Former Newcastle United star Kieron Dyer believes the Magpies need to target ‘a special player’ during the final week of the January transfer window to help unlock opposition defences.
Eddie Howe’s side ended the weekend in third place in the Premier League despite enduring a frustrating evening in a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday night. The stalemate at Selhurst Park meant United have failed to score in three of their last four Premier League games as a combination of poor finishing and steadfast defending has left them exasperated in front of goal.
Some have suggested Allan Saint-Maximin and record signing Alexander Isak could be handed starts in the near future as Howe looks to unlock opposition defences that Dyer believes are starting to show respect to the Magpies’ impressive form.
And the former United and England midfielder has insisted his old club may need to dip into the transfer market over the next week if they are to find a solution to a new problem they are facing as they battle for a Champions League spot this season.
He told Sky Sports: “They (opposition) are respecting Newcastle now. If you take the way the season finished last season and the way season has started this season, teams are going blow-for-blow with Newcastle.
“The hardest thing you can play against as a team is a low block. These top teams have a special player, in a low block, that can make a difference and go past two players. He (Allan Saint-Maximin) is out of favour, he’s nowhere near the player he was last season, maybe that’s a confidence thing.
“They need to get him firing to make the difference in the final third or it’s January, we still have a few days to go, so go and get that special player. Almiron’s goals, he using his pace to get in behind, so this is where there is a new challenge for Eddie. Teams are respecting us now, we have to find a way to beat these low blocks because it’s one of the hardest things to do in football.”
Despite the need to inject more creativity into Howe’s side, Dyer insisted the Magpies hierarchy have earned enough time and patience from supporters after making some impressive moves over the first two transfer windows since completing a prolonged takeover at St James Park.
“I think you have to trust the process,” he explained.
“When the ownership came into play, I thought they were going to be like Chelsea, buying this player and buying this player. Their recruitment has been fantastic. Trippier, Botman, you can go through it, so they will wait for the right player that will fit them as a team and hopefully it is before January because I think they need creative players in the final third.”