Newcastle epitomised the term ‘mid-table’ last season, and thats a tag they’d like to get away from as soon as possible. It was only a couple of seasons ago when they were knocking on the door for a Champions League spot at one point, with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse firing in the goals for fun. A lot has changed since, and they were a one-man team last season with Loic Remy doing all the damage.
This year will be different though, they’ve made some superb acquisitions and I fully expect them to be pushing for a spot in Europe.
Key Player: This is a tough decision, but I’ll go for Hatem Ben Arfa. The skilled Frenchman has had an injury-hit spell on Tyneside, meaning he hasn’t been able to show off his full potential on a consistent basis. When he’s on his A-game, there aren’t many better in his position though. He has it all, pace, trickery and a rocket of a shot.
Remy Cabella – Undisclosed (Montpellier)
Jack Colback – Free transfer (Sunderland)
Facundo Ferreyra – Loan (Shakhtar)
Daryl Janmaat – £6million (Feyenoord)
Siem De Jong – £6million (Ajax)
Jamaal Lascalles – Undisclosed (Nottingham Forest)
Ayoze Perez – Undisclosed (Tenerife)
Emmanuel Riviere – Undisclosed (Monaco)
Shola Ameobi – Released (Unassigned)
Romain Amalfitano – Released (Dijon)
Mathieu Debuchy – £12million (Arsenal)
Dan Gosling – Free transfer (Bournemouth)
Sylvain Marveaux – Loan (Guingamp)
James Tavernier – Undisclosed (Wigan)
Last season’s Premier League finish: 7th
Predicted League Finish: 10th
Newcastle have made some very good signings this summer, and they could yet add more bodies to their squad. I particularly like the move for Remy Cabella, who’s a very clever midfielder. Alan Pardew has been at the helm for quite a while now, and the squad seem to believe and trust in his methods. They have a good enough squad to make a decent run in one of the cup competitions too.