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Opinion

7 first team positions sorted for Newcastle United but still these 4 signings needed

3 years ago
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In 22 days time Newcastle United will take on last season’s runners-up, Tottenham, as they once again enter the Premier League.

No surprise that like every other set of supporters, the Newcastle fanbase has been having an endless debate on signings that are needed, then weighing up once each one arrives what their contribution can be to the first team/squad.

The first six games also sees more importantly maybe, NUFC facing Swansea, Huddersfield and Brighton in their opening trio of away games – all three teams surely ones amongst the group that Newcastle will need to try and be above if this season is to be a healthy one.

So at the minute, how many first team players do we have that you are happy to start the season with?

Having gone over it a few times, I think I’m pretty happy with six or seven starters but think four positions at least need better players recruited, ideally before a ball is kicked in anger.

Here’s my Newcastle eleven to face Tottenham on Sunday 13 August:

Goalkeeper

DeAndre Yedlin

Jamaal Lascelles

Ciaran Clark

Left-back

Matt Ritchie

Jonjo Shelvey

Isaac Hayden

Attacking midfielder/Number 10

Striker/Number 10

Dwight Gayle

I’m in total agreement with Rafa Benitez that a new number one goalkeeper is needed. I would have been happy with any of Krul, Elliot or Darlow as number two, but Rafa has made clear his choice is Elliot, with Krul and Darlow both set to leave. None of that trio good enough for what we need (put it this way, if Rob Elliot was put up for sale, would another Premier League club buy him as their number one?).

Yedlin has shown enough promise to be given a shot at starting as right-back with Manquillo recruited as back up, same in the middle with Clark & Lascelles set to continue, with Lejeune joining Mbemba as replacements if injury/bad form strike.

At left-back, bit the same as the goalkeeping situation I feel, good for back-up but like Elliot, no Premier League club would be taking Paul Dummett as first choice. So fingers crossed a more mobile left-back can be brought in to get up and down that left side, to both defend and attack. Shame Newcastle didn’t go for Andrew Robertson who has ended up at Liverpool – maybe a guaranteed game at NUFC could have swung it? A snip at £10m in today’s market if you ask me.

Matt Ritchie will at the very least hold his own when stepping back into the Premier League, whilst Shelvey and Gayle are also more than capable of returning to the Premier League and doing enough.

That leaves three places in the team to fill and I think at least two of those need to be new faces.

Like Lejeune and Manquillo, I see Christian Atsu simply as a squad player, at least at the moment, hopefully all three can prove themselves above that. Jacob Murphy looks to have more to him but ideally I can’t see Rafa starting with such an inexperienced player straight away.

So if you then include Isaac Hayden, who I was in the balance with, we need another two new faces.

For me these two players are also the two signings that we are still most desperate for.

Newcastle definitely need another striker and a creative goalscoring versatile player in the midfield. The likes of Perez, Diame and de Jong are clearly not up to the necessary standard, the same with Mitrovic and the other current striking options.

With time moving on ever faster, can we get these four signings into the squad before Tottenham?

You would think pretty unlikely, especially considering how long Lejeune and Murphy took to happen. Realistically I hope we can get at least two and hopefully three of these essential signings in before the start of the season, then make one or two more signings in what remains of the transfer window.

More quality is essential and let’s hope the signings from here on in, are ones who will instantly improve our first team.

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

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