Newcastle Target Defenders as 'Priority' Amid Injury Woes (2024)

By Will Lancaster

Newcastle suffered badly with defensive injuries last season and Eddie Howe may not be done with just Lloyd Kelly arriving

Newcastle Target Defenders as 'Priority' Amid Injury Woes (1)

Highlights

  • Newcastle United's injury-stricken defence led to them missing out on European football, making a new centre-back a top priority.
  • Lloyd Kelly's arrival is a smart free transfer to bolster the back line, but another permanent center-back is needed.
  • With Schar ageing and long-term planning necessary, Newcastle must secure another quality center-back beyond the injured Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles.

Newcastle United endured a frustrating end to the season as their injury woes saw them collapse in the final weeks of the season, with Manchester United's win over rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup signalling no European football at St. James' Park next season. And Dharmesh Sheth has exclusively told GIVEMESPORT that Eddie Howe may not be content enough with signing Lloyd Kelly for their back line - with another centre-back a priority.

Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles picked up lengthy knee injuries during the season to leave Newcastle's backline threadbare, with Emil Krafth coming into the fold for parts of the season in a real crisis solver. And whilst their makeshift backline did enough to finish in the top seven, it wasn't enough to secure a European place with cup results meaning the Magpies missed out on securing Europa Conference League football.

Newcastle United: Centre-Back Transfer Latest

The Magpies are set to sign one centre-back but that could become two

Newcastle Target Defenders as 'Priority' Amid Injury Woes (2)

Kelly is expected to join Newcastle once his contract with Bournemouth expires at the end of the month, and with the Bristol-born star having featured in over 50 Premier League games for the Cherries, he represents a top addition for zero transfer fee having been linked with Italian powerhouses AC Milan and Juventus for large stretches of his career on the south coast.

Lloyd Kelly's Premier League statistics - Bournemouth squad ranking

Stats

Output

Squad rank

Appearances

23

=14th

Minutes

1,558

11th

Clearances Per Game

2.6

4th

Tackles Per Game

1

=14th

Interceptions Per Game

0.6

=11th

Match rating

6.40

19th

Statistics via WhoScored - Correct as of 08/06/2024

Tosin Adarabioyo had been touted in a similar move to the north east with his Fulham contract expiring, but Chelsea made a late move to sign him on a free transfer and with the player already based in west London, it was a no-brainer - especially with the Blues having secured European football next season and the fact that they were beginning to look like a team that had properly gelled in 2024.

Sheth: Centre-Back is a Priority for Newcastle

The Magpies continue to be stretched at the back

Newcastle Target Defenders as 'Priority' Amid Injury Woes (3)

Speaking exclusively to GIVEMESPORT, Sheth admitted that the Magpies were looking at another centre-back as priority - with Botman expected to be out until late 2024 and Lascelles being on a similar timeline. He said:

“It looks like it will be a priority maybe to look at another central defender as well.

“You only have to look at some of the injury situations that Newcastle had to contend with at the back end of last season, and they will continue into next season as well.

“Jamaal Lascelles for one, and Sven Botman - their big money signing from the previous summer - are both badly injured with ACLs.”

Newcastle Should Plan Ahead Regardless of Injuries

The Magpies have an ageing backline

Newcastle Target Defenders as 'Priority' Amid Injury Woes (4)

Kelly will be a strong pickup and alongside Fabian Schar, they will form a decent centre-back partnership for the time being. But Howe will know that the duo won't be enough to see out games on a permanent basis until Lacelles and Botman returns, and Krafth is in the final year of his contract next season.

GIVEMESPORT Key Statistic: Newcastle have won 60 of the 125 games that Eddie Howe has taken charge of

Botman and Lascelles will return eventually, but even then, planning long-term is the key and with Schar turning 33 in December, a new centre-back that could come into the frame over the next few years would be the ideal signing for the Magpies.

It's yet to be seen who that player will be, but having gone in for Adarabioyo, Newcastle may opt for someone with similar credentials if they are to progress with the same trajectory they have in recent years.

Related

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Newcastle are looking for a long-term backup for Nick Pope and they could return to Burnley for a goalkeeper in James Trafford

Statistics courtesy of Transfermarkt.

Newcastle Target Defenders as 'Priority' Amid Injury Woes (2024)

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