News of a potential takeover at Newcastle United could hardly have been received with more fervor and excitement.
The Toon Army is tired of Mike Ashley’s regime. Their desperation for a new owner runs deep. The Geordie fans have waited a long time for this, and recent reports suggest it’s finally happening.
Mohammed Bin Salman seems set to take the club off Mike Ashley’s hands. The Saudi crown prince would be the richest Premier League club owner by quite some distance. The £300 million takeover’s terms have been discussed and now depends on the Premier League.
Is a Rafa return on the cards? Would they be better off letting Bruce stay? Should they get Pochettino in? The speculation is endless but expected.
Transfer rumors have been swirling ever since news of the takeover. Newcastle have been linked with many big names and some frankly unrealistic ones.
I believe that with four or five “realistic” signings worth about €170 million, and the right manager, Newcastle could challenge for the top six next season, possibly the top four.
With these signings in mind, I assembled what Newcastle United’s XI should look like next season.
Goalkeeper – André Onana
Ajax’s shot-stopper has been brilliant in recent seasons. The Cameroonian international has been linked to Chelsea and Barcelona and has already stated his desire to take a new step in his career.
While those moves would certainly seem more attractive, a move to Newcastle would benefit both him and the club.
Onana would certainly be guaranteed more playing time at Newcastle than at Barcelona where Marc Andre Ter Stegen doesn’t look to be slowing down.
At Chelsea, he’d have to compete with Kepa Arrizabalaga. Having two goalkeepers of such quality would certainly leave one dissatisfied. Considering the amount of money Chelsea spent to get Kepa in, they’d be more likely to stick with him.
Onana is worth about €36 million and would be a worthy goalkeeper to safeguard the Newcastle revolution.
Right-Back – DeAndre Yedlin
At right-back I’ve gone for DeAndre Yedlin. In DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle possesses a supreme athlete, lightning-quick across the ground. He’s got a good engine on him as well, going back and forth on the pitch as required.
The American defender is just 26 years old. He’s got Premier League experience and has been at the club for a couple of years now, so he’ll understand what this means for the club. Newcastle need not look elsewhere for a right-back just yet.
Centre-Back – Jamaal Lascelles (C)
In the heart of the defence, we have Jamaal Lascelles. Newcastle’s bullish captain is already a fan favorite. His hard crunching performances have endeared the Geordie faithful to him and the centre-half has been a fixture in the Newcastle XI over the past few seasons.
At Just 26, the Englishman has plenty of time left to lead Newcastle United into the future and he could become their very own Vincent Kompany.
Centre-Back – Tyrone Mings
Partnering up with Jamaal Lascelles in this potential XI, I’ve gone for Tyrone Mings. The deal makes sense for all parties involved. Mings would get a move up and Villa would get a reasonable fee for the player who is worth around €23 million.
Mings would complement Lascelles quite nicely. He’s tall, strong, great on the ball and most notably, he’s left-footed. With Mings and Lascelles, Newcastle would have a potentially solid partnership at the heart of the defence.
Left-Back – Danny Rose / Jetro Willems
At left-back Newcastle have two options they could explore. Both Rose and Willems are on loan at the club.
At 29, Danny Rose is still a great left-back and is no stranger to big occasions having played in the Champions League for Spurs. He could provide some much-needed experience and know-how to the club.
Jetro Willems, on the other hand, is an incredible athlete. His ability to get up and down the field coupled with his ability on the ball makes him a viable option at left-back for Newcastle.
Signing both of them would be ideal, football seasons are long, and injuries do occur. If I had to pick one, I’d stick with Rose, but they should definitely keep both.
Central-Midfield – Jonjo Shelvey
In the heart of midfield, I’ve gone for the mercurial character that is Jonjo Shelvey. The Englishman’s talent is there for all to see. It’s often his temperament and commitment that let him down.
He’s great on the ball, and he possesses the ability to play both short and long passes effortlessly. His current teammate, Matt Richie, believes Shelvey is good enough to play for Barcelona if he had “his head screwed on”.
“He’s that good. He’s got everything.” Ritchie told In The Box YouTube channel. Though flattering, these comments are far from untrue and Jonjo Shelvey could become the man that makes the new Newcastle tick.
Central-Midfield – Arturo Vidal
Next in this potential XI, I’ve gone for Arturo Vidal. As a marquee signing, Vidal ticks all the boxes. He’s a born winner, has played for some of the best clubs in Europe, and at 32, he still looks in great physical condition.
Vidal would bring a much-needed winning mentality to Newcastle, as well as heart, and of course, publicity. A big name for a club looking to get back to the big time, Vidal should settle in quickly in the Premier League and help Newcastle in their cause.
Having already played for Juventus, fans can at least be sure that Vidal looks great in white and black stripes.
Central-Midfield – The Longstaff Brothers
For the final piece of the midfield jigsaw, I’ve gone for not one, but two players. Sean and Matty Longstaff are Newcastle boys through and through. They’ve got different qualities, but both of them can play alongside Shelvey and Vidal in this potential Newcastle side.
Both of them have the potential to become important players for Newcastle, with Matty, in particular, showing a lack of fear on big occasions.
On his debut, he scored the winner for the Magpies against Manchester United in Scholesesque fashion, smashing the ball into the net from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Both potential fan favorites, the Longstaff brothers could become integral parts of Newcastle’s midfield for next season, and the seasons beyond.
Right-Wing – Allan Saint-Maximin
Moving into the attack, we’ve got the dynamic Allan Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman is a joy to watch on his best days and he’s shown his class in brief glimpses since signing for Newcastle last summer.
He’s quick, strong and he’s got a bag full of tricks he uses to go past defenders. Saint-Maximin certainly has the qualities required to play for a top side and with a bit of consistency, could become a Newcastle sensation.
Center-Forward – Moussa Dembélé
Leading the line in the new-look Newcastle, I’ve gone for Lyon’s Moussa Dembele. Strikers at Newcastle will always have a lot to live up to. Alan Shearer is the Premier League’s record scorer, and a Newcastle United legend.
However, Lyon’s Moussa Dembélé is no stranger to finding the back of the net. He scored 16 league goals in 24 starts for the French club before the season was halted, a decent return.
According to Bleacher Report, Moussa Dembélé is being considered by Newcastle United. The Frenchman would need to adjust quickly to make his mark in the Premier League, but he could well be the striker Newcastle need.
Left-Wing – Phillipe Coutinho
Rounding off this potential XI is Brazillian superstar, Phillipe Coutinho. According to The Daily Star, Newcastle are in the race to sign Coutinho from Barcelona.
Valued at €56 million, the Brazillian playmaker is a player with whom the Newcastle fans would be familiar with. He enjoyed undoubtedly the best spell of his career in the Premier League and a return doesn’t seem unlikely.
Coutinho’s potential signing could be a big statement for Newcastle. His quality is undoubtedly clear, blindingly so. The 27-year old would be adored by the Geordie fans, an environment akin to Merseyside, where he thrived on the adoration of the supporters.
If all goes well Philippe Coutinho could be the man to set the Newcastle ball rolling in the summer.