One down for Newcastle United, four to go.

Great to see exciting attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum rocking up at St James Park.

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The cheque book has been found, or Lee Charnley discovered Mike Ashley’s internet banking details, but either way Newcastle have their first very good signing of the summer.

The question now is, we have had our expectation raised (to what should be the kind of level of Newcastle’s ambitions), so who is in next?

I looked at the squad who flew out to America on Sunday, as well as those left behind due to ‘injury’ (or looking for new clubs…?), and came up with the following 14 players I would be happy/reasonably comfortable with starting the season.

However, that still leaves four players to find…:

First Eleven:

Tim Krul

Daryl Janmaat

Fabricio Coloccini

Moussa Sissoko

Jack Colback

Georginio Wijnaldum

Siem de Jong

Papiss Cisse


Karl Darlow

Jamaal Lascelles

Paul Dummett

Ayoze Perez

Rolando Aarons

Cheick Tiote

I think the above represents a fair reflection of where we are at.

Of course we all know that Ayoze Perez can play in the first team but surely it is essential that Newcastle sign a very good striker (two if Cisse leaves) so that expectations aren’t too much on Perez’ young shoulders for his difficult second season.

The main point of course is that Newcastle just have to raise the quality of the team and the squad, hoping that many of our current players will suddenly start to look Premier League standard is false economy.

In my list I’m taking on trust that Lascelles and Darlow will prove to be at least squad material in their first season, whilst Cheick Tiote of course could bounce back to be a first team regular, though you can’t count on that.

A bit the same with Coloccini and Krul, who like Tiote have never again reached the heights of 2011/12 on a regular basis, though their loss of form and injury record hasn’t been as dramatic as Tiote’s.

Colback, Cisse and Janmaat were easily three of Newcastle’s best performers last season alongside Ayoze Perez, whilst Siem de Jong will fingers crossed stay injury free.

newcastle united

I think at least two defenders, a striker and a winger/wide midfielder who can create and score goals are a minimum United need.

Wijnaldum shows the standard United need to aim for and four more like him will do just nicely.

Bit of a shame signing a player like the exciting PSV midfielder, if he then ends up playing alongside Williamson, Obertan, Riviere, Anita, Steven Taylor and others who aren’t of the level required.

Saying that Newcastle need to sign more quality players DOES NOT equal failing to get behind the team, it is simply backing Steve McClaren in the fact that he deserves to get proper players in who can do the job, not be left with those who we all know aren’t up to it.

Signing somebody like Aleksandar Mitrovic or Charlie Austin would be a great start and anybody who claims we’d still be ok with Emmanuel Riviere if no other striker came in, is clutching at really thin straws.