According to reports, Newcastle United are interested in signing Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in the summer.
After failing to secure promotion to the Premier League, Aston Villa Villa slapped a £40m price-tag on Grealish as the Championship club look to comply to the Financial Fair Play rules.
Grealish, 22, would ideally like to stay put at Villa Park but the club’s financial problems have made the midfielder available for transfer this summer.
Given Newcastle’s spending in the last few transfer windows, it is unlikely to see owner Mike Ashley break the bank for Grealish. Rafael Benitez should reinforce his squad if he wants his team to make progress next season. But given Villa’s valuation of Grealish, he could be tempted to move in for cheaper alternative targets.
However, should Ashley meet Villa’s £40m valuation of Grealish, here is how Newcastle could line-up next season fitting the midfield star.
Probable Newcastle United lineup fitting in Jack Grealish
Manager: Rafael Benitez
Martin Dubravka (GK)
After a fine six-month loan spell at Tyneside this past season, the Magpies have signed goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on a permanent basis from Sparta Prague.
The Slovakian has a strong and robust presence in the box and is expected to start for Newcastle next season.
DeAndre Yedlin (RB)
An energetic presence down the right, Yedlin did well last season and deserves to be Benitez’s first-choice at right-back next term.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB)
Lascelles proved he is just the kind of leader Newcastle have lacked for a long time. Strong, composed and diligent, the 24-year-old was one of the finest defenders in the league in the 2017/18 season, powering the Magpies to a tenth-place finish.
Florian Lejeune (CB)
Partnering Lascelles at the heart of the defence next season should be Lejeune. The Frenchman has been a reliable presence at the back for the Toons and needs to play regularly to get fully adapted to the Premier League.
Paul Dummett (LB)
Dummett was an ever-present figure for Benitez’s side since the turn of the year, having missed the first half of the season through injury. His reliability and composure make him a quintessential player for Benitez.
Mohamed Diame (CM)
Diame was one of Newcastle’s best performers in 2018. A powerhouse in midfield, the Senegalese is a work-horse and did incredibly well last term.
Jonjo Shelvey (CM)
Shelvey added steel and creativity to Newcastle’s midfield and created a very strong partnership alongside Diame in the 2017/18 campaign. The former Liverpool man will be a sure-shot starter for Newcastle next season.
Ayoze Perez (LW)
After an inconsistent first half of the season, Perez bumped into life in 2018, especially in the final weeks of the campaign. Suddenly everything seemed to pass through the Spanish playmaker and his turnaround in form could see him become a regular fixture in the 2018/19 campaign.
Jack Grealish (CAM)
Benitez should add a new playmaker this summer and Aston Villa’s Grealish could fit the bill at Newcastle. A real asset off the ball, the 22-year-old impressed in the Championship last season and has the potential to light up St.James’ Park with his mazy runs and dribbling skills next term.
Matt Ritchie (RW)
Despite being left-footed, Ritchie predominantly plays on the right and brings a lot of flair and incisiveness to Newcastle’s attack.
Dwight Gayle (ST)
Gayle possesses fantastic movement in and around the box and is a clinical finisher. An intelligent player, Gayle is of paramount importance to Benitez and should lead Newcastle’s attack next season.