What’s next for Newcastle United?

Newcastle United have come a long way since Steve Bruce was sacked following the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur back in October ⁠— a loss that left the new richest club in the world, following their Saudi-led takeover just a couple of days before, rooted close to the bottom of the Premier League table.

Of course, the arrival of mega-rich owners was never going to be an instant fix in the North East. Even with Eddie Howe now at the St. James’ Park reins, the Magpies continued to struggle — and suffering the dreaded drop still looked like a real possibility as far as the Premiership relegation odds were concerned.

But, with the help of a huge transfer war chest and several inspiring arrivals in the January window, like the fantastic Bruno Guimarães and Kieran Trippier, Howe and Newcastle have managed to turn their fortunes around — pulling well clear of the relegation zone and even climbing into the top half of the table thanks to a good run of form!

Amazingly, in terms of results, the Magpies have been one of the best teams in the league since the turn of the year. In fact, having won 10 of their last 16 league games, they have well exceeded all expectations — while impressively losing on just four occasions, three of which have come against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Liverpool.

But as the end of the season approaches and Newcastle wind down towards the summer with difficult games against title hopefuls Manchester City, top four-chasing Arsenal, and Burnley, who are fighting tooth and nail for safety, the big question is what should be expected from this group of players next season?

It’s not going to be a meteoric rise to the top of English football for Newcastle United — unless they somehow manage to bring in players like Kylian Mbappé during the summer transfer window. But, while they certainly won’t be expected to fight for the title or even top four, they have arguably set the bar high for next season.

The short-term goals asked of Howe when he succeeded Bruce back in October were probably to steer the club clear of relegation this season and break into the top half by the end of the next campaign. However, he now appears to be well ahead of schedule and that could mean he is asked more of next year.

With the backing of the board and the arrival of many more fresh faces during the off-season, giving Howe’s side another refresh, there’s no reason why Newcastle can’t push for the European football places next season though — we’re talking about the Conference League and Europa League spots at this stage, of course.

Given that they are just nine points behind West Ham United in seventh at the time of writing, it certainly doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect, what should be, a much stronger Newcastle team to push on up the table to those positions by next the end of next season.

The task for Howe is getting his side to fire on all cylinders from the very beginning of the season and finding that level of consistency needed to compete towards the right end of the table. If sides like West Ham, Wolves and Brighton can be in contention for Europe, then so can Newcastle!