Howe inspired the turnaround that saw the Magpies climb from the foot of the Premier League table during the 2021/22 season and finish creditably in eleventh place.


The left-back, who pulled on a Newcastle shirt from 2007 to 2011, retired from professional football in 2017 after a solitary season with Real Zaragoza and recovered from a brain tumour.



Enrique is a fan of the Magpies’ playing style under Howe and believes they could finish in one of the European places at the end of the current campaign.


He reiterated that getting Howe on board was a masterstroke from the Newcastle hierarchy and praised the manager for his part in a remarkable escape from relegation last season.



The 36-year-old noted that realistically the Magpies would be targeting a finish in the top half of the table but with their current squad and if they are able to continue playing as they are, European qualification is a possibility.


The way they’re playing then they could sneak into a European place. For me, Eddie Howe is probably the best signing Newcastle have made”, Enrique was quoted as saying by Chronicle Live.



Obviously, the signings that have come with him have been unbelievable since January.


“I don’t remember exactly how many points behind Newcastle were, but it looked impossible when he first joined the club.


But he did it and not only did they survive but they finished in a really good position last season.


“I believe the real target for Newcastle, and they’ll already know this, but top ten would be a good place to finish.


Every season I believe they will grow and improve further little by little.


“But with the team they have right now, I do believe they could compete for the European places because why not, they’re playing very well.”


Newcastle are presently in eleventh place in the Premier League table after six games, with one win, four draws and a loss at Anfield.