By Noel Whelan

25th Nov, 2021 | 1:05pm

Howe told to sign 'experienced' star in January after surprise Newcastle source update - pundit

Newcastle must bolster their rearguard in January if they are to adopt a more attacking philosophy under Eddie Howe, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Magpies have been “really poor defensively” in recent weeks, including in their 3-3 draw against Brentford last week.

Newcastle registered 23 shots against the Bees on Saturday (November 20th) and had 53% possession.

This site revealed on November 11th that Howe’s priority in January is to recruit two centre-backs and a central midfielder proven at the highest level.

A Newcastle source has since told Football Insider (23rd November) that the club will only make loan signings in the mid-season window.

The news comes as a surprise to supporters eager to see their club exploit their new-found riches.

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Whelan insisted improvements to the spine of the team could help Newcastle transform their defensive fortunes.

“They will have to delve into that market in January and bring in some experience,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“They need not just to bring in defenders but also address the midfield. Howe needs to be controlling that area in this relegation battle.

“Howe really needs to reinforce that spine of the side and become really difficult to break down. They need more of an aggressive mentality.

“The stats don’t lie, they have been really poor defensively as of late and we saw that again against Brentford.

“Sloppy goals to give away, bad mistakes. If they can take those out of the equation, they have a great chance of winning football matches – I’m sure.

“January is a massive window. They can’t afford to have to score four to win games.”

Newcastle have conceded the most goals in the Premier League this term (27).

The Magpies sit bottom of the league.

In other news, Dr Dan has tipped Newcastle to complete ‘world class’ hire with ‘global experience’ to replace Lee Charnley.