Is it Worth a Punt on Newcastle Making the Top Four Next Season?
Ever since Newcastle United was taken over by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, people have been speculating over how long it will take for them to enjoy the same success as other oil-rich clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. The Magpies are now the world’s wealthiest club, and they are expected to splash the cash on major signings in the summer.
Newcastle has enjoyed a resurgence under Eddie Howe, with the help of a few fresh faces bought in the January transfer market. Their form under the new manager suggests they can push up the league next season but is it too early to stake on them making the top four?
Competition for the Top Four is Fiercer Than Ever
Aside from Manchester City and Liverpool, who are miles ahead of the competition in the Premier League winner odds this season with odds of 4/9 and 13/8 for the outright win, respectively, the battle for the other top four places has been closer than ever this term. Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and West Ham United have all been battling it out for those coveted European spots, and it has proven to be an intriguing subplot to the 2021-22 campaign.
The fact that so many teams have been fighting for these positions all season highlights how there isn’t so much of a gulf in class between the sides directly below City and Liverpool in the table. Newcastle may be eyeing up this turmoil and thinking that it could be the perfect time to enter the fray as well.
Newcastle Have Made Strides Forward Under Howe
When Howe took over as Newcastle’s manager back in November 2021, the club had picked up five draws and six losses from their first 11 league games of the season. It took a while for the former Bournemouth coach to make an impact, but he soon transformed players like Joelinton and Fabian Schar. He also managed to integrate January signings well, with the acquisition of Bruno Guimarães looking like one of the best buys of the season.
Since the turn of the year, Newcastle have made massive leaps forward and pulled themselves out of the relegation mire. Howe picked up vital wins against fellow strugglers Leeds United and Everton, as well as a great victory over Aston Villa. Recently, Howe’s charges have looked even more comfortable, with decisive defeats of Wolves, Leicester City, and Crystal Palace.
Success May Take a Bit More Time
Newcastle are aware that, despite having almost unlimited funds, they need to go about things gradually and build a strong side over several seasons. They want to follow the Manchester City model, which paid dividends with a Premier League title three years after Sheikh Mansour bought the club in 2008.
A league title might be out of the question for Newcastle for some time, but a top-four finish may not be. It would be wise for bettors to keep an eye on the club’s summer activity before staking on them to break into Europe. But, with the war chest available and the form under Howe, it is certainly not impossible.