Newcastle United are flying high this season, currently sitting in 3rd place in the Premier League after a blistering start to the campaign under Eddie Howe.
With Miguel Almiron a man reborn, and Nick Pope the final piece in a mean defence, the Magpies are becoming a real force in the Premier League and look set to break into the top 6 at the first time of asking this campaign, bringing European football back to the north east.
But, they are not there yet, and Janaury reinforcements could ultimately make the difference between a top four and top six finish, especially with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all likely to strengthen this January.
With that in mind, we have taken a look at five players that Howe and co. should look to bring in during the winter window.
1. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Tielemans is widely expected to join Arsenal in the summer when his contract at Leicester City runs out, but the Foxes will be keen to get a fee for a man that they paid £25m for.
And, with the Gunners unlikely to stump one up this January. Newcastle could swoop in to help beef up their midfield at a low cost. The 25-year-old would add yet another dimension to the Magpies midfield, and with Tielemans and Bruno Guimaraes in the same midfield, Eddie Howe would have a Champions League quality centre of the pitch.
2. Azzedine Ounahi (Angers)
One of the breakout stars of the World Cup, Azzedine Ounahi is almost certain to move this January, with the Angers president already resigned to losing the 22-year-old.
With the Ligue 1 side currently bottom of the French top flight, he has been involved in every game that he has been available for, and has been one of the few shining lights in the Angers outfit.
Ounahi showcased both his tenacity in the tackle and his ability going forwards in spades during the tournament in Qatar, and still well short of his prime he could prove a shrewd pickup for Howe’s side this January.
3. Jeremy Doku (Rennes)
Miguel Almiron’s supernova season shows no signs of slowing down, but the Magpies could do with additional cover in the flanks for the remaining two-thirds of the season.
And, in keeping with their long-term strategy, Rennes attacker Jeremy Doku could be a good addition. The Belgian forward was criminally underused at the World Cup by Roberto Martinez, but the 20-year-old has made nine appearances for Rennes this campaign to date as he works his way back from injury.
Under contract until 2025, the youngster could be available this January at a cut-price, and could be a shrewd addition while his stock is low should the Magpies want to continue to build for the future.
4. Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven)
Another one with an eye to the future as well as the present, Noni Madueke has just recovered from an ankle injury and is beginning to look back to something like his old self with PSV Eindhoven.
The youngster would count as part of the Magpies’ homegrown quota, and has also appeared four times for the England U21s as he looks to make his name in football.
He would likely be more expensive than Doku, but has traces of Alan Saint-Maximin in his game (not just the headband) and could be an exciting option for Eddie Howe’s side should they look to bring in a winger.
5. Ivan Fresneda (Real Vallodolid)
Last but not least, we come to Spanish talent Ivan Fresneda. While Kieran Trippier is a vital part of the Newcastle side for now, he cannot go on forever, and eventually the Magpies will have to look for a replacement.
Beyond Trippier, Emil Krafth has suffered a serious injury and Javier Manquillo has flattered to deceive in his limited opportunities under Eddie Howe.
Fresneda could be the answer, however. Raised in the Real Madrid academy, has made seven La Liga appearances to date for Real Valladolid, having made the step up to the senior side from the reserves over the summer. He also has four Spain U19 caps to his name, and most recently kept Los Blancos star Vinicius Junior very quiet on the right flank.
Though his release clause sits at 30m euros, Vallodolid would reportedly accept less this January, though Arsenal and both Milan sides are also though to be keen on signing him, meaning that Newcastle could face a fight for his signature this winter.