With Newcastle United returning to the Premier League at the first time asking last season, the onus is on the club’s hierarchy to bring in quality players and stay as far away from a relegation battle as possible.
However, with no new signings imminent and news breaking of an increasingly frustrated manager in Rafael Benitez, tensions are beginning to simmer on the Tyneside terraces due to the lack of activity from the club.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) July 2, 2017
With the Magpies need to bring in new faces very clear, here are the three main positions that Newcastle need to strengthen this season.
1) Left Back
While Newcastle posted a very impressive defensive record in the Championship, the test of the Premier League is on another level.
While Paul Dummett is assured in the essence of defending, the modern day wide defender needs to offer a threat going forward as well – something the local lad does not have in his locker.
With Massadio Haidara and Achraf Lazaar failing to uproot the retired Wales international from his starting berth, the quality of options in the left-back position on Tyneside is way below Premier League standard.
The Magpies have been linked with a move for unwanted Arsenal man Kieran Gibbs, which would go a long way to solving this issue.
2) Central Midfielder
The combination of Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden in the middle of the park last year was pivotal in helping Newcastle land a second Championship title in seven years. However, recruiting an athletic, combative central-midfielder will surely help Benitez’s side in the league this season.
Former Swansea City man Shelvey is famed for his role as the ‘quarterback’ of the team, picking out sumptuous passes to wide men on a regular basis.
However, the England international does tend to dwell on the ball and this trait will be instantly targeted by opposition managers looking to shut the influential playmaker down.
While Newcastle operated with an advanced playmaker behind the striker last season, the Magpies will inevitably have to operate with a midfield three against the big teams in the division – particularly away from home.
While some will argue Jack Colback could fit into that role, bringing in a fresh, enthusiastic midfielder who is comfortable on the ball will help immensely when the Toon Army are bereft of possession against the big guns.
The obvious one. Newcastle will need lots of goals next season to have any chance of maintaining their stay in the big time. While top goalscorer Dwight Gayle bagged plenty last season, the supporting cast at St James Park failed to sparkle.
Aleksandar Mitrovic had another disappointing season and could be on his way out of the door, while veteran Daryl Murphy is no more than a solid Championship striker.
This is the signing Newcastle should be looking to spend big on and a possible move for Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud could tick all the boxes.
The under-rated France international looks set to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer and would offer a brilliant focal point for Benitez’s side when the team are under the cosh.
Furthermore, Giroud possesses exemplary hold-up play and would benefit massively from the accuracy of Matt Ritchie’s crossing.
However Newcastle United play it this summer, one thing is for certain – the Magpies need signings – and soon.