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What Newcastle United still need to do in the final week of the transfer window to ensure Premier League survival

What Newcastle United still need to do in the final week of the transfer window to ensure Premier League survival

Newcastle United’s starting XI in their 1-0 win over Leeds United showed that plenty still needs doing as clubs head into the final week of the January transfer window.

Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, both signings made this January, started but there remained a familiar look to the Tyneside club’s side. And while they ultimately capitalised on an Ilan Meslier mistake to register a narrow victory over Leeds, more quality is evidently needed.

How many points do they need to avoid relegation?

The 40 point mark is usually considered “safety” in the Premier League, with only one club having been relegated with more than 40 points in the League’s history (When West Ham were relegated with 42 in 2002-2003).

However, this mark has only been reached once in the last decade by the club that finished in 17th place (Watford in 2016-17). Aston Villa survived by the skin of their teeth with just 35 points in 2019-20, but it was a close run affair and one that the Magpies will wish to avoid.

Meanwhile, the lowest points total a club have avoided being relegated is 34, achieved by West Bromwich Albion in 2004-05.

In short, then, history tells us that Newcastle need to finish with more than 34 points in order to survive the drop.

On current form, they average 0.71 points per game, good enough for a measly 27 points when extrapolated for the season. In their last 17 games, the Magpies need to find a minimum of 19 points. So, what else do they need to do this window?

Priority number one: Centre Back

It is truly baffling that this issue has not yet been addressed in January. Understandably, the Magpies have lofty ideals following their cash injection, but their chase of Sven Botman and Diego Carlos have not yet borne fruit, and threaten never to.

Meanwhile, the likes of Nat Phillips remain on the transfer market. While not a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination, he offers a Premier League experienced upgrade on current options for Eddie Howe.

One if not two new defenders are needed before the deadline passes, with Newcastle still having conceded the second-most goals in the top-flight, with only Norwich having shipped more.

Another striker in the works?

Another attacker wouldn’t go amiss either. A glance at Eddie Howe’s options from the bench against Leeds sees Dwight Gayle and Miguel Almiron as the only recognised attacking options to call upon.

Gayle, now 32 years old, last scored a Premier League goal in December 2020, while Almiron’s brace against Southampton, the last time he found the net in the Premier League, came in February 2021. Hardly game-changing options.

What Newcastle United still need to do in the final week of the transfer window to ensure Premier League survival

Jetro Willems of Newcastle United celebrates with teammates Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The romantic story would be for Callum Wilson to return from injury and propel Newcastle to safety, but the 29-year-old’s injury record suggests that this cannot be a reliable option, while Chris Wood has found the net just 3 times in the Premier League this season.

As the old saying goes, “goals win games”, and to that end Newcastle need to add another forward to their ranks in order to be confident of survival.

Links to Duvan Zapata make sense, and would be a good signing despite the fact that he is now 30 years old. If it is not Zapata, however, Newcastle simply have to bring someone in.

Central midfield- can they get by?

One position that could be a useful place to upgrade again is in central midfield. Joelinton has been reborn in the box-to-box role that Eddie Howe has used him in, but Joe Willock has struggled since his big-money move from Arsenal in the summer, failing to replicate the form that made Newcastle splash out on him.

Meanwhile, Jonjo Shelvey is a fabulous technician, but often hit-and-miss in the middle of the park. While another body would be useful to take some of the onus off the trio, it could be too much to ask this January with so much to address elsewhere unless loan moves for either Jesse Lingard or Dele Alli materialise late on.

Useful but not priorities- Goalkeeper and left-back

Links to goalkeeper Bernd Leno and left-back Mitchel Bakker suggest that these are positions that Eddie Howe is looking to strengthen, but if push comes to shove, they should be able to get by.

What Newcastle United still need to do in the final week of the transfer window to ensure Premier League survival

Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno saves a shot from Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota (Photo by PETER BYRNE/AFP via Getty Images)

The goalkeeping situation is not pretty: Newcastle have a post-shot xG of -4.6, meaning that they have conceded 4.6 more goals than they “should” have as per the model, while their goalkeeper’s save percentage stands at just 62%, the third-worst in the top-flight.

But, should they strengthen defensively, the Magpies will see this have less of an effect, as whoever is between the posts will have fewer shots to save.

Likewise, left-back would be a nice addition, but is far less important than strengthening the spine of the side.

Work to be done

In the last week of the transfer window then, Newcastle need to be looking to bring in at least a centre-back and a striker. A midfielder would be a nice addition, while a goalkeeper and left-back are good but not crucial additions this January.

Newcastle fans will be hoping to see some movement even with the club currently on winter break in Jeddah.

Read more:

Premier League relegation race: Latest odds and tips 2021/22

Premier League golden boot race: Latest odds and tips 2021/22

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

Newcastle betting odds, next game:

Burnley vs Newcastle odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Burnley vs Newcastle Full time result
Burnley vs Newcastle Result/Both teams score Yes No
Burnley 10/3 3/1
Newcastle 5/1
Draw 10/3 10/1
Burnley vs Newcastle Correct Score
Burnley vs Newcastle Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Wout Weghorst5/2 5/2 8/5
Callum Wilson13/5 13/5 7/4
Ashley Barnes11/4 11/4 7/4
Matej Vydra11/4 11/4 7/4
Chris Wood3/1 3/1 15/8

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 37 72 90
2 Liverpool FC 37 66 89
3 Chelsea FC 37 42 71
4 Tottenham Hotspur 37 24 68
5 Arsenal FC 37 9 66
6 Manchester United 37 1 58
7 West Ham United 37 11 56
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37 -3 51
9 Leicester City 37 0 49
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 37 -4 48
11 Brentford FC 37 -7 46
12 Newcastle United 37 -19 46
13 Crystal Palace 37 3 45
14 Aston Villa 37 -1 45
15 Southampton FC 37 -21 40
16 Everton FC 37 -19 39
17 Burnley FC 37 -18 35
18 Leeds United 37 -38 35
19 Watford FC 37 -42 23
20 Norwich City 37 -56 22

Premier League 21/22

Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 21
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 18
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 16
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 15
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 15
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 14
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 13
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 13
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 12
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 11
Maddison, James Leicester City 11
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 11
Richarlison Everton FC 11
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 11
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa 11
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 10