A Newcastle team to kick-off the Premier League season.

Being Newcastle United fans we can always expect the unexpected, the unexpected usually being something for the worst.

Since Rafa Benitez has come in though, it seems as toon fans we have all been quietly confident and cautiously optimistic about the future.

Hopefully this is the start of something where the unexpected happens to be something good…not something to dread.

Therefore I have created a very optimistic dream Newcastle team below of how I would like us to line up ahead of the new season.

This may seem slightly unrealistic but we now have the possibility to dream about a bright future ahead for the black and white faithful; so why not expect the unexpected, in a Rafa kind of way.

My (dream) Newcastle team:

Pepe Reina, GK – £2 million

Vurnon Anita, RB – New contract

Jamaal Lascelles, CB – Captain

Ben Gibson, CB – £15 million

Kieran Gibbs, LB – £11 million

Matt Ritchie, RM

William Carvalho, CM – £26 million

Jonjo Shelvey, CM

Andros Townsend, LM – £10 million

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Number 10 – £22 million

Michy Batshuayi, CF – Season long loan

Other players to keep:

Rob Elliot

DeAndre Yedlin

Ciaran Clark

Chancel Mbemba

Paul Dummett

Isaac Hayden

Christian Atsu

Rolando Aarons

Ayoze Perez

Mohamed Diame

Dwight Gayle

Aleksander Mitrovic


Matz Sels

Tim Krul

Grant Hanley

Achraf Lazaar

Massadio Haidara

Jesus Gamez

Jack Colback

Henri Saivet

Florian Thauvin

Siem de Jong

Daryl Murphy

Emmanuel Riviere


Yoan Gouffran, Curtis Good, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic

Loan out:

Freddie Woodman, Karl Darlow, Jamie Sterry, Adam Armstrong

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • rob taplin

    Keep on dreaming with that selection, optimistic isn’t the word. Mad is the word

  • GeordieZebra

    7 newbies and you drop Clark, who I and many view as player of the year…and leave Anita in!! What what?

  • Wor Lass

    Some strange stuff here – brace yourself, Ben!

  • HappyToons

    Pepe Reina???

    Why do people keep bringing him up as some great option consider:

    Pepe Reina: In his last 2 Premier League seasons, only Ali Al-Habsi (11) has made more individual errors leading to a goal than Reina (8)

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      I’d have thought it’s simply a case of watching the news and the fact Reina has followed Rafa a bout in the style of Kevin Brock and Jim Smith.

      I’d let Darlow and Elliott fight it out.

  • Hopey

    Vernon Anita no thanks

  • Sean Lynch

    Optimistic would be this

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Yedlin before Anita 10 times out of 10

  • Polarboy

    Heaton or Forster
    Yedlin, Mangala, Clark, Layun
    Acquah, Shelvey
    Ritchie, Boudebouz, Townsend

    Admittedly a few on here are wishful thinking, especially the keepers, but it’s not a team totally out of the realms of possibility from who we’ve been linked with. To be totally clear we haven’t actually been linked with Forster as of yet, at least this transfer window as far as I know.

    • Jimblag23

      Soton fans seem so to think he’s gone a bit 5hit recently though.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Krul always looked better when they were here

        • Polarboy

          He was a kid when he was here, it’s ludicrous to make a comparison from then to now.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Players development at different speeds but most would have bet in Krul being the star, that said, he had injuries which knocked him back.

          • Polarboy

            One, none of that matters to the here and now. Two, Forster is, and will be going forward, a better all round goalkeeper. Krul could never, and most likely never will, distribute the ball or command his box to the level needed for a top keeper in the premier league.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Either way, we’re not blowing £20m on Forster and rightly so. Personally I’d go with what we have already got but Rafa clearly thought the GK position was an issue when he bought sels so I think the Reina rumours have legs.

          • Polarboy

            Well I did specifically say that the keepers were unlikely to be actual targets. My personal opinion is that Rafa’s right to believe we need more in the keeping department. What we have at the club is a few good keepers. I’d like think we could aspire to be great in every position. Every keeper we have is limited in at least one respect.

            Krul is likely gone in any case but his distribution and commanding of his box was never up to snuff, Elliot can be prone to errors and just isn’t quite top class in other aspects, Darlow doesn’t command his box and be inconsistent at times, which admittedly is likely down to age, but we can’t wait for him to mature, and the less said about Sels the better.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I made the point that Reina seems to follow Rafa about like Kevin Brock used to do with Jim Smith. If he brings Reina in, it may make a bit of sense as it would mean at least 2 of Krul, Sels and Elliot are to be sold and the age of Reina means that Woodman will be snapping at his heals in 18 months to a year.

          • Polarboy

            I can’t say I’m convinced on Reina given his propensity for errors. He’s a top class keeper in every other respect, but he’s a bit like Hart in that he can still make the odd mistake despite his otherwise top class skills. Then again who am I to second guess Rafa if he does sign Reina. Apparently he’s a great leader in the dressing room, so that along with his other skills perhaps makes up for the odd mistake.

