We at Football Fancast are understandably all very excited about the 2014/15 Premier League campaign officially kicking off this weekend.
And whilst Saturday will host Manchester United’s first game under Louis van Gaal as well as Tottenham’s visit to West Ham (amongst other very enticing fixtures), Sunday sees Newcastle take on reigning champions Manchester City.
Thus, as our excitement materialises in the form of writing articles, FFC have conjured up this ‘Dream Xi’ for the Toon taking on the Citizens this weekend, combining new signings, the best performers from last season and potential acquisitions Alan Pardew’s side could make before the weekend.
Despite being linked with a move to AC Milan for much of last season…
Tim Krul could leave Newcastle to become new AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf's first signing http://t.co/GBedQTz3S8
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) January 16, 2014
… it appears Newcastle will hold onto their No.1 Tim Krul this summer.
And it’s a good job too. Not only did the Netherlands international prove himself to be a proficient penalty taker at the World Cup…
But he also earned Newcastle a multitude of valuable points last season, most notably against Tottenham Hotspur:
Another Oranje star that makes a poignant statement of the impressive quality in the Newcastle starting XI.
Following an impressive World Cup campaign, the stats of which are viewable below:
…Newcastle wasted no time this summer in securing the services for former Feyenoord defender Daryl Janmaat in a £5million deal, following Mathieu Debuchy’s exit to Arsenal.
The 25 year-old looks a good find – solid defensively, incredibly physical but capable of also contributing going forward – and is expected to make his full Newcastle debut on Sunday.
Here’s a look at some of Janmaat’s highlights for the Eredivisie side:
Fabricio Coloccini’s homesickness appears to have passed, having officially declared in May that he will remain on Tyneside next season.
The Argentina international’s immense experience and continuity is vital, having amassed 211 appearances for Newcastle since joining them from Deportivo back in 2008.
The Magpies skipper was in good form last season too despite concerns that he could return to Buenos Aires, as viewable below:
Here’s a look at the 32 year-old in action:
According to the tabloids, one of the many centre-back targets Newcastle have been eying this summer is Lazio defender Stefan Radu:
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) May 22, 2014
The Romania international has racked up over 150 Serie A appearances for Aquile, but struggled to make it back into the first team last season after spending two months on the sidelines from September onwards with a knee injury.
No doubt however the 25 year-old is an impressive talent – check out his stats from the campaign previous:
Here’s a short clip of the defender, who can operate at centre-back or left-back, in action:
It’s believed he could be available for around £8million, but admittedly, the Radu trail has gone cold in recent weeks and it would be a shock if he turned up on Tyneside before the weekend.
Left-back Davide Santon was in customarily consistent form last season, as detailed below:
And despite being linked with a return to his native Italy this summer…
NEWCASTLE defender Davide Santon has triggered interest from both AC Milan and Roma. http://t.co/AvDCCFWJJf
— Nick Bezuidenhout (@nickrunner) June 7, 2014
…it appears the Magpies will be holding onto him until at least the January window.
The Italy international has now amassed 82 league appearances for Newcastle and appears to be improving by the game.
There are rumours that Arsenal are planning a move for Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote:
— NUFC News (@nufc2day) August 13, 2014
But tied down to a contract until 2017, the Magpies would undoubtedly prefer to hold onto their 119-game servant for at least another season.
The Ivory Coast international has often been a central factor in the Tyneside outfit’s successes, and last season recorded one of the best tackling returns in the Premier League:
The 28 year-old’s infactuation with the referee’s notebook can often be frustrating for the Newcastle faithful, but his quality has never been in doubt.
And of course, he’ll always be remembered at St. James’s Park for this sensational strike against Arsenal back in 2011:
Moussa Sissoko more commonly featured out wide for Newcastle last season, an unusual role that certainly got some decent performances out of him, as detailed below:
But the January 2013 signing was initially purchased from Toulouse as a central midfielder, and Newcastle’s many attacking acquisitions this summer could see him revert back to his more traditional position.
The France international certainly has the talent and physicality to do so, and now privy to the benefits of 18 months settling time on Tyneside, will be expected to start making good on his preceding reputation from Ligue 1 next season.
Sissoko has been in good form during pre-season too, finding the net against Real Sociedad:
According to the tabloids, Newcastle are prepared to save wayward England prodigy Wilfried Zaha from his Manchester United nightmare:
— IndyFootball (@IndyFootball) August 11, 2014
The 21 year-old joined the Red Devils last summer after playing a vital role in Crystal Palace’s promotion-through-the-play-offs campaign, netting a brace against Brighton in the semi-finals:
He also won the deciding penalty in a 1-0 Wembley affair, but since moving to Old Trafford has gone on to make just two substitute appearances for the Carrington club.
David Moyes didn’t warm to him and neither has Louis van Gaal, who is reportedly prepared to sell the winger-forward this summer.
It’s believed he could be available for as little as £7million, but whether Newcastle can wrap up a deal before taking on Manchester City this weekend remains to be seen.
Despite brother Luuk failing to impress during a six-month loan spell on Tyneside last season, Newcastle were quick to secure the services of former Ajax star Siem de Jong this summer.
The Dutch international netted an impressive 57 times in 168 league appearances for the Eredivisie champions, but is better famed for his link-up play, having often been utilised as a ‘false nine’ by Frank de Boer.
Here’s a look at the Dutch international in action:
De Jong netted an impressive strike during pre-season:
But rumour unfortunately has it that the midfielder-come-striker could miss out on Newcastle’s opener against Manchester City with a calf injury.
Another summer signing Newcastle fans would love to see make his debut against Manchester City this weekend is France starlet Remy Cabella.
The attacking midfielder was in sensational form to save his side from Ligue 1 relegation doom last season, as detailed below…
And after endless months of playing hardball with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin …
— NUFCfans.co.uk (@nufcfans) June 14, 2014
…the Magpies finally got their man in a £10million deal.
A few months ago it appeared Newcastle had absolutely no chance of acquirining the services of Loic Remy permanently, as the Magpies loan star eyed Champions League football.
But after surprisingly failing a medical at Liverpool, it’s anyone’s guess where the France international will end up this summer.
The 27 year-old was in sensational form for Newcastle last term to find 14 goals in the Premier League, which are viewable in the below video:
And who can forget this wonder-strike for parent club QPR at the end of the 2012/13 campaign…
Alan Pardew is known to be monitoring Remy’s situation, but he’s also been linked with moves to Tottenham and Chelsea:
Chelsea want Loic Remy as replacement for injured Drogba? Transfer gossip from Tuesday's papers: PLUS: Arsenal's… http://t.co/m1qEuk8Qpo
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) August 12, 2014
— Barclays League (@BarclaysLeague) August 12, 2014
Thus, the chances of him returning to Tyneside before the Toon take on Manchester City remain exceptionally slim.