The Magpies have already spent nearly £40million, bringing in the likes of Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and Daryl Janmaat, all of whom arrive on Tyneside with preceding reputations from their former clubs.
But there’s still plenty of work to do on Tyneside before the transfer window on September 1st, a number of loose ends that need to be tied up in the coming days.
Thus, being the ever-helpful bunch we are at Football FanCast, we’ve listed the FIVE lingering issues that the Toon need to resolve before deadline day.
It’s no secret that Newcastle are looking to offload Hatem Ben Arfa this summer.
Alan Pardew sent the mercurial forward back home to France in April for ‘the good of the club‘, and amid a summer window that’s seen several new arrivals on Tyneside, Ben Arfa has also been stripped of the No.10 jersey, which now belongs to Siem de Jong.
There’s certainly a market for the misguided 27 year-old however, in no small part due to his ability to occasionally pull off the sublime, such as this goal against Bolton back in 2012:
His planned move to the Qatari league fell through, but Everton and AC Milan have both been linked to Ben Arfa over the last month:
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 30, 2014
Everton chasing Newcastle outcast Hatem Ben Arfa http://t.co/lreutn2wK8
— Phill Nuttall (@PhillipNuttall) August 8, 2014
Alan Pardew clearly doesn’t want the France international around at St. James’s and with just a year left on his current contract, the Magpies need to sell before losing Ben Arfa for nothing.
Newcastle have already made several impressive additions to their front line this summer, including Facundo Ferreya, Emmanuel Riviere and Ayoze Perez whilst Siem de Jong can also operate as a centre-forward and believe it or not, Papiss Cisse is still knocking about on Tyneside.
But all of Newcastle’s striker signings, although highly-rated, are yet to reach prolific levels of goalscoring in their careers. Ferreya netted just six times in all competitions for Shaktar last year, Riviere’s career return stands at 46 in 183 and 21 year-old Perez is still learning his trade.
Not that the absence of a star striker would seriously endanger the Magpies’ season, but it can certainly be considered a piece of the jigsaw that needs to be put in place.
The Toon management appears to feel the same. After missing out on Lyon star Alexandre Lacazette, the Tyneside club have targeted Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost:
Newcastle eyeing target man Bas Dost after Wolfsburg snap up Nicklas Bendtner: With the Arsenal flop now signed… http://t.co/bom9oiY0Ar
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) August 16, 2014
The Dutch forward bagged an outstanding 45 goals in 66 appearances during two seasons with Heerenveen, but has struggled to transition that form for the Bundesliga, netting just twelve times since moving to the Volkswagen Arena in summer 2012.
Newcastle appear prepared to take a punt on Bas Dost however, and measuring in at a whopping 6 foot 4, he could well prove to be a better fit for the Premier League. Here’s a look at the striker in action:
Newcastle have already done great work in bringing their year-long pursuit of Remy Cabella to a positive conclusion this summer, but the Tyneside outfit are still short of quality out wide.
Against Manchester City at the weekend, Yoan Gouffran was handed a starting berth whilst Gabriel Obertan, who has scored just once in 40 league appearances for the Magpies, was given a spot on the bench.
Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez and Sammy Ameobi are also options on the flanks but if Newcastle are to compete as expected next season they need another winger thrown into the mix – especially with Hatem Ben Arfa only moving further away from the Toon first team.
Manchester United’s lost prodigy Wilfried Zaha has been mooted and the England international would certainly be an impressive addition. But the Tyneside club have also been linked to Ghana star Andre Ayew who netted twice at the World Cup:
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) June 8, 2014
The 24 year-old is an impressive talent, having claimed 46 goals and 16 assists in 164 appearances for Marseille. And with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, it’s believed he’ll be available for as little as £10million this summer. Here’s a short clip of Ayew in action:
Newcastle currently have 42 players with listed numbers which is obviously far too many.
Over the next few weeks, Alan Pardew needs to trim the fat a little and decide the fate of several fringe players.
Shane Ferguson for example, although once heralded as a future star of the Magpies first team, is now 23 years of age and has mustered up just 52 league appearances in his entire career following two rather lukewarm loan spells with Birmingham City.
Steven Taylor too only appears to be moving further way from the Newcastle starting XI. He’s made less than 50 league outings over the last three seasons and at 28 years of age appears unlikely to muscle his way back in any time soon. Likewise, namesake Ryan Taylor has missed the entirety of the last three campaigns injured, which must have an unjustifiable impact on the St. James’s wage bill.
Then there’s youngster Medhi Abeid. The 22 year-old has constantly struggled on Tyneside but netted seven times on loan to Panathinaikos and his expected departure would certainly add a few pennies to the summer transfer kitty.
On top of that, prospects Curtis Good, Adam Armstrong, Haris Vuckic, Remie Streete and Gael Bigirimana need to get some game time under their belts and would all benefit from loan spells.
None of the aforementioned names are likely to have a significant impact on Newcastle’s 2014/15 campaign and would thus be better off at a new club, either on a permanent or temporary basis.
It may seem like a rather marginal issue but suddenly Newcastle find themselves overinflated with left-backs.
Davide Santon is considered the resident no.3 but Paul Dummet muscled his way in towards the end of last season and also started against Manchester City at the weekend, due to the Italian missing the entirety of pre-season with a knee injury.
Following on is 21 year-old Massadio Haidara, but utility men Vernon Anita and Jack Colback, signed this summer from Sunderland, also provide cover at left-back and physio bench regular Ryan Taylor is also another option – when fully fit.
In short, it’s simply too much money tied into one area of the squad that could be better spent on other departments. It may be an unpopular choice, but there is some logic in parting with Italy international Davide Santon.
Not least because, although the defender was in customarily consistent form last season, as detailed below:
There’s a huge market for his services over in Italy. AC Milan, Roma and Fiorentina have all been linked to the 23 year-old this summer, and with so many interested parties, Newcastle would certainly get a good deal for the former Inter Milan youngster.