With their superb 4-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side will guarantee themselves Champions League football next season with a win over Leicester City in their next Premier League fixture.
The Magpies have been an absolute joy to watch again in 2022/23, with Howe’s progressive way of understanding and playing the game fully in evidence.
Being backed by club owners the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has clearly helped the club continue to move forward, but Howe and his backroom team deserve the credit for moulding the team into what we see today.
Of course, Champions League football brings with it many challenges, not least in terms of squad strengthening.
Though Newcastle will be an easier sell to players and agents than they were 12 months ago, it still doesn’t necessarily follow that the north east giants will land all of their top targets.
To that end, CaughtOffside pundit, Stan Collymore, has suggested who Howe might want to bring in if he isn’t able to get a deal for Kieran Tierney over the line.
“In terms of who Eddie Howe should target if he misses out on Tierney, I think Lucas Digne would be a great alternative,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.
“Alex Moreno has come in at Aston Villa and has made himself Unai Emery’s first-choice left-back so you would think Digne could be a player that moves on in the summer.
“He’s a senior international that has represented France on 46 occasions so he has a wealth of experience. He’s also played for some big clubs and isn’t yet 30 years old so he could be a decent option for the Magpies to consider. Howe would certainly improve him too.”
Given Digne’s experience at Paris Saint-Germain, Roma and Barcelona, the Frenchman could be a solid addition for a club that is clearly going places.
His marauding runs have become a trademark, and his accuracy in his delivery would be manna from heaven for whomever Howe decides to have as his centre-forward from next season.
Importantly, Digne knows the Premier League and at the right price, a deal for him could be a no brainer.