In this new era of a competently run Newcastle United, it’d be slightly churlish to criticise anything about the method of recruitment since the takeover.
Indeed, the success of their signings thus far, made under the banner of FFP restrictions, is one of the greatest things about the club at the moment.
Still, a lack of options in midfield is frustrating. That’s not to suggest that a midfielder desperately needed to arrive at the expense of other additions, it’s just that there’s clearly so much to do in terms of a squad overhaul that one area was always likely to lag behind the others.
In Eddie Howe’s side, that happens to be in midfield. Bruno Guimaraes is the only (admittedly excellent) signing to have been made in that area since the takeover, while Howe has also admitted he did not want Jonjo Shelvey to leave.
Newcastle looking for midfield signings
It stands to reason, then, that the club will look to strengthen there in the summer.
Guimaraes, for his part, has already expressed a desire to play further up the field, which perhaps gives an indication as to what profile of midfielder will be targeted.
Indeed, The Sun claim Fulham’s £40m-rated star Joao Palhinha is of particular interest to the club. A revelation at Craven Cottage this season, the Portugal midfielder has been hailed as “fantastic” by Gary Neville.
Linked with Newcastle last summer too, it’s easy to see why there would be more interest.
Palhinha’s stunning first season in the Premier League
No one across the entirety of the Premier League has made more tackles than Palhinha (101). For context, the highest ranking Newcastle player on the list is Joelinton in joint-18th with 54.
Such has been his impact on Marco Silva’s team, Fulham have lost have each of the three Premier League games they’ve played without him by three goals. A combative presence in the middle of the park, he’d certainly be a logical addition for Newcastle.