The current EFL Championship leaders Newcastle United look all set for a return to the Premier League next term, after being relegated last season. Under manager Rafael Benitez, the Magpies have become a strong unit and will deservedly earn their ticket back to the English top-flight.
But the extent to which they can make their promotion count will largely depend on the players that they bring in, during the summer. The Premier League has never been as competitive as it has been this season and for Newcastle to survive the drop again, they will need to sign quality players as early as possible, so that the new additions get an adequate amount of time to settle in.
Rafael Benitez has always been a shrewd operator in the market and we can expect some very smart additions during the transfer period as he gears up for a hopefully prolonged period in the English top division with the Toons.
Here, we look at three players who could help Newcastle compete in the Premier League and achieve a decent finish next season:
The Everton midfielder was a transfer target for Newcastle in the winter transfer window, but no move materialized as such with the Toffees reluctant to let McCarthy go.
However, it would not be surprising to see another approach by Newcastle, for the Irishman this summer. McCarthy has played only 11 times for Everton this season across all competitions and as a result, has grown frustrated with the lack of involvement under Ronald Koeman. The 26-year old has scored once and has an assist this season.
Given the lack of opportunities, a chance to move to a club with some rich history like Newcastle United, and to play under a manager of Benitez’s stature could prove to be appealing for McCarthy.
Newcastle have been looking to strengthen their attacking line and had targeted Andros Townsend in the January window, but with Crystal Palace not willing to sell him, nothing happened on that front. However, in Tom Ince, the Toons will find a fine alternative for the former Tottenham man.
The 25-year old Ince has been in fine touch for Derby County this term, having already notched up 12 goals and five assists this season. A left-footed winger, who loves to cut in from the right flank, Ince offers a similar threat to that of Townsend, while at the same time, he can also operate through the middle. Great finisher, a threat from dead-ball situations and a very good crosser of the ball, the Englishman could be a fine addition for Newcastle. Considering that Derby will be spending another season in the Championship, he would jump at the chance to play in the Premier League.
The Ivory Coast international has seen playing time hard to come by, at his loan club Stoke City and it is impossible to see him be a part of the plans at his parent club Manchester City post the end of this current season.
Bony has struggled to break into the playing XI under Mark Hughes, and as a result, has scored just twice from 10 league appearances this season. But with his experience in the English top-flight and his goal scoring instincts, he would prove to be a shrewd addition for Newcastle. The 28-year old will not cost much and could provide Newcastle an alternate threat in the final third, compared to the buzzy Dwight Gayle.
A chance of playing at a club like Newcastle and a promise of regular playing time should be enough for Bony to consider a move and the Magpies could benefit having a seasoned pro like him in their ranks.