If Newcastle are promoted back to the Premier League in May then it should be an exciting summer for Newcastle United fans, as Rafa Benitez with the help of Lee Charnley will again transform the squad to make it more than just Premier League ready for next season.
Rafa will want to finish somewhere in the top half of the table and that will be only the second time we have done that since Mike Ashley bought the club ten years ago.
As well as selling some players this summer Rafa will want to strengthen specific positions in the squad.
Rafa Benitez – will want to strengthen certain positions
Here are the five positions we think Newcastle will want to strengthen this summer.
- Winger – Rafa wanted to bring in former wide-man Andros Townsend this January and he was annoyed when Mike Ashley didn’t want to spend any money, but Andros wanted to come and we feel Newcastle will go after him for the £13M release clause in his contract. So he will cost no more than we sold him to Crystal Palace for last June and the 25 year-old has shown under Rafa he can play very well in the Premier League.
Rafa could in addition make the loan deal of Christian Atsu permanent – we hope he does..
- Creative midfielder – maybe it’s been our biggest weakness this season that when Jonjo Shelvey is not in the team we look far too ordinary.
So the manager will want to bring in at least one central midfielder and probably two.
The two major targets are likely to be James McCarthy of Everton and Tom Cairney of Fulham and they both would be excellent buys for us.
- Center-Back – Newcastle have looked good in central defense this season for the first time in a long time and both Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark have put in some excellent performances.
Grant Hanley has also been able to come in and do a job when required, as he did last Saturday against Birmingham in the 0-0 draw.
Chancel Mbemba doesn’t seem to have much future under Rafa Benitez, simply because he has become the 4th choice this season.
It’s almost certain that Rafa will bring in a top class center-back this summer and we have been strongly linked recently with Hull City defender Harry Maguire.
Burnley’s former Manchester United center-back Michael Keane would also be more than a decent buy, although a number of the big clubs could be after him.
- Left-Back – Paul Dummett has had a very good season at Newcastle and the local lad has improved a lot under Rafa since the Spanish manager came in a year ago.
Paul has become a lot more solid and confident at the back and he’s put in some very good displays for us.
Massadio Haidara will likely be sold this summer and we don’t really have anybody pushing Paul for the position.
Rafa will bring in a left back and we have been linked recently with Manchester United’s 21 year-old Luke Shaw and also with Leeds United’s 23 year-old Charlie Taylor.
Charlie is a free agent at the end of June and he could be a very good buy for Newcastle this summer.
- Striker – Newcastle have dropped too many points this season by not being able to take the chances the team are able to create in most games.
Newcastle would really be struggling but for the 21 goals from Dwight Gayle and the 13 goals from Matt Ritchie – both Rafa signings last summer.
It looks like Aleksandar Mitrovic will be staying at the club this summer (good), but Rafa will bring in a top striker to increase the competition up front.
We have been linked with Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson although we have a feeling Rafa could well surprise us this summer with the striker he will bring in.
So those are the five positions we expect Rafa to strengthen this summer and make the Newcastle squad a lot stronger than it is now as he will also bring in some top young players for the Development squad under Peter Beardsley.
What do you think?