Newcastle have been surprisingly quiet in the transfer market this summer, however, it appears that could all be set to change. The Magpies splashed over £90million of their Saudi cash back in January following the club’s well-documented mega-money takeover, and Eddie Howe is now expected to add further fresh faces to his squad amid interest in Chelsea trio Conor Gallagher, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Armando Broja, as well as highly-rated Benfica hitman Goncalo Ramos.
With millions now at their disposal, Newcastle were expected to make a number of high-profile signings in the current window, however, so far, the Magpies have only moved to add Sven Botman from Lille, Nick Pope from Burnley and Matt Targett on a permanent basis from Aston Villa. With just a few weeks remaining in the transfer window, that’s now expected to change.
The North East club are understood to have held talks with Chelsea over the possibility of taking £45m-rated duo Gallagher and Hudson-Odoi on loan before this summer’s deadline, while the £20m-rated Broja is also on their radar. On top of that, the Magpies are expected to imminently submit an opening offer for Benfica striker Ramos – a 21-year-old forward considered to be one of the most exciting young attackers on the continent.
With Howe already having assembled an ambitious team expected to challenge for a European spot this season, the addition of further quality will likely leave Newcastle fans licking their lips at what could be achieved in the current campaign. With that in mind, Express Sport take a closer look at their potentially dazzling XI.
Goalkeeper: Nick Pope
While Martin Dubravka has been an admirable servant for Newcastle since joining back in 2018, there can be no denying that Nick Pope offers an upgrade. The Magpies paid out £12m to snap up the goalkeeper from relegated Burnley in the summer and that could well prove to be quite the snip.
The 6ft 6in stopper has amassed over 140 Premier League appearances during his time with the Clarets and his consistently impressive displays have seen him earn eight England caps to date. Pope also boasts two Burnley Player of the Year awards to his name as well as an appearance in the 2019-20 Premier League Team of the Year.
The 30-year-old kept a clean sheet on debut in Newcastle’s comfortable 2-0 win over newly-promoted Nottingham Forest last weekend as he got off to the perfect start at St. James’ Park. Expect plenty more of those this season given the wealth of talent in front of him.
Defence: Trippier, Botman, Burn, Targett
With only 11 points on the board and precariously positioned one place above bottom in the Premier League table at the turn of the year, Newcastle looked in real danger of dropping into the Championship – an unthinkable outcome given a Saudi Arabian-backed takeover saw them become one of the richest clubs in the world just a few months previous.
However, the new owners splashed the cash and everything changed. Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Matt Targett were all brought in as the Magpies sought to tighten up their leaky defence. The trio were key to the club achieving just that and it comes as little surprise to see Targett’s loan move made permanent following his consistently impressive displays down the left.
Newcastle have since beaten off competition from AC Milan in order to land Botman from Lille for a fee in the region of £35m to further bolster the backline. The arrival of the 22-year-old Dutchman, who boasts five Champions League appearances and a Ligue 1 title to his name, has seen some top-level European quality added to Howe’s defence.
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Midfield: Guimaraes, Gallagher, Joelinton
Should Newcastle complete an audacious attempt to sign Gallagher on loan this summer, the make-up of their midfield will be the envy of most in the Premier League. The Chelsea star would likely join two players who, much like Gallagher himself, possess a wealth of creativity and energy.
Bruno Guimaraes was without doubt one of the Premier League’s star performers during the second half of last season, following his £40m move from Lyon. The Brazilian creator also appeared to bring out the best in compatriot Joelinton, who looked rejuvenated having swapped a striking role for a more impactful and involved one in midfield.
Gallagher shone while on loan at Crystal Palace last season, netting eight goals and registering five assists in all competitions for the Eagles, while proving himself instrumental in everything that Patrick Vieira’s side did well. The prospect of the 22-year-old playing alongside the eye-catching Guimaraes and the industrious Joelinton is a mouth-watering one indeed.
Attack: Hudson-Odoi, Broja/Ramos, Saint-Maximin
Having effectively bolstered the defence and midfield in January, it comes as a little surprise to see the Magpies looking to strengthen in attack. Newcastle have been guilty of an over-reliance on Callum Wilson for goals in recent times and with Chris Wood having failed to make his mark since joining from Burnley back in January, fresh options are required up front.
A significant amount of the Magpies attacking play comes through the mesmeric Allan Saint-Maximin down the left, so signing wantaway Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi to play on the right would likely improve the balance within Howe’s side and offer another threat from a different area. While Wilson remains a reliable source for goals, if Newcastle are to fulfil their ambitions of taking steps forward and potentially competing in European competition next season, greater strength in depth is required.
And that’s exactly what Broja and Ramos would bring. The Blues striker has been the subject of intense interest this summer after a stellar season on loan with Southampton last term, while Ramos is revered across Europe as one of the continent’s most exciting young attackers. The pair could be key to firing the Magpies forward in the coming years.
Potential Newcastle XI (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Botman, Burn, Targett; Guimaraes, Gallagher, Joelinton; Hudson-Odoi, Broja/Ramos, Saint-Maximin.