Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer names one player he would sign in January if he was Eddie Howe

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One Newcastle United legend has called on his old club to make a firm move to replace Nick Pope in the January transfer window.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has urged his former club to strengthen at both ends of the pitch when the January transfer market opens for business next week.

The Magpies are sat in eighth place in the Premier League table following their Boxing Day home defeat against Nottingham Forest and currently sit seven points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League place.

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The last month of the campaign has only added to the increasing concern at St James Park after Eddie Howe’s side suffered exits from the Carabao Cup and Champions League amid an ongoing battle with a severe injury crisis.

Despite the return of the likes of Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff, the Magpies are still struggling to find the sort of form that saw that surpass expectations last season to reach the final of the Carabao Cup and secure a top place. The absence of goalkeeper Nick Pope has proved to be a major problem for Howe as the England stopper faces up to six months on the sidelines after he underwent surgery on the shoulder injury he suffered in the 1-0 home win against Manchester United earlier this month.

Martin Dubravka has stepped into the breech but has struggled to impress, keeping just one clean sheet in seven appearances and struggling to provide the authoritative figure United have become accustomed to with Pope in goal.

Links with Arsenal star Aaron Ramsdale and former Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea have been widely reported in recent weeks - and former Magpies captain Shearer believes the latter would be an ideal replacement in Pope’s absence.

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He told BBC Five Live: ”I would agree goalkeeper and centre forward would be the two main priorities for me. But good luck trying to find a good centre forward that you can bring in for a decent amount of money. Yeah, I would (sign De Gea). I think Newcastle need a goalkeeper, and De Gea is out there. I know the salary would be huge but they wouldn’t have to pay a fee for him."

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