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It was hardly a surprise to see Newcastle splash the cash in January as they endeavour to drag themselves away from the dotted line, but the signing of one particular Brazilian lynchpin headlined the Magpies’ winter business during the last knockings of the window.
Despite persistent links with Champions League-chasing Arsenal, Bruno Guimaraes made the move to Tyneside from Lyon in a real statement from intent from Newcastle, who have also bolstered their defensive ranks with the signings of Dan Burn and Matt Targett.
Eddie Howe would have ideally wanted to boost his attacking ranks further after welcoming Chris Wood to the club, but they may not need to worry if Jonjo Shelvey continues to make the net ripple, as the midfielder’s free kick sunk Leeds to hand Newcastle just their second win of the league season on January 22.
The Magpies still have plenty of work to do if they are to avoid a humiliating demotion to the Championship, but Howe’s 19th-placed crop are now just one point below Norwich City with a game in hand, so the new arrivals cannot make an impact quickly enough.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Newcastle have now strung together a three-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, and Howe will hope to see his defensive additions rectify their defensive home woes, with 23 goals shipped the second-worst record on familiar territory this term
Newcastle continue their fight to avoid the drop without Jamal Lewis, Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Callum Wilson or Federico Fernandez, but the latter is not thought to be too far away from a comeback.
Joelinton and Paul Dummett are fresh concerns for Howe after being forced off in the win over Leed – although the former could feature – so Targett and Guimaraes may be thrown in straight away for their debuts here.
Jamaal Lascelles was another casualty of the Elland Road win with an apparent hamstring issue, which could see Burn also drafted into a new-look Magpies team if he shakes off a foot concern.
Meanwhile, Everton were dealt an early blow against Brentford as Ben Godfrey came off for goalscorer Mina after just 14 minutes due to a hamstring problem, which could rule him out for at least a month.
Godfrey joins Tom Davies, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph in the medical bay, and Lampard is hopeful that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be able to feature in some capacity despite taking a knock to the knee in training.
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Alli, Van de Beek and Anwar El Ghazi are all ready to return after being cup-tied for the Brentford win, but it would not be a surprise to see all three only make the bench as Lampard refuses to fix what is not broken.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Shelvey, Guimaraes; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Holgate, Keane, Mina; Coleman, Allan, Gomes, Mykolenko; Townsend, Richarlison, Gray