Why centre-back must take priority for Newcastle in January window

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With money for Steve McClaren to spend, flaws in the heart of defence must be addressed.

The Magpies’ have conceded 31 goals in 16 league games so far, the joint-most in the Premier League along with newcomers Bournemouth.

Although Newcastle recruited 21-year-old centre-back Chancel Mbemba in the summer, another player in this position is sorely needed given the defensive frailties shown by aging captain, Fabricio Coloccini.

There has been gradual decline in the quality of the Argentinian’s performances since being included in the PFA Team of the Year of 2011/2012. 

Turning 34-years-old next month, Coloccini has looked every bit his age with erratic displays which have cost the North-East club dearly over the past eighteen months.

Newcastle’s captain has had his loyalty rightfully called into question after his move to hometown club San Lorenzo fell apart in 2013 after being blocked by then boss, Alan Pardew.

With his career nearing the end, Coloccini stated he would like to retire in Argentina, as per The Chronicle, and now may be the time to go so that Newcastle can introduce an improved replacement.

Newcastle lack the necessary depth within their current squad at centre-back with both Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson’s futures in doubt.

Hometown lad Taylor is almost certain to leave when his contract expires in the summer, whilst 32-year-old Williamson, who was recalled from a loan spell at Wolves due to injuries, has been nearing a permanent exit since last year.

24-year-old Joel Matip has been linked with Newcastle in recent months and the club may have to fight off stiff competition from Liverpool if they are to sign the Schalke and Cameroon star.

With contacts in France, it’s not a surprise to see The Magpies’ linked to £5 million rated Lorient defender Lamine Kone, reported by the Daily Mail, but again face a battle to win his signature against a host of other Premier League clubs including relegation rivals Sunderland, Norwich and Swansea.

It may be the case that head scout Graham Carr must go out and find more than one centre-back this January and with Euro 2016 in June, there are plenty of quality players looking for regular first team football to boost their international hopes.

With the largest Premier League television rights deal of £5.14 billion set to begin next season, failure to recruit defenders could cost Newcastle big in May.

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