            And of course Rafa would have detailed data on just what he brings to a team. As for who Rafa is going to sell in the keeping department, rumour has it he doesn’t fancy Darlow and actually prefers to have Elliot as a number two to whoever he buys.

          • Viru leckworth

            All keepers make a mistake or two in their time. Even Butland who Inrate very highly.

          • Polarboy

            Well as far as I’ve seen he was always pretty much in the top three for keeper blunders, even though he was otherwise in the top three for being one of the best keepers. A mistake or two is fine, but at one stage he was averaging between 5 and 10 a season. I have no idea how he’s been in Italy though to be fair.

          • Stephen Paylor

            dont read into the rumour mate. Unless you hear Rafa say it than disregard paper talk

          • Polarboy

            I’m aware that most rumours are rubbish, most people talk from a this is probably rubbish but we may as well talk about it perspective.

          • Viru leckworth

            Good point.

      • Polarboy

        He was still rated sixth last season and had 14 clean sheets, three more than the top rated keeper Heaton.

  • Andy Mac

    Optimistic yes, Realistic no. However the only players who I think can be guaranteed a starting place in August are Clark and Ritchie. I’d like to think Elliot would be back to fitness by then but the rest, as they say, is up for grabs

  • Jimblag23

    Coentrão and Batshyuayi? The sun has gone to people’s heads.

    • Polarboy

      Batshyuayi on loan is not out of the realms of possibility.

      • Jimblag23

        What leads you to believe that?

        • Polarboy

          Because he’ll need and want game time next year in a lead up to a world cup, and he will likely get the same limited game time at Chelsea next year. Even if Costa goes they’ll buy another top, finished article of a striker to take that one spot up front. Chelsea are also very unlikely to loan Batshyuayi to a top six, seven team, so loaning him to a team with a top class coach like Rafa, but at a team who hold no delusions of interfering with Chelsea’s progress next season, would be a good option for them. Batshyuayi has also been heavily rumoured to be up for loan in general.

  • lukegte

    I think he’ll bring in about 8 more players, not all of whom will be seen as immediate first-teamers, but to carry us through the season with a strong policy of rotation. Not necessarily what I would like to see but I’m basing this off Benitez’s reputation. I can see the first team in August being a very defensive 4-3-3:


    Yedlin Clark Mangala Gibbs

    Lucas Hayden


    Ritchie Atsu


  • Kyle

    Better than what we have but I don’t like it that much!
    Would rather see Tierney at left back and two CBs from Maguire, Gibson and manuals. Semedo ribht back. McCarthy and carvalho sitting. Ramirez left win perez from Arsenal up top, sigurdsson CAM, and Ritchie/Townsend on right. Sub’s,grosicki, shelvey, iheanacho, atsu, lascelles, Hayden, krul

    • Kyle

      Mangala lol-blooming predictive text!!

    • Stephen Paylor

      Semedo at RB?

  • SH.ER

    Pepe Reina
    Vurnon Anita *JOKE
    Ben Gibson
    Kieran Gibbs
    LUUUUUL :>

    • SH.ER

      This is your first article here?
      Hope it’s the last … :)

  • Robert

    You’ve UNDERSPENT by 30-40mn

  • Robert

    Actually maybe 50-60mn

  • SamD

    Keeping Mitrovic is like buying Anne Frank a drum kit for Christmas.. you’re hoping it’ll all work out and be great, but deep down you know it’s pointless

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Big Vern, Never !

  • Lenny Watson

    Anita??? Are you drugs? Do you have eyes?

  • Rich Lawson

    Your buying Reina,but selling Krul n Sels,loaning out Darlow and Woodman.leaveing only an injury prone Elliot as goalie back up,I don’t get it ?

  • NUFCDan

    The only way we’ll sign anyone from other Premier League teams would be the big 6’s cast offs. Those who think we can sign players from the likes of Burnley, Swansea or Southampton are dreaming. None of these clubs are poor and they have no reason to sell to a rival.

  • Andy Mac

    Just reading that Rafa wants a new goalkeeper, centre-half, two full-backs, an anchor man, a creative midfielder, two new wingers and a proven striker at the highest level are all thought to be on the shopping list, paving the way for a
    busy couple of months.

    As I suggested earlier that only leaves room for Clark and maybe Ritchie or JJ ?

  • Stephen Paylor

    Mbabu is a better player than Anita, Yedlin also.

  • Stephen Paylor

    Reina, Moreno, Mangala, Cairney, Townsend and Batshuyai on loan would work for me. (although i think Reaina isn’t really necessary)
    Real quality. 55 to 60 million on top of Atsu making a total spend of 65 million or so. A few sales to offset and lets see what Rafa can do.