Newcastle United told to sign Leicester City duo as ex-midfielder makes bold Champions League

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The Magpies have enjoyed an impressive start to the season and are now being seen as a genuine contender for a European place.

Former Newcastle United and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas has urged his old club to ‘have a good splurge’ in the January transfer window to boost their hopes of claiming an unlikely Champions League place.

Eddie Howe’s side are in a fine run of form ahead of Sunday’s visit to Southampton after going unbeaten in their last eight games to move into the top four. That has reignitied belief and excitement that the Magpies could make a first return to European competition since Alan Pardew’s United made their way to the quarter-final of the Europa League during the 2012/13 season.

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Despite facing two challenging fixtures against the Saints and Chelsea, it seems likely the Magpies will head into the World Cup Finals break still sat in a European place. They return to Premier League action on Boxing Day when they visit Leicester City before Leeds United are the final visitors to St James Park of what has been an eventful 2022.

Once that meeting with Jesse Marsch’s side is over, all thoughts will turn towards the January transfer window and former Magpies star Jenas has identified two players he believes can boost their chances of securing a return to European football next season.

He told WilliamHill: “I think for Newcastle to finish in the top four they’ve got to have a good splurge in January. But I think they’ve got a chance, I really do. There’s no doubt about it, they’re going to go all the way this season and push the Premier League’s big clubs. Their defence has looked absolutely solid and they’ve been scoring goals at will at the moment, so there’s a lot to like about how they’re playing.

“Whether they do finish in the top four come May, it’s a tough one, they’re going to be very close. A lot will depend on how Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea do. And Liverpool, no matter what’s happened so far this season, they’re going to be a part of the conversation for the top four come the end of it. It’s about which team will have that longevity and consistency and at the minute this is the first time in a long time where Newcastle are in the situation where they can go on long winning runs.

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“But they do need to strengthen those wider areas. In the areas where Miguel Almiron – as well as he’s playing – or Allan Saint-Maximin play. All teams can be improved. There’s a couple of players at Leicester that can improve them – James Maddison or Harvey Barnes. I would like to see Newcastle move for one of them. they would certainly improve the club.”

Jenas admitted he believes United’s lack of strength-in-depth could harm their chances of seeing off challenges from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool to secure a top-four place.

“What they need is depth,” he explained.

“When you start going back to the likes of Chris Wood or Jamaal Lascelles you start to fall back to type. But if they can just add a little bit more depth to what they’ve already got… I’m not saying go and sign Neymar or a big superstar, I think that just derails things if you do it too quickly. And with Eddie Howe and his methods and how he likes to play, the best thing about Newcastle is they’re a team and doing it as a unit, so he has to find those players that will fit in as a part of that.”

“I still feel like they’ve got results in them that are not going to be consistent enough for them throughout the season. I hope they can make it, and they’re definitely capable of it, but I just think they’ll fall short.”

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