EDDIE HOWE has admitted that the long-term injuries suffered by Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles will affect Newcastle United’s transfer plans for the summer.

Botman suffered a cruciate-ligament injury last month that will sideline him for around nine months, ruling him out of the remainder of the current campaign, the whole of pre-season and at least the first couple of months of next season.

To compound the damage caused by the loss of the Dutch defender, his fellow centre-half, Lascelles, will be out of action for a similar spell after also sustaining an ACL injury during Saturday’s win over West Ham.

With both central defenders set to be sidelined for a chunk of next season, Newcastle will have to sign at least one new centre-half when the transfer window reopens later this summer, with Howe admitting the club have been redrawing their recruitment plans in the last few days.


The Newcastle head coach said: “When you’re missing players for that length of time, then I think naturally that will impact what you’re doing. You have to look at the situation you’re faced with.

“The good news is that they miss quite a chunk of the summer, so I don’t think it’ll be too far into the season when they’ll be missing.

“But they’re still going to be missing a big chunk of that early part of the season, and then of course it’s a question of how quickly they can get back to their best form. It’s two big players for us, and big characters, that we’re certainly going to miss.”

One of the other key priorities this summer will be to hold on to the key players who have performed so well during the current campaign.

Alexander Isak is at the top of that list, with the Swede, who has scored three goals in his last two matches, attracting increasingly strong interest from Arsenal.

Howe said: “I think you have to try to keep your best players. Whether you’re able to do that continually, with the rules that are in place at the moment, that’s always unsure.

“I’m not in control of that, but from my perspective, to be the team that we want to be, we have to keep our best players and keep improving.

“For me, Alex has limitless potential. You’ve got someone who has had really good experiences in his career. He’s travelled as a young player and had some experience of different leagues.

“I think he’s come to us at a really good time of his career where we can help him, develop his talents and give him a platform to show how good he is. I think at the moment, he’s building in confidence all the time. He’s a high-level player and we’re delighted to have him with us.”