Eddie Howe insists that fantasy contracts must wait in Newcastle as he builds a team of fighters

Eddie Howe insists fantasy signings must wait at Newcastle despite initial speculation after the big money buyout as the Magpies boss looks to sign the players the club need to survive the relegation battle

  • Newcastle have been promoted for fantasy contracts after Saudi Arabia’s acquisition of the club
  • But manager Eddie Howe insists he is looking for the players Magpies needs
  • The club brought in veterans Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood this month
  • The duo are set to start against Newcastle for a home relegation to Watford

Eddie Howe says fantasy signings will have to wait at Newcastle as he builds a squad of fighters to keep them in the Premier League.

The arrival of the new Saudi-led monarchy in October led to talk of star signings and hundreds of millions of pounds this month.

But Howe has instead spearheaded the quest to bring in two Premier League-experienced players Kieran Trippier (31) and Chris Wood (30), both of whom are set to start during Saturday’s relegation match at home to Watford.

Manager Eddie Howe (pictured) says fantasy deals must wait at Newcastle United

“When the acquisition happened, there was a lot of excitement for what lay ahead,” Howe said. But the immediate needs of the team are very different from this initial expectation.

My job was to cut out a lot of the noise and figure out what the team needed. That’s what I tried to do in our current situation – recruit the right players.

Fans have hailed the £37m signing of Trippier and Wood, and Newcastle have also been linked with a £25m deal for French teenager Hugo Ekitike.

Kieran Trippier (right) joined Newcastle this month from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

Kieran Trippier (right) joined Newcastle this month from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

But Howe cautioned: “There is nothing wrong with signing young players for the future – I’ve done so historically for most of my career – but there is a time and place for these kinds of signings.

With the current needs of my team, the two players we signed were the right ones.

“They are two players that I wanted to sign, there is no doubt about that. They make the team better and have the right characteristics in terms of play and behaviour. They are ready to play, that is crucial for us in our current position.

Chris Wood is the latest arrival to St James' Park after his £25m move from Burnley

Chris Wood is the latest arrival to St James’ Park after his £25m move from Burnley

“Players have to join your fight in the fight to stay in the league, and when they’re at the top of their career, it’s not easy.

Newcastle have tremendous appeal in many different ways, but I think our position in the league is not one of them.

“For me, the most important thing is to get the right characters into the group, who want to play and fight for Newcastle United now and in the future.”


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