Gary Neville sends transfer warning to Newcastle in hope Howe doesn’t suffer Lampard fate

Gary Neville has warned Newcastle United’s owners they must balance their own ambition and try to keep their measured approach going into the summer transfer window. The former Manchester United defender says the Magpies should aim to bring in three or four quality players that tie in with Eddie Howe’s current ethos at St. James’ Park.

Neville draws comparisons between both Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in 2019 as a signpost of how quickly things can unravel at the top. The Reds are hot on the heels of Newcastle in the race for Champions League football, albeit the Magpies are in control of their own destiny and have a game in hand on the Scousers.

The Toon are widely expected to invest into their playing squad again this summer, with the restraints of Financial Fair Play much looser if they are to qualify for the Champions League. Liverpool themselves will want to be back in a position where they challenge for the Premier League title, but need a different kind of approach in the summer transfer window.

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Both clubs have been linked with moves for the likes of Neymar and Jude Bellingham, but Neville believes those types of players are still out of Newcastle’s reach.

Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast, he said: “If they’re a 25, 26-year-old at £100million, that player is probably going to go to another club in Europe at this moment in time. You might end up getting offered a 32-year-old at that sort of money and Eddie might think no.

“Eddie and Dan Ashworth are going to have to be strong I think. They’re going to have to be strong with the ownership who may want an acceleration and say ‘Hang on we’re in the Champions League now, we want this, this and this.’

“I think three, maybe four, really good additions to this squad, and have another season where they get into the Champions League potentially or challenge for Champions League and challenge for a trophy like they did this year in the Carabao Cup, is the right approach. I think don’t go from being measured and think ‘right we’ve got there’ and all of a sudden go and blow everything and your principles of what you’ve done so far.

“I think it’s a really interesting thing here. With Jurgen Klopp, he can handle the star players, he’s done that with Liverpool players over the past few years and the club can handle it.

“Liverpool have still got that credit in the bank from winning Champions Leagues and Premier Leagues. They only had one bad season this year and they still could get in the Champions League.

“I still think from that point of view, Jurgen Klopp can attract the big players. Bellingham has been mentioned and players like that. It’s a really interesting time for both clubs. One really needs backing beyond belief [Liverpool] and one needs backing with some measure.”

The Newcastle boss is under no illusion of the job he has at hand, having already spoken about his desire to win trophies at St. James’ Park and write his name in the history books. However, Neville believes the Toon boss could find himself in a similar position to Lampard at Chelsea in 2019, where the job became less enjoyable.

Neville added: “They have to continue to progress, Eddie knows that he’s in a job where he’ll have to progress because of the ownership and the investment. But, it’s how they progress.

“I don’t think Eddie Howe would enjoy it as much. I got the impression in the first season at Chelsea that Frank Lampard really enjoyed it when they had the transfer embargo and they had a group of players that he knew were stable.

“Obviously some of the academy players were being brought through, at the time, Roman Abramovich wanted to do that because of the success they had in the youth cup. I think there was a belief and all of a sudden, the season after, it wasn’t as enjoyable for Frank.

“I’ve got a feeling Eddie might reach that point at some point. I don’t think Dan Ashworth, the type of character I worked with at England, would want that either so it’s a really important balance between ‘we’ve got to accelerate, we’ve got to progress and get there, but we’ve also got to do it in a way that doesn’t destroy what’s here already and is classy, whilst also not looking like they haven’t got ambition.’

“That’s a balance that they’ve got to try and get. I think they’ve got it right so far here, I don’ think they’ve got it wrong, but I can imagine that scenario. Those discussions will be happening I’m absolutely sure and certain about that.”


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