Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe feels as if he has been left slightly short of options in midfield following the January transfer widow.
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It was not a particularly busy January window for the Magpies but they did see their options in midfield reduced with the exit of Jonjo Shelvey to Nottingham Forest.
Despite his exit from St James’ Park, Shelvey was not replaced by PIF despite there being a strong belief that the central midfield position was their main target for the winter market.
However, Howe will now have to deal with the options he has got available as the Magpies aim to finish inside the top four and with the Carabao Cup in their trophy cabinet.
And speaking on the True Faith podcast, journalist Craig Hope has shared the slight frustration coming from Howe on the back of the window:
“What I’ll say is Eddie went into the window with five central midfielders and he plays with three. He wanted to come out of it with six, he’s left the window with four. To that end, he’s frustrated.
“And we’ve spoken to him and he hasn’t really attempted to hide that angst, really, and one or two little things you hear, murmurings behind the scenes of, you know, Eddie feeling he’s been left short in a key area.”
Having lost Shelvey there is certainly the notion Newcastle have weakened their squad – particularly midfield – over the course of the January window.
It has to be mentioned the midfielder had only made three appearances in the Premier League for Newcastle this season as a result of his injury issue.
However, he was set to return in the coming weeks which would have provided Howe with an extra option to choose from than what he currently has.
But when you consider the Toon went into the window under the belief they were looking to bring in another midfielder, you can see why Howe may feel frustrated.
And those frustrations will certainly have been amplified when his star man, Bruno Guimaraes, was shown a straight red card in the second leg of their semi-final against Southampton.
Fortunately for the Brazilian, he will return in time for the final, but he will miss some key games in the run-up as they still hope to land Champions League football for next season.
Perhaps the addition of Anthony Gordon on the left wing will aid Howe’s issues as it will allow Joelinton to slot back into the midfield but there will be the hope Newcastle do not suffer any further injuries or suspensions in the coming months.
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