Following their failure to win the one game they had a chance in before Christmas, Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has decided a complete clear-out is needed in January if the club is to stay up, Paddy Power News has learned.
The recently-installed Magpies boss has decided that the best hope for his new side to survive in the Premier League this season is to sign the squad of his former team.
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The 44-year-old spent 11 years in total in charge of the Cherries over two spells, establishing the club as a Premier League side before reestablishing it back in the Championship following some transfer deals even Ed Woodward wouldn’t make.
Now that the South coast club have undone the damage wreaked by their former manager and look set for a top-flight return next season, Howe has decided that it would make sense to take all their players as Newcastle’s look completely sh*te.
“Eddie’s really been impressed with the job they’ve done,” a source close to Tyneside club told us following Newcastle’s 1-1 home draw with fellow 2022-’23 Championship contenders Norwich on Tuesday night.
“He knows how deep the hole they were in was – he f**king dug it.”
“He’s delighted to see them turn it around. Jefferson Lerma, Dominic Solanke, Chris Mepham, Lloyd Kelly, these are guys Eddie saw the potential in, and then comprehensively failed to use.”
“But he still believes they can do a job for him, especially now they’re actually playing like professional footballers rather than a work league five-a-side team.”
Newcastle have been expected to spend big in the New Year since their recent takeover, and Howe is prepared to break the bank – again – to sign many of his former charges.
“When you factor in inflation, Brexit, the valuable experience of playing against the likes of Millwall, Barnsley and Peterborough United and all that, Jefferson Lerma’s surely worth at least £55m at current market rates…” we were told.
However, the prospect of an influx of new players has seen first-team morale sink to new lows among current Newcastle players, who know they’ve no future at the club.
“The mood hasn’t been this low among the first team since Mike Ashley started making the players pay for their new kits each season,” a club insider told us.
“Though in fairness, he did throw in a swimming cap, pitching wedge and a giant Sports Direct mug – plus a 25% discount!”
And there is a realistic outlook among those within St James’ Park around short-term transfer targets.
“The only way Mbappe or Hazard end up on Tyneside is if one of their mates has his stag there,” we were told.
“For now, they’ve to make-do with anyone willing to risk playing in the Championship – players currently playing in the Championship seem a perfect fit.”
And should Howe’s approach to his former team fail, he has a plan B.
“All I can say is at the moment is Andy Carroll did score for Reading at the weekend…” our source noted with a wink.
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