The takeover is still yet to be completed, but with the recent wave of transfer headlines, it feels as if we are already on the boundaries of a brand new era at Newcastle United.
In the space of a few months we have seen the huge shift in names being touted with a transfer to the North East, from raw yet unfinished talents, hidden among leagues situated around the world, to some of the most successful players in world football.
Throughout this article we will take a look at every linked name, and rate their chances of lining up at St James Park anytime soon.
Starting off between the posts, we have seen limited rumours circulate about a new goalkeeper being Newcastle bound. This is duly owed to the incredible performances of Martin Dubravka, while our back up options in the form of both Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman are adequate options.
The one name we have seen linked is Benfica goalkeeper, Odysseas Vlachodimos. The Greek goalie was certainly a man in form last year, as he held 21 clean sheets in 46 appearances across all competitions for the Portuguese club, only Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) and Marco Bizot (AZ Alkmaar) made more.
- Odysseas Vlachodimos: 3/10
In the last few years it cannot be denied our defence has transformed from a weak link, to arguably our strongest area. The investment within this area, although has been made on a low budget, has been nothing short of genius.
Add to that, the detailed coaching techniques implemented by one of the worlds best defensively minded coaches in world football, Rafa Benitez, and you have the ingredients for a solid backline.
In recent weeks we have been linked with two of the best defenders in world football. Firstly, Senegalese defender Koulibaly has been touted to a move to the North East. This has been one of the most reported rumours and I feel does carry some weight, however would depend on other factors.
The player has a great relationship with former NUFC manager Rafa Benitez. If the Spaniard did make a spectacular return to the North East, this rumour could pick up some more steam, while the move would also depend on the initial wave of investment.
As mentioned, our defence is already a key strength within our squad, if we were to make a single marquee signing it would make more sense to improve our attacking department, however if there was a huge influx of cash into our starting lineup, Koulibaly would be an absolute coup.
Lucas Hernandez on the other had just seems too far out of reach. The rumours linking us with the Bayern defender are simply just that, rumours.
- Kalidou Koulibaly: 6/10
- Lucas Hernandez: 1/10
The current Newcastle United midfield could best be described as mediocre.
We have Jonjo Shelvey, a player previously mentioned in arguments for an England call-up but always dragged back by inconsistency, while Isaac Hayden is a player I rate very highly, but openly talks about a move to allow him to be closer to his family. The Longstaff brothers make up the rest of the midfield but are still very young and need time to develop.
We have seen Barcelona’s current number 22 linked with Newcastle United. Vidal’s contract is set to expire in June next year, while the Chilean would certainly bring experience to the heart of midfield. The only drawback would be the huge wage demands for a player is who past his peak.
The other midfield player we have seen make the headlines is Soumare. The 6″2 Frenchman has drawn comparisons with Paul Pogba due to his large stature, box to box playing style, and impressive technical ability. News emerged that we had a £35 million bid rejected for the 21 year old, however after the takeover, it could be worthwhile revisiting this.
- Aturo Vidal: 3/10
- Boubakary Soumare: 9/10
It comes as no surprise that the majority of players linked with a move to the North East have been attacking players. Although our current crop have potential, they are simply not putting the ball in the back of the net enough.
Starting in the Premier League we have seen five names circulating the headlines. Alongside former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino being linked with the managerial hotseat, Harry Kane has been touted with a move away from the capital. In a dream scenario this would have some truth behind it, but unfortunately Harry Kane would not even consider making the switch at the current time.
Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, Wilfred Zaha, and Dwight McNeil have also been rumoured to be on Newcastle’s radar, with the likelihood of these transfers coming to fruition are much greater.
All of these player currently represent teams in the bottom half of the Premier League, and with the potential growth of Newcastle United in the coming years, the prospect of lining up at St James Park would certainly be exciting.
We have also been linked with a trio of strikers from a lower budget pool. Currently plying their trade in the Scottish League, both Alfredo Morelos and Odsonne Edouard have been identified as targets, while Emmanuel Dennis from Club Brugge completes the trio.
Even after the takeover I would be in favour of these young strikers being recruited. They should not be the marquee signing which we rely on to lead the line, but instead be bought in to bolster our attacking options and develop further on Tyneside.
The final category of attacking players linked to Newcastle United, are global superstars of world football. Players that could slot into the starting lineup of almost any team in the world.
Edison Cavani, Gareth Bale, Phillipe Coutinho, Nabil Fekir, Dries Mertens, Antoine Griezmann, and Gonzalo Higuain.
Either one of these options would provide us with the marquee signing to ignite the new era at Newcastle United. Signing one of these players would send a message to the rest of the footballing world, and lay a marker of ambition from our new owners.
The only drawback would be whether their heart would truly be in the right place in terms of footballing motivations. Questions would be asked whether they would join the North East purely for financial gain, or would they really want to be part of a project and submerse themselves in the city, becoming a club icon.
- Harry Kane: 1/10
- Danny Ings: 7/10
- Jack Grealish: 5/10
- Wilfred Zaha: 4/10
- Dwight McNeil: 8/10
- Alfredo Morelos: 8/10
- Odsonne Edouard: 8/10
- Emmanuel Dennis: 7/10
- Edison Cavani: 4/10
- Gareth Bale: 3/10
- Phillipe Coutinho: 6/10
- Nabil Fekir: 3/10
- Dries Mertens: 7/10
- Antoine Griezmann: 2/10
- Gonzalo Higuain: 3/10
Who would you like to see play in black and white next season?
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