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Opinion

Premier League signings who can help survive this season AND start Newcastle United rebuild

4 weeks ago
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Although the Saudi PIF led consortium have still failed to appoint a Newcastle United manager two weeks after sacking Steve Bruce it’s looking like, at the time of writing, Eddie Howe will be the one.

An upgrade on Steve Bruce (obviously!) but also on Graeme Jones, who sadly, seems to have as little idea as Bruce had.

How can he exclude our best central defender Federico Fernandez entirely from the squad and replace him with Krafth?

How can he drop Joe Willock when we need youth, stamina and pace in midfield?

Whilst most inexplicably, why would he drop Miguel Almiron from the team when we need stamina, aggression and workrate all over the park?

Absolutely defeats me so, sorry Graeme, you’ve got to got…and while you are at it, take the Steves (but NOT Harper) with you too, of course!

Which got me thinking about the players we might need to sign in January (and, as we all know, there are a lot of positions that absolutely MUST be strengthened), Premier League signings, with relevant experience – either recently or in the past.

Premier League signings (and maybe the odd one from elsewhere) who are better than those we already have and who maybe most importantly, will be prepared to come to Tyneside and enter into a brutal relegation struggle.

It is vital that we get some new blood in this season if we are to have any chance of avoiding relegation, so that the dreams of a new successful future, don’t disappear into the Championship like a mirage in the desert!

Obviously, the transformation of Newcastle into a Top 10 club will need to be done in stages:

STAGE 1 – (SHORT TERM)

Stay in the top flight this season and most of the potential Premier League signings that I’m mentioning below, are for this short-term phase.

Decent professionals who will cost no more than £10m-£20m – but who may also form the backbone of a top 10 side later on.

STAGE 2 – (LONGER TERM)

To climb the Premier League and / or get into Europe and / or win a trophy.

These will hopefully come from the Summer 2022 transfer window and beyond and might (hopefully will) be mind blowing – but I will leave it up to you to agree / disagree with and to decide which phase they will inhabit!

Goalkeepers:

When fit, I am relatively happy with Martin Dubravka, who is one of the best keepers I have seen at the Toon, Though he has been injury prone over the last couple of seasons and Darlow is, in my view, an inadequate substitute.

Was similarly unimpressed with Woodman when he had a run in the team and he is now 24, so he should look halfway decent by now if he’s ever going to fulfil that long term potential.

Maybe look at WBA keeper Sam Johnstone (28) as backup to Martin Dubravka?

Full backs:

Definitely need two new full backs.

My choices would be at right back Matty Cash (Villa) and at left back, either Antonee Robinson (Fulham) or Rico Henry (Brentford). They’re all young (only 24) adventurous full /wing backs who can defend (Ritchie please note) and get forward on fast surging runs and deliver decent balls into the box.

If we could restore Lewis’s confidence, get him to go forward instead of backwards all the time, we might see some improvement from him in the future. Dummett is a solid back up when fit in my view – not a great footballer but a good full back (like Frank Clark used to be!).

Central Defenders:

I think Federico Fernandez is the best we have (although he’s slowing down a bit) and Fabian Schar is a decent footballer – but makes too many mistakes and fouls too much.

I used to like Clark but think he is on the decline, as is Lascelles, so think we need two replacements.

The first  preference would be the oft-quoted James Tarkowski (Burnley) who is decent and would be available, also maybe Conor Coady (Wolves) who has stood out lately. Other than those, none really stand out for me.

Midfield:

Would keep Almiron and Willock who I think could both do well in a top side and Hayden as an enforcer.

Would recall Matty Longstaff and have his brother Sean in the squad, along with Anderson, try to get them back to some decent form. The rest aren’t good enough!

SHORT TERM

Todd Cantwell (Norwich) – Can’t understand why he can’t get into that abysmal Norwich team.

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Tom Cairney (Fulham) – Just returned after injury

Dwight Mc Neil (Burnley) – Top quality player

LONG TERM

Jesse Lingard – Need I say more?

Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) – Next season

Think the next two speak for themselves but would they come???

Youri Tielemans (Leicester)

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)

(Think Mount and Rice would be stretching it even for me!)

FORWARDS:

Would keep Wilson and ASM, also possibly Murphy and Fraser as squad players (but the jury’s still out on them). The rest aren’t good enough and obviously, Joelinton must be the first one out the door and the £40million (really?) written off.

Ismaila Sarr (Watford)

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

Whilst if we are dreaming, why not a punt on Robert Lewandowski?

If that doesn’t whet your appetite, then I don’t know what would…!

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