Newcastle United’s fresh transfer priorities following Sven Botman and Lewis Miley setbacks

Newcastle United centre-back Sven BotmanNewcastle United centre-back Sven Botman
Newcastle United centre-back Sven Botman | Getty Images
Newcastle United's transfer plans were forced into a rethink following recent injury blows

The international break is over and Newcastle United supporters hoping for a sabbatical from negative injury news were left feeling disappointed. If England underwhelming at Wembley was not enough, the Magpies were dealt blows to Sven Botman and Lewis Miley.

Botman suffered an ACL tear in Newcastle’s most recent fixture against Manchester City, with the Dutchman undergoing surgery during the break. An official club statement revealed the 24-year-old will be ruled up for up to nine months - a blow that could implicate this summer’s transfer plans.

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As for Miley, he has enjoyed a stellar breakout campaign, featuring 17 times in the Premier League. A crippling injury list has benefited his personal development, with the Stanley native being plunged into the deep end both domestically and in Europe.

He learned to swim quickly, but has now fallen victim to the injury bug. Miley picked up a back problem while on England under-21 duty and faces up to six weeks on the sidelines.

Eddie Howe now has eight players on the treatment table, with Sandro Tonali also suspended until August for breaching betting regulations. NewcastleWorld has profiled how the Magpies’ transfer priorities have changed following the recent setbacks.

Centre-back

If there are any silver linings from Botman’s injury, forcing Newcastle to sign a centre-back is one of them. Toon chiefs might have tried to battle on without addressing their urgent need for defensive reinforcements without the Dutchman’s lay-off.

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Fabian Schar, at 32, remains a valuable player but Newcastle must consider signing his long-term replacement. They can now prioritise finding Botman’s future partner who can shore up the defence for years to come. Jamaal Lascelles recently penned a one-year extension but Dan Burn - mainly deployed at left-back - is the only other option. There has been talk about Newcastle signing Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth on a free transfer.

Is he a solid, Premier League-level player? Yes. But is Kelly the man to take Newcastle’s backline to the next level… or even back to where they were last season? The jury remains out.

Right flank 

Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy - are they good enough? Two long-serving players, but ask yourself: would Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United or Chelsea sign them? If the answer is no, Newcastle need to look elsewhere. The Magpies’ attack has, at times, looked impotent this season. Anthony Gordon has arguably been the club’s best player in 2023-24 and Alexander Isak continues to shine.

However, a void in quality on the right flank has been evident all season. Yankuba Minteh, the Toon youngster on loan at Feyenoord, has real talent. But at 19, tasking him as the panacea to all of Newcastle’s problems would be a tough ask. Signing a top-level wideman, preferably one who can do a job up front if needed, with Minteh as his understudy, should be the focus.

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Offload the deadwood

Mark Gillespie, Jeff Hendrick, Paul Dummett, Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Jamal Lewis, Ryan Fraser and undoubtedly many more, some of whom have been stellar servants on Tyneside, are no longer required. These players alone total around £12.5million per year in years - and for what?

Throw in the likes of Emil Krafth, Matt Targett, Murphy and Almiron - and replace them with quality. Do this, and Newcastle could have a serious squad on their hands. Darren Eales mentioned the need to potentially sell players to free up “headroom” regarding FFP/PSR. While not being able to rake in hefty transfer fees, the wages saved could be better distributed elsewhere given their on-field contribution. 

The limitations of Newcastle’s squad has been exposed this season once the injuries mounted. Howe and Co must get ruthless this summer - or risk being undone again should the going get tough.

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