Ex-Premier League forward Kevin Phillips has urged Newcastle United to prioritise signing two defenders over Liverpool forward Divock Origi.
The attacker was first linked with a switch to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals last week.
The 26-year-old has played 165 times for Liverpool since 2015. He has played eight times this term but only two of these outings have come in the league.
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Newcastle are still looking for a win in the Premier League this campaign. They have six points from their 13 outings.
The Magpies face Norwich City and Burnley in their next two games. They are expected to be busy in the upcoming winter transfer window.
Phillips has told Football Insider that Newcastle are “crying out for” two defenders in January:
“Origi would be a good signing but I really don’t see that being an area of concern,” Phillips said.
“It would cost them a lot and I think it’d be hard to sign him midway through the season. Liverpool haven’t got the biggest squad. They will be reliant on the likes of Origi when the African Cup of Nations comes around in January.
“Let’s be honest, Newcastle are crying out for two defenders at least.
“If they want to stay in the Premier League they need to sure up that defence. That has to be the priority when the window opens. Defenders are crucial if Newcastle are to stay up.”
Alan Shearer believes Newcastle must beat Norwich and Burnley to have a chance of staying up:
“There are no ifs or buts about it – Newcastle’s season is really all about their next two games, Norwich on Tuesday and then Burnley on Saturday,” Shearer wrote.
“They are both at St James’ Park, and they are both must-win matches for Eddie Howe’s side.
“But two wins are imperative because that would at least put them in touch with the teams just above the drop zone, with an extremely tough run of games to follow.
“Otherwise, Newcastle are facing a scenario where they are well adrift come the start of January, which could affect the calibre of players who arrive when the transfer window opens.
“Not many top players will want to commit to a team who, by then, might look a lot like they are going to be relegated.”