Since Newcastle seem to be floating towards the Premier League, here’s some views on who could come in and leave the club this summer.
Joe Ledley – summer target for Newcastle?
Chris will need to strengthen the squad for a return to the Premier League, and it seems he’s already started to scout some players on his own.
The squad right now is what we’d call solid, but at least four new players will need to be brought in during the summer and some will need to leave.
The defense has been a mainstay this season and the acquisitions of Williamson and Simpson has strengthened the defense.
We think Fitz Hall should be sent back to QPR, but we need a top class full-back.
Preferably a player who can play on either flank to challenge both Danny Simpson and Jose Enrique for a starting position.
We look OK in central defense with Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson and young Tamas Kadar fighting it out. Tamas turns 20 years-old today by the way.
The only full-back who comes to mind is somebody like Chelsea’s Paulo Ferreira, but whether he would consider coming to Newcastle is very debatable.
First of all let’s identify the players who should go.
Nicky Butt is over the hill and will not be offered a new contract at the club, and we think he’ll retire and may even be offered a coaching position on Tyneside, which would be good.
Fabrice Pancrate is just too inconsistent at this level and probably shouldn’t be offered a new contract.
Kazenga LuaLua, the brother of former Newcastle striker Lomana Trésor LuaLua could finally be let go. He is getting itchy feet and is unlikely to be able to push through to the first team next season.
So at this level Newcastle need to bring in a play-maker and winger. And as was the case with the new full-back, it would be good if the winger can play on either flank.
Joe Ledley is a player Newcastle have been interested in over the least season or two, and with Cardiff City more than likely to enter administration in the next month or so, it could be that Joe could be brought in on the cheap.
A side note: Why was former Leeds Chairman Peter Ridsdale ever allowed to bring down another football club (Cardiff City) after he also previously ruined Leeds United by overspending?
Of course the 23 year-old Welsh midfielder Ledley is out injured through the end of the season, so we’d have to be sure his hip is fully healed.
As well as playing central midfield this lad can play on the left as a winger or a full-back and would seem a decent buy.
But the player who may already be targeted for midfield is Spurs’ Jamie O’Hara, who would be an excellent acquisition for Newcastle, and he already has a lot of PL experience with both Spurs and Portsmouth.
It may be that Newcastle have already made their move for O’Hara, and we think Spurs would sell for around £3M.
So we need another out and out winger – any ideas?
We seem to have too many strikers, since Leon Best was signed from Coventry in January.
One of them could be sold in the summer, and the one that seems to be likely is local lad Shola Ameobi, and the club could probably get £2M for him.
That would leave Carroll, Lovenkrands, Best and young Nile Ranger, who has to be given a chance to come through.
But we think if Shola goes, Newcastle would bring in another striker and we wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle go after free agent Jermaine Beckford from Leeds United in the summer.
He was a target in January but of course he will now be available for free this summer.
He would be a risk, but could be a decent buy, and he showed this year during the FA Cup ties that he can play and score against the very best – Spurs and Tottenham.
That would be our choice of a new striker – what’s yours?
And in addition to the four new players above, we expect Chris to bring in two top youngsters from the big clubs hopefully on a season long loan deal to further strengthen the squad.
Players mentioned already are the likes of Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) and Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Finally we expect the club to continue their Youth Policy by bringing in three or four top teenagers to the Academy during the summer months.
Which first team players do you think the club should bring in during the summer? Assuming we’ll get that promotion.