Newcastle United legend Shay Given believes Eddie Howe should look to improve the spine of his team this season.
The Magpies made smart signings in January, and those new arrivals helped propel the club towards Premier League safety.
Now Newcastle are dreaming of the future, and making plans for what is set to be an exciting summer at St James’ Park.
There will be plenty of new arrivals, while multiple players will also leave the club. It’s been claimed by the Telegraph that as many as 10 players could be sold.
Those departures will make way for new recruits to arrive, and they will shape the direction Howe’s team goes in next season.
Fans are buzzing to see who arrives at St James’ Park, and former Toon goalkeeper Given has had a go at picking some possible signings.
Shay Given wants Newcastle to sign proven Premier League talent
The 46-year-old has spoken on Optus Sport’s Premier League review show, and discussed the upcoming transfer window for Newcastle.
“I was just looking through the league there before and you look at the spine of the team,” Given said.
“Henderson, there looks like there’s a strong possibility he could come to the football club and challenge Dubravka. Tarkowski at Burnley, perhaps, he’s on a free transfer. Kalvin Phillips at Leeds, I know Leeds fans won’t want to see him go but… Eriksen on a free as well.
“And then I think they need a striker. Ivan Toney maybe or Tammy Abraham, who’s had a great season in Italy.
“I think there’ll be four or five signings, but the right kind of people, the right kind of signings. I always think the spine of the team is so important.”
Given’s selections would all be welcome at St James’ Park
Five out of the six players Given picked all play in the Premier League, and they have all been linked with moves to Newcastle this summer.
The anomaly is Tammy Abraham, who’s had an exceptional season for Roma where he’s scored 27 goals in all competitions. He’s been a target for Newcastle in the past, and is someone we’d love to see in a black and white shirt.
The other names suggested by Given are all sensible. Henderson feels the most likely, given rumours that he’s closing in on a move to Newcastle.
The likes of Tarkowski and Eriksen will certainly feature in Newcastle discussions, especially given the fact they’re set to become free agents. That will appeal to the Magpies, who don’t have a bottomless pit of money despite boasting wealthy owners.
There would certainly be no complaints from us if we brought in a few of the players mentioned by Given. Moves for Abraham and Phillips would be particularly exciting.
But the decisions lie with Howe and the Toon hierarchy, who will be itching to make progress as soon as possible.