Newcastle United are looking for midfielders to help fill the void left by Joelinton after his injury blow, with a “very good footballer” being lined up as an option.
Newcastle suffer Joelinton injury blow
The Magpies had big dreams going into the 2023/24 season, with hopes of another top-four finish in the Premier League, not to mention looking to go far in the Champions League. Instead, their campaign has turned into a huge disappointment, and while performances and results have often been nowhere near good enough, a constant stream of injuries haven’t helped.
Newcastle have had so many important players missing for long periods of time, including Sven Botman, Dan Burn and Harvey Barnes – Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension hasn’t helped matters, too – and they are now having to make do without another key individual in Joelinton.
The Brazilian could even miss the rest of the season after suffering a groin issue, and his physicality and quality are set to be a massive loss in the coming months. In order to cover his absence, Howe may wish to delve into the transfer market, and one new potential target has emerged.
Newcastle eyeing Philip Billing move
According to The Daily Mail, Newcastle are interested in signing Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing, as they look to make up for the big loss of Joelinton.
“Howe, who has transformed Joelinton into a Brazil international, rates him as one of his most influential players and his loss this season has seen Newcastle draw up a shortlist of midfield replacements. Mail Sport understands that includes Bournemouth’s Philip Billing, who Howe signed for the Cherries for £15m from Huddersfield in 2019. The Denmark midfielder, 27, scored seven times last season and is enjoying another fine campaign.”
There are certainly similarities between Billing and Joelinton, given their tall stature and ability to dominate midfield battles in a physical sense, so he could be a shrewd addition by Newcastle in the January transfer window. The 27-year-old has been hailed by former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil, with the now Wolves boss calling him a “very good footballer”.
This season, the Dane has two goals and assists apiece to his name in the Premier League, showing that he can chip in with end product, but he has also averaged 1.5 tackles per game, highlighting his ability off the ball, too.
Billing may feel that this is the right time in his career to move to a bigger club, testing himself at a club like Newcastle, and it is easy to envisage him playing a similar role to Joelinton, possibly making him a tailor-made replacement.
At 27, he could well be experienced enough not to be fazed by such a move, but he also has enough time on his side to make an impact at St James’ Park for a number of years, making this one to watch.