alex Murphy. The Republic of Ireland youth international impressed during pre-season but has featured only once this campaign and was for three minutes against Chelsea on his Premier League debut in November.

In a summer where Newcastle ideally want to strengthen multiple positions, Howe has suggested the centre-back area is likely to be the priority.

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"When you’re missing players for that length of time, I think naturally that will impact what you're doing," said Howe. "You have to look at the situation you’re faced with.

"Good news is they miss quite a good chunk of the summer so we don’t think they’ll be too far into the season when they’ll be missing but they are still going to be missing a big chunk of that early part.

"Then of course, how quickly can they get back to their best form? Two players for us and big characters we’re certainly going to miss."

Newcastle travel to Fulham on Saturday and are likely go with the same back four of Krafth, Schar, Burn and Lewis Hall. In the full-back areas, Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento and Matt Targett remained sidelined but their injuries aren't thought to be long-term.

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