Football Manager 16 team guide: Newcastle

What you start with…

A pittance, quite frankly. Mike Ashley’s pockets are as tight as ever and you will receive under £1 million from the start of your save. This is probably largely due to the rare summer spending spree, but you will need to be very shrewd to make that money last.

What’s expected…

Newcastle United

Premier League: A mid-table finish is the bare minimum and we think that should be easily achievable with the squad you have at your disposal. You can opt to push for a Euro Cup place but that would be as brave as it is foolish.

FA Cup: A fifth round exit and the board won’t be too disappointed, plus claiming you will make it any further doesn’t reap enough financial reward to make it worthwhile.

Capital One Cup: The board aren’t too bothered about your cup exploits, as Alan Pardew proved, so anything other than an early exit in the Capital One and the board will be in shock.

Three to buy…

Rico Henry: Henry isn’t an immediate choice for left-back, but, available at a bargain price, this starlet is worth investing time in. The bargain price for Henry makes him a must-sign and he will provide a decade of quality service at Newcastle’s embarrassingly weak left-back spot.

Rico Henry

Balde Keita: It might be somewhat of a challenge to attract Keita, unless you get European football, but this wonderkid develops into one of the most dangerous attacking forces in the world. His pace and skill would make him ideal on the opposite flank to Thauvin and he would create endless chances for Mitrovic.

Emmanuel Mammana: Another young star, Mammana attracts the interest of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Your best hope as Newcastle boss will be that this centre-back is desperate for first-team football.

Emanuel Mammana

Three to sell…

Gabriel Obertan: Of all the bad signings for the Magpies down the years, Obertan has to be one of the worse. The ex-United man has been poor throughout his spell at the club and, as much as his pace may trick you, he really lacks the overall skill set to be of any use on FM either.

Gabriel Obertan
Mike Williamson: With the signing of Mbemba, Williamson has dropped yet further down the pecking order and the centre-back no longer has a requirement in the Newcastle squad. His loan has recently been cut short, so making space in your squad by moving on William should allow a younger version to come in.

Paul Dummett: Dummett might be one of the better defenders at Newcastle, but he is the exact reason that the Magpies need to bring in a new left back in the immediate future.

Paul Dummett

Youngsters..

Ayoze Perez: Perez is already an established first-teamer with Newcastle, but the starlet really should become one of the best attacking forces in the Premier League. Capable of playing off the main man or as a number 9, Perez is a star in the making.

Ayoze Perez
Adam Armstrong: Armstrong has already made his debut with Newcastle, but the diminutive striker is yet to really establish himself as a key man in their team. A loan is probably your best option for the first season or two, but Armstrong should be able to make himself of some use in your squad by the second or third season.

Rolando Aarons: Another offensive option, Rolando Aarons is a bag of tricks and will have a lot