Predicted Newcastle Lineup For 2017/18 Season
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez will surely be planning to bring in new players to the club to help Newcastle cope with Premier League football. Newcastle have done well to reach Premier League but their ambition certainly should not stop there. The team is capable, the manager is a competitive guy and hence the board must back the team by signing new players to freshen things up in the dressing room.
Whatever happens, new signings are inevitable and will be of Premier League quality; there is no doubt. Benitez may well stick with a well organised and stable 4-4-1-1 next season.
Possible Newcastle XI:
Manager: Rafael Benitez
GK – Karl Darlow
The Northampton-born stopper has improved over the last 12-18 months and is definitely Benitez’ no.1 now. Competition from within will be tough over the summer; Tim Krul may come back from Netherlands and Matz Sels will want to mount another challenge. As well as this, Rob Elliot may still be around and Freddie Woodman will be knocking the door. So Darlow will have to be at his best.
RB – Carl Jenkinson
Usually when numerous players are in line for one position, it means that quantity exists rather than quality. Youngster Jamie Sterry seemed to be in the reckoning last summer during pre-season, and this year, the right-back role has been shared by Vurnon Anita and De-Andre Yedlin. While the latter might stay, the former may leave, and Jenkinson or someone similar can be brought in as first choice by Rafa.
CB – Jamaal Lascelles
New defenders are needed, but it’s hard to see Benitez not giving chances to Clark and this year’s captain Lascelles in the top league to see if they are good enough.
CB – Ciaran Clark
Clark has some Premier League experience already with Aston Villa and has been Newcastle’s best defender this season. He will play next season as well.
LB – Paul Dummett
Despite some criticism from home fans, Dummett is fit and reliable at left-back and may yet start the season as the first choice.
RW – Matt Ritchie
Bang in contention for Newcastle’s Player of the Season, Ritchie has been excellent in the Championship this season. He did well in the Premier League for Bournemouth and had a firm offer to remain there. So Benitez will know that over a shorter 38-game season, he can give his all again and be of Premier League standard.
CM – Jonjo Shelvey
There is no doubt that Shelvey is of the required standard and in fact will be looking to get back into England national team during the ‘World Cup’ year.
CM – Isaac Hayden
As the season has drawn on, Hayden has looked more and more like a potential Premier League player. His importance to Newcastle has often been overlooked but as a player who has great potential, he may be allowed to continue his partnership with Shelvey in the top flight.
LW – Rolando Aarons
Yoan Gouffran has struggled this season and there is no guarantee that they will sign Christian Atsu on a permanent basis. In case Rafa is looking for a replacement, he already has a top level winger at his disposal in Aarons, as long as he can stay fit.
AM/SS – Tom Cairney
Newcastle’s desire to sign Cairney from Fulham is no secret and is something they almost achieved in January. Despite this role usually being filled by a forward, such as Ayoze Perez, Benitez might throw Cairney in here for his ability to help the midfield by breaking up the play and being a goal threat. This would be a very similar role to the one Steven Gerrard had behind Fernando Torres in Benitez’ Liverpool days.
ST – Dwight Gayle
With definite improvements in this position costing a huge sum of money, Newcastle would do well by allowing Gayle to prove his worth. Like Ritchie, Gayle has played Premier League football and could have remained there this season. So it’s only fair to allow him to carry on up front.