Newcastle dubbed firm ‘title contenders’ who can go for broke by adding exciting attacker in January

Eddie Howe, Newcastle United, October 2022

Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan insists Newcastle United are in contention for a history-making first Premier League title this season, especially given they can reinforce their squad in the January window.

Eddie Howe’s men picked up their eighth win of the campaign last weekend when they saw off Chelsea and they have only lost one of their 15 Premier League outings so far.

That leaves Newcastle in third place, two points behind Manchester City and seven behind surprise leaders Arsenal.

But with the Magpies tipped to be backed again by their Saudi owners in January, Wheland believes anything is possible this season.

He also cited Leicester’s incredible triumph 2015-16 season as to why a shock winner can emerge again.

Whelanmd told Football Insider: “Right now, you’ve got to say they’re title contenders.

“If you’re up there, winning consecutive games, and sitting that close to Man City – you’ve got to say they’re in the conversation.

“You can’t ignore the table.

“Will they win it? No, is my opinion.

“But Leicester have done it, so history tells you that Newcastle should have great confidence that they can do it.

“All Eddie Howe will want is for his team to stay competitive in every game, and that belief will just grow and grow as long as they keep winning games.”

January window could be pivotal to Newcastle hopes

Adding more quality additions to what they already have will be key to where Newcastle eventually finish the season.

Much-coveted Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk remains a major target. However, Arsenal also hold a firm interest in the exciting attacker.

The player has already spoken about his desire to join the Gunners, but his asking price will cause a problem.

Having been previously valued at £52million, Shakhtar director of football Dario Srna now suggests the club will not accept any less than €100m (£87.5m).

While that sort of figure is likely to deter Arsenal, ambitious Newcastle are a different matter.

The only potential issue would be how paying that sort of fee could impact Financial Fair Play regulations.

READ MORE: Newcastle open negotiations with club and agent ahead of midfield signing that could cost up to £12m