Newcastle United is everything to the north east city, so with the St James’ Park hot seat comes a lot of expectation.
There are a few areas of the club that will need care and attention, but some are surprisingly ready for an assault up the table.
So with that in mind, read on for Football FanCast’s team guide to the Toon army on Football Manager 2019.
From the board, the expectation stems from domestic success with a mid-table finish in the Premier League a must. You simply cannot be dragged into a relegation battle.
The cup competitions will also have to be taken seriously, as you are tasked with reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup and the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Much to Rafa Benitez’s annoyance, Mike Ashley provides the next man in charge with a solid transfer budget.
The £23million budget and £150,000 wage reserves are a lot higher than what’s on offer elsewhere, despite rival clubs demanding similar levels of success.
Newcastle have a well-balanced roster, but the best left-back on offer is Paul Dummett. The 26-year-old is an average option for the position on Football Manager 2019, as he lacks when going forward, meaning a new addition should be looked into.
Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney is one of the highest rated left-backs on FM19, and has the potential to be one of the outright best, despite a value of £13m.
Ki Sung-Yeung is a superb defensive midfielder and Jonjo Shelvey is an ideal centre-mid, but the duo could do with the support of one more high-quality option to tie the unit together.
Benfica’s Portuguese ace Luis Miguel Afonso Fernandes, or simply known as Pizzi, would make a great addition to the division, as he can move play forwards and is valued at £13million.
The first choice centre-back pairing at Newcastle are more than strong enough to meet the board’s demands of a mid-table finish, but they will need back-up in order to compete on multiple fronts.
Walter Kannemann is a solid defender to consider for he won’t stretch the transfer budget, and has 15 strength, 14 jumping and 13 pace along with 16 tackling, 18 bravery and 16 marking.
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There is depth in numbers for the defensive midfield spot at St James’ Park, meaning you can get away with selling Mohamed Diame.
The 31-year-old is valued at £10.75million, so his exit would add to to the transfer budget, but without weakening the squad as Isaac Hayden can understudy for Ki with a similar rating to Diame and the potential to grow.
Ciaran Clark is the lowest ranked centre-back compared to his fellow defenders, yet is valued at £14.5m.
Should you choose to keep the 28-year-old around, he is good enough to cover at left-back, but be wary of his high injury risk.
28-year-old striker Joselu is by far the lowest rated forward amongst the Newcastle squad, and has no expectation to grow, yet he is valued at £14m – making his departure an obvious move to make.
His rating makes the inclusion of younger options a no-brainer, should you need further attacking options in your matchday squad.
If you have long-term aspirations for your career with Newcastle, keep in mind 20-year-old winger Sean Longstaff.
The young forward is already a part of the first-team when you take charge, and can work alongside Matt Ritchie for the role as he develops into the Scot’s eventual replacement.
Out of the U23 squad, Freddie Woodman carries the highest estimated potential of anyone.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper will, however, need a loan move to jump-start his current ability rating, as he does not present a safe option between the sticks without game time served elsewhere to begin with.
If you wish to take a more hands-on approach to youth development, you must focus your attention on 17-year-old sensation Yannick Toure.
The member of the U23 squad has the second highest estimated potential, behind Woodman, but can grow into an incredible striker for Newcastle.