At long, long last, the future is looking brighter for Newcastle United and the Toon Army.
Gone is Mike Ashley and the last of the Sports Direct banners have finally been removed from St James’ Park too.
Not only that, but the Magpies finally have their first win of the campaign on the board as they strive to climb the table and survive relegation.
Eddie Howe is through the door and coupled with the rich finances of PIF, the January transfer window has the potential to be incredibly excited.
But who will they sign? A more eye-catching move for Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic has been touted but with more pedigreed clubs like Tottenham also in the hunt, it would be a surprise if he ends up in the north-east of England.
An update from Craig Hope this week, however, helped fill in the gaps as he supplied a list of more realistic signings that Newcastle could pursue over the winter.
Taking to Twitter, he said: “We understand targets include Lloyd Kelly, the Bournemouth defender who Eddie Howe signed in 2019. Germany centre-back Matthias Ginter, Joe Rodon of Spurs & Lille’s Sven Botman mentioned. Also told Mohamed Elneny is a midfield option.”
But if all of those players arrived to welcome Newcastle’s new era, how could Howe line up?
Here’s what we’re predicting at Football FanCast…
As you may notice, Newcastle’s forward line could stay pretty similar. After all, there are no issues with Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Instead, the Toon’s prime concerns are further behind them in defence where Howe’s men have shipped 30 goals, the second-highest in the top-flight.
Alongside him is Lille’s Sven Botman, a man valued at £25.2m. Hailed as a “leader”, he could add vital grit and determination to Howe’s ranks. He partners Spurs man Joe Rodon at centre-back who is rated at around £17m. The Welshman has been described as “flawless” by journalist Ian Mitchelmore, and they have the ability to form a scary defensive partnership.
Two further arrivals come in the middle of the park where £24.3m-rated Matthias Ginter could arrive. The German is capable of playing at centre-back but also in holding midfield, and it’s there where Howe may select him if he bolsters his backline significantly.
It’s then a midfield pairing of two potential former Arsenal players where the more attacking Joe Willock links up with £9m-rated Egypt international, Mohamed Elneny. A true midfield enforcer, he would keep things ticking over while breaking up the play. As a result, the Newcastle boss would be able to axe Jonjoe Shelvey.
These players might not be the be big names that some supporters are craving but all said and done, this could amount to a potential £84.5m spending spree from PIF that strengthens the squad enough to keep them away from a relegation battle.
If they can do that, Newcastle will then be able to attack the summer market with more intent knowing their Premier League status is secure.