Newcastle team v West Ham – The 11 players to take on Hammers unless major signings
Euro 2020 has now finished and the Premier League only a month away from resuming competition.
We are now on day 36 of the 2021 summer transfer window and there have been no new additions to Newcastle United’s senior squad.
Mike Ashley is even more reluctant than usual to allow any cash to be splashed, as we all continue to wait and see if the Saudi financed takeover finally happens.
In this article I have picked my Newcastle team v West Ham for the opening day of the season, assuming everyone is fit and no major signings are made.
GK – Martin Dubravka
Having won his place back from Karl Darlow in the second half of last season once fully fit, Martin Dubravka is the obvious choice of goalkeeper to start the season between the sticks.
Freddie Woodman is currently back at the club after two impressive seasons on loan at Swansea City and may yet apply some pressure to Dubravka for his place, if he isn’t farmed out on loan yet again.
CB – Fabian Schar
The Swiss international has endured an injury interrupted couple of seasons since winning the club’s player of the year award in 2018-19.
However, there is no doubt that when he is fully fit he is an outstanding centre back, with the ability to bring the ball out from the back and excellent distribution.
CB – Federico Fernandez
Fernandez was a real calming influence at the back for Newcastle United during a generally torrid 2020-21 season. His experience was vital and he was badly missed when out injured.
CB – Paul Dummett
Dummett’s career at Newcastle is one that been continually stalled by serious injury but there is no doubt that when he is fully fit he can be a real asset to the team.
Dummett played the last 12 league games of 2020-21 and was instrumental as the side lost just three of them and pulled away from the relegation zone.
RWB – Jacob Murphy
One of the real success stories of last season was Jacob Murphy, who appeared to be on the brink of leaving the club last summer.
Playing at right wing back, a role where he had excelled on loan at Sheffield Wednesday the previous season, Murphy’s energy and fitness was well suited to the role, earning himself a new six year contract.
LWB – Jamal Lewis
A signing with much expected of him, Lewis struggled after initially impressing in 2020-21 and played just six minutes of the last 12 games of the season after losing his place to Matt Ritchie.
While Ritchie played a key role in pulling the club away from impending disaster, Lewis is surely a better long-term option and should be given another opportunity at the start of the season.
CM – Isaac Hayden
Missed the end of last season due to injury but is a crucial component when fit, shielding the back four and providing much needed energy in the centre of the park.
Not always everyone’s cup of tea but for me has been one of our more impressive performers in recent seasons.
CM – Sean Longstaff
Might not be a popular choice with Newcastle supporters given his indifferent form in the last two seasons but I thought Longstaff was much improved towards the end of the season, featuring prominently in the last 10 games of the season.
While he is still to reach the heights he managed under Rafa Benitez, there is no doubting his quality and given a decent run in the side he is surely a better bet than Jonjo Shelvey.
AM – Allan Saint Maximin
When fit, the enigmatic Frenchman makes Steve Bruce’s side tick.
His transformational effect on the team has been evident on many occasions but perhaps never more so than in our crucial 2-1 victory over Burnley. Introduced in the second half, his direct running and trickery terrorised the Burnley defence, securing a vital three points for United.
Keeping him fit after last season was interrupted by Covid-19 and freedom from injury will be key to any chances of success this season.
AM – Miguel Almiron
Miggy was one of the few bright spots last season, his energy and hard work aligned with his obvious talent, meaning he was once again an important part of the side.
Suspicions remain that a better manager would get more from his obvious talent with Miggy, scoring five goals and contributing three assists last season. He was outstanding for Paraguay this summer and hopefully he will recover from injury in time to be fit for the start of the season.
ST – Callum Wilson
An absolute revelation in his first season on Tyneside, Callum Wilson proved to be the striker the club has needed for years with an impressive tally of 12 goals and five assists from just 28 appearances in all competitions.
Wilson’s goals will be key in the season ahead.
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