Predicted finish: 8th
Newcastle’s revival in the second half of the 2021/22 Premier League season was nothing short of remarkable.
The Magpies were sat in 19th place with just five points from their opening 11 matches when Eddie Howe took charge and were favourites for relegation.
Fast forward to the second half of last season and Newcastle were on an upward trajectory, bolstered by both a big-money takeover and shrewd January acquisitions in the transfer market, Howe’s side eventually climbed up to 11th in the table.
The additions off the field of Dan Ashworth as Director of Football and Darren Eales add much needed experience to a club outside of the top 10 since claiming fifth in 2011/12, and will allow co-owner and director Amanda Stavely to take a more hands-off approach.
Newcastle have made three summer signings to date. Matt Targett’s loan move from Aston Villa has been made permanent, goalkeeper Nick Pope has been brought in from relegated Burnley and left footed center-back Sven Botman has been recruited to further strengthen the defence.
Howe’s transfer dealings may not be done just yet as Newcastle look to invest more of their new found wealth in a bid to challenge for European football. The Georgie fanbase are still demanding a striker, with the injury-prone Callum Wilson and Chris Wood the club’s two main recognized options at present as Brazilian Joelinton looks to have found his calling in the center of midfield.
Newcastle are widely expected to steer well clear of another relegation scrap and, providing the club strengthens their forward options to support the energetic Allan Saint-Maximin, could be on course for a top 10 finish.
One to watch: Allan Saint-Maximin
Few players have excited the Newcastle fanbase as much as Frenchman Allan Saint Maximin in recent years.
The 5ft 8’ 25-year-old has scored 11 goals and provided 14 assists in his 86 Premier League appearances to date, a fairly modest return for a player who so often finds himself in threatening positions.
If the left winger can improve in the finishing department, a double figure league tally of goals could realistically be achieved, particularly if the squad is strengthened around him and his superb dribbling abilities do not falter.
First five fixtures: Nottingham Forest, Brighton, Man City, Wolves, Liverpool
Matt Targett (£15m, Aston Villa)
Nick Pope (undisclosed, Burnley)
Sven Botman (£33.3m, Lille)
Oisin McEntee (free, Walsall)
Mo Sangare (free, Accrington Stanley)
Isaac Hayden (loan, Norwich City)
Lewis Cass (free, Port Vale)
Jake Turner (free, Gillingham)
Freddie Woodman (undisclosed, Preston North End)
Jeff Hendrick (loan, Reading)
Ciaran Clark (loan, Sheffield United)
Dwight Gayle (undisclosed, Stoke City)
Newcastle United total spent to date: £48.3m
Newcastle United total received to date: £0m
Newcastle United net transfer balance: -£48.3m
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