By Noel Whelan

4th Feb, 2023 | 1:00pm

Eddie Howe could be forced into 'massive' tactical change after Newcastle United development - pundit

Noel Whelan has suggested Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe could be forced to change formation after the “massive” loss of suspended midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Magpies don’t have another player similar to the 25-year-old.

Guimaraes will miss Premier League games against West Ham, Bournemouth, and Liverpool after his horror tackle on Southampton’s Samuel Edozie was punished with a straight red card on Tuesday (31 January).

Speaking in his pre-West Ham press conference (as quoted by club media, 3 February), Howe admitted his side will have to “readjust” and “find another way” without the influence of the Brazil international.

As quoted by The Athletic (3 February), the Magpies boss also talked up the chances of 20-year-old Elliot Anderson starting his first-ever Premier League game during Guimaraes’ absence.

Joelinton could also be moved from his left-wing berth back into central midfield after impressing in an unfamiliar role during Howe’s tenure.

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Guimaraes has notched three goals and three assists in 17 league outings as Newcastle sit third in the Premier League.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Losing the influence of Guimaraes at this point in the season is massive.

“He’s someone who keeps the midfield flowing, he’s aggressive, he’s creative, he can score.

“He stands out like a sore thumb in that Newcastle midfield area. It’s a loss of continuity and consistency.

“He’s vital for Eddie Howe. Just having him in the teamsheet gets the players up, and especially gets the fans up.

“It will be interesting to see if Eddie Howe changes systems to try and protect his midfield because Guimaraes has been integral. They don’t have anyone else like him.”

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