Why Newcastle must add more than one defender to their ranks this summer

The Magpies need to sign at least two defenders before the window closes, given their current options.

Newcastle United look set to continue their spending spree, with an £8.5 million deal for versatile defender Chancel Mbemba rumoured to be nearing completion, according to The Guardian. The proposed transfer would take the club's total spending past the £30 million mark with plenty of time to spare until the summer window closes on Tuesday 1st September.

The 20-year-old is deployed at centre-back or right-back for current club Anderlecht and will be a welcome addition given the lack of top-quality defenders that The Toon currently have at their disposal.

Newcastle must now recruit further in this position if they are to transform the fortunes of a defence that leaked 63 Premier League goals last season. To put that into context, only bottom side Queens Park Rangers let in more.

The current playing squad includes only four senior central defenders, three of whom are currently sitting out pre-season preparations with injuries. A makeshift defence of midfielders and youngsters resulted in an embarrassing 4-3 loss to Portland Timberwolves reserves in their final US pre-season tour game.

Despite a poor 2015, current captain Fabricio Coloccini is still Newcastle’s best central defender on his day, but at 33-years-old and with his influence at the club waning, a long-term replacement must be brought in. His partner for most of last year, 31-year-old Mike Williamson is strongly rumoured to be on his way out after a dreadful season saw him culpable for many of United's defensive lapses.

Steven Taylor will turn 30 in January and has struggled with long-term injuries. The former academy product has made only 20 league appearances in the past two seasons.

Both Daryl Janmaat (right-back) and Paul Dummett (left-back/centre-back) showed promise last year and will be a big part of the coming season. Jamaal Lascelles (centre-back) has returned from his loan to Nottingham Forest but at 21-years-old and without Premier League experience, he is more of one for the future than one for the present.

This leaves boss Steve McClaren with a task of bringing in at least one, if not two more, top level defenders who are able to slot straight into the starting XI.

Anything less could spell disaster for The Magpies, who now have the ability to score goals following the arrivals of striker Aleksandar Mitrović and playmaker Georginio Wijnaldum, but are still at risk to leaking them with such a fragile back-line.

Without competition for places, Newcastle’s defence floundered and one signing will not change this. Should further suitable signings materialise, there is no reason why The Toon cannot challenge for a top 10 place this season.

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