Following on from a successful January spend, the Magpies have quickly moved away from the Premier League relegation zone and their top flight status was mathematically confirmed when Leeds United fell to a home defeat against Chelsea.
With a home game against Arsenal and a final day visit to relegation threatened Burnley still on the agenda, a top ten finish is still not out of the equation for Howe and his players.
But once the dust settles on the one of the most eventful seasons in the club’s history, Howe and the United hierachy will focus on strengthening their squad over the summer.
Speculation over potential additions started from the minute the PIF-led consortium completed their takeover of the club in October and will continue throughout the coming weeks.
One name to tick off the list is Manchester United star Jesse Lingard after the Magpies reportedly withdrew their interest due to sizable wage demands and the player’s age.
That shows one of the key aims of the summer as United look to reduce the average age of their squad - something Howe discussed in his press conference on Thursday.
He said: “I think January, in a specific window, we felt we needed Premier League experience, Premier League-ready, and we couldn’t take chances on younger players with different levels and who would take time to adapt to the team.
“We were after a very specific player in January. I think that changes now. We need to look at the age of the squad, it goes without saying that every year the squad gets a year older. Before you know it, if you’re not careful you can become imbalanced, and that’s something we need to consider and think about going forward.
“I think it’s all about balance and I think it’s about the positions, so that’s not to say we won’t sign experienced players. It is what the position needs and requires, rather than necessarily the age of the player.
“But I am aware that we have a number of players who are of a certain age, 30 or above, and you’ve got to be careful, you’ve got to look at it and make sure you’re not too weighted in one direction because that can have a negative impact on performances. It’s something we’re very aware of.”
But how does the average age of the Magpies squad compare to their Premier League rivals?