The Newcastle players have set themselves an ambitious target for next season in the Premier League as the nouveau riche club prepare for a big summer transfer window
Image: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)
Newcastle stars have pledged to aim for European qualification next season.
Toon boss Eddie Howe has played it cool, insisting the Geordies are on a steady rebuilding program that would peak in 5-8 years, despite being funded by a super-rich Saudi sovereign wealth fund. But Brazilian midfielder and Player of the Season Joelinton has eluded the private goal of Howe’s revived squad, which Howe wanted to keep secret lest it become a liability.
United boss IS, however, impressed that his squad have shared high goals en route to Burnley. Howe says he will require the club to have a decent crack at the cup competitions and compete with the best of others in the Premier League.
Howe will have a transfer budget of around £60m plus revenue from player sales, with the ownership group happily aiming for steady growth rather than an immediate cash injection. Howe said: “Joe is a good guy and he’s positive and upbeat. And I think we should be. I have no problem with that and I want my team to be confident and ambitious.
“You have to believe in big things and we have to set goals internally. I’d like those things to stay internal rather than external because we also have to manage expectations. We don’t want to play under an unnecessary burden or pressure that puts us with special needs.” I would prefer to keep things in-house.”
Howe has pointed to other clubs who have spent hundreds of millions chasing the elite – without citing Everton – and said many got it wrong and wasted money too quickly. Instead, he will continue to build a “culture” based on strong team spirit and good characters, with no commitments made unless personalities show the right attitude. Signing a forward is a priority with Ivan Toney, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Darwen Nunez high on their list.
When asked about progress next season, Howe said: “I’d like to do well in the cup competitions. We will take them seriously next year and we will be happy to do well with them. Improvement is key and I know that’s not necessarily a line you want to hear, you want a headline response but I can’t give you that.
“We took over a team that was in a really difficult position, January was important and we improved the squad, we need to improve the squad again, we can’t stand still. But we compete in a league so difficult that we have no divine right to be better than others. We have to earn that.”
Newcastle’s turnover is a third of elite clubs, meaning they can’t match the wages and fees of top five or top six clubs, even with Saudi support, citing profitability rules. But Wolves and Leicester, who are establishing themselves near the top ahead of the Geordies, are not out of reach. Howe added: “You could pick individual clubs and say ‘why can’t we?’ And I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that. But there are clubs on a journey that have been on the road much longer than we have and have invested huge sums of money to get where they are.
“There are also a few clubs among us who have invested huge sums and that shows that money doesn’t guarantee you anything. It’s all about the quality and your work and that includes the recruitment and also the culture that you have. “We’re trying to assert ourselves at the club. Hopefully we’re on a good path but we have to stay on that path.
“We spent a lot of money in January and each window of how much you spend knocks on your ability to then spend in the next window. So money was made available in January obviously because of our league position and we urgently needed to find a way out. I would say I don’t think many of the players we were linked with in January were real targets. A lot of wrong information was spread about players we bid for.”
Joelinton targets Brazil World Cup squad with support from Newcastle boss Eddie Howe. The £40m star has morphed into an attacking midfield enforcer this season, helping the Geordies to Premier League safety. Joelinton emerged as Newcastle’s player of the season after two difficult years in which he was considered a striker who could barely score.
Howe had a special chat with Joelinton to uncover his ambitions and is campaigning for him to win a place in Qatar alongside team-mate Bruno Guimaraes, Brazil playmaker. Howe said: “I think he can go all the way. The national team should be a very clear goal for him – I think he’s good enough to make his way. With a World Cup year, that’s a brilliant thing for him to look at. But first and foremost I have to focus on the day-to-day business, and that’s Newcastle, and make sure he comes back and is in our team.
“We spoke about his thoughts. It’s nice to get to know the players in every way and what their dreams and ambitions are, it’s important for me to know that and he’s a motivated boy. You can see that by the way he is .” plays, so let’s hope he gets there.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/newcastle-star-lets-slip-secret-27031695 Newcastle star reveals secret destination Eddie Howe wanted to keep secret