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Newcastle transfer news: Who should Eddie Howe sign to replace Bruno Guimaraes?

Jacque Talbot
Bruno Andre Schlager
© IMAGO

Newcastle enjoyed a superb win over Aston Villa earlier this week, but there’s no getting away from the fact that their season has not reached the heights of the one prior.

Eddie Howe has had several problems to contend with during the campaign, mostly injuries, but even still, some of the Magpies’ displays have been below par.

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But there is no real panic just yet. When PIF took over in 2021, it was widely acknowledged that the club would be undergoing a project.

Success would not be immediate, and it’s almost as if last term’s Champions League finish and League Cup final was a step forward that was to the club’s detriment.

Newcastle know that finishing out of this season’s elite European competition will see a couple of key players leave – sporting director Dan Ashworth even admitted in October 2022 that sales would be needed to see the side grow.

He said: “At some stage, you have to trade. One of the things around Financial Fair Play is you have to trade; we have to be able to generate some money to reinvest and go again.

“I can’t lie to you and say we’ll never have to sell a player; we’d always be able to hold on to our top talent. That doesn’t happen anywhere. “Liverpool sold [Sadio] Mane – you have to sometimes make a pragmatic decision to go, ‘Okay, we’ll do that because that’s a way of reinvesting in the football club.'”

One of the club’s biggest assets – if not the biggest – is Bruno Guimaraes.

FootballTransfers has reported that it is very likely that he will leave St James’ Park this summer following the inclusion of a €116 million exit clause in his contract.

As a result, Newcastle will have to suck it up and sign a replacement for the Brazilian.

Using SciSports’ data, here are five names who emulate Guimaraes’ numbers on the pitch.

Xaver Schlager

RB Leipzig’s Xaver Schlager would not be a like-for-like swap for Guimaraes, a far more talented player, but Schlager would fit Newcastle’s blueprint seamlessly – the Austrian is a No.6 who can play as a No.8, too.

The 26-year-old is an extremely hard worker, good off the ball, and is very much a Leipzig player because of their high-pressing nature. If a deal was to be done, Newcastle can expect some change.

He would cost less than half of Guimaraes’ €116m release clause and would be able to cover the positions that the former Lyon man took up at Newcastle.

Stylistically, the Magpies could not find a better fit, but whether he can truly fill Guimaraes’ boots is another question.

Amadou Onana

Amadou Onana is a player that Newcastle have been linked to very recently. Everton, battling financial difficulties, were open to a sale, but FFP meant that clubs keen on the midfielder could not afford him.

What’s clear, though, is that Howe is a fan of Onana and believes that he would be a suitable buy. At Lille, Onana lit up Ligue 1 with some outstanding displays. He was destined for great things, with several clubs keen on him.

After moving to Everton, his form has continued and he is a key asset for Sean Dyche’s side.

His Premier League experience and ability to fill in at centre-back means that Newcastle, if they did make a move for him, wouldn’t be short of rivals for his signature.

Amadou Onana is liked by Newcastle already
© IMAGO – Amadou Onana is liked by Newcastle already

Cheick Doucoure

Cheick Doucoure of Crystal Palace is among the best central midfielders in the Premier League, which means, of course, he will come at a premium.

He is out with an injury at the moment, and this could see clubs steer to other names, but Howe’s affection for players with Premier League experience is a running joke among Newcastle fans. Liverpool were linked last summer, and Palace quoted them around €80 million.

Perhaps, with these factors considered, other options would be better for Newcastle in search of their Guimaraes replacement.

Andre

Andre is set to leave in the summer after Fulham failed in their final approach for the 22-year-old. With the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United keen on the midfielder, it speaks volumes about what a great talent the youngster is.

Of short stature and strong, Andre is a proficient holding midfielder who can also carry the ball and make exquisite passes.

Given that his future almost certainly lies in the Premier League, the Fluminense star is one to watch for the next transfer window, particularly as Newcastle seem to get the best out of Brazilian players who move to St James’ Park.

Andre is set to leave in the summer window
© IMAGO – Andre is set to leave in the summer window

Exequiel Palacios

Exequiel Palacios ascended through the ranks at River Plate and earned a spot in their first team in the winter of 2017. Following three years with his childhood club’s senior team, he transitioned to Bayer Leverkusen.

Palacios exhibits versatility within the centre of midfield, adept at fulfilling roles ranging from a holding position to a more attacking or box-to-box style. Palacios is a combative sort of player, something very much admired by Howe.

The 25-year-old is contracted at Bayer Leverkusen until 2028, having signed fresh terms in August. Any deal for the Argentine one would be a bit more pricey, as a result, but Newcastle would be getting a gem in return.

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