EDDIE HOWE will take a leaf out of ex-Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s transfer manual for his shopping this summer.
But before the Toon Army has a collective heart attack, fans need not worry about the Magpies’ going back to the bad old days of tight-fisted recruitment.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has been nominated for Premier League Manager of the SeasonCredit: PA
Howe says he will take a leaf out of former owner Mike Ashley’s transfer manualCredit: PA
Boss Howe does admit, however, that one of his key priorities during the summer window is to lower the average age of the Newcastle squad.
Ashley infamously put a block on most deals for players aged in their late-20s or 30s because it reduced the re-sale value of his assets.
Howe’s philosophy is more to do with football welfare than economics.
He said: “I am aware that we have a number of players who are of a certain age — 30 or above — and you have got to be careful.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re not weighted in one direction because that can have a negative impact on performances.”
During the January transfer window, Howe signed Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Chris Wood — who are all the wrong side of 30.
Key Toon stars Callum Wilson, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Dubravka and Matt Ritchie are also in their 30s.
And ahead of Monday’s visit of Arsenal, Howe said: “I think January was a specific window in that we felt we needed experience and Premier League-ready players.
“We couldn’t take a chance on younger ones with different levels who would take time to adapt to the team.
“But that situation has changed now.
“We need to look at the age of the squad because — before you know it — if you are not careful then you can become imbalanced.
“And that’s something we need to consider going forward.”
Whoever does arrive at St James’ Park, Howe wants to do his transfer business early.
He added: “We are mentally ready to go.
“There’s been a lot of work with the recruitment team and myself to know exactly what direction we want to go in.
“We are going to be active but deals are very unpredictable and so much business is often in the hands of the selling club.”