EXCLUSIVE - Steve Howey: Newcastle have to spend in January to stay up

10th Jan 2018

Newcastle United need to spend big in January if they are to avoid relegation, that's according to former defender Steve Howey.

Rafa Benitez's men have had a mixed return to the top flight and currently sit just two points above the bottom three. Without any doubt, they need some new recruits for the second-half of the campaign.

Speaking exclusively to AskFans about where the squad needs to improve, Howey said: "At times defensively, they are quite solid.

"They have Lascelles there, the captain, who has suprised me to be brutually honest. He comes across as a very good leader.

"They then have decent goalkeepers, but I think they perhaps need somebody else in there. A goalkeeper that's been there, seen it and done it.

"He could then go with another centre-half and another midfield player.

"Forward wise, Daniel Sturridge has been mentioned, Torres has been mentioned who obviously has the connection with Benitez. I'm not too sure someone like Giroud would like it up there, it's probably a bit too cold for him to be honest!

"The manager has obviously got to scout out and about - see who is available and who's not happy, who wants to play more football.

"If you look at the money he has had to spend, they need an influx of finance to help them. I think they have a decent team, but if they don't strengthen they can find themselves back down there."

Howey then expressed his disappointment that many potential targets are not willing to leave their comfort zone for a challenge at St James Park.

"Suprisingly, you do get a lot of players that sit on the bench and pick up  good money. They are quite happy to do that.

"They aren't exactly getting themselves out there and they don't want to drop their wage.

"Some players are genuinely happy to just sit on the bench and pick money up which is astounding."

As for whether his former club will avoid relegation to the Championship, Howey is confident Benitez can guide them to safety - as long as his requirements are met. 

"They are very lucky because they have a fabulous manager.

"He is one of the top managers around if you look at his pedigree, where he's been and the team's he's managed.

"I do think he's getting frustrated. When he comes up against Mourinho or Guardiola or anybody, he wants it to be on an even playing field. 

"He wants to say 'my team is as good as your team, and can I tactically beat you'."

MORE: Here's the Newcastle United preview for this weekend - HUGE game! 

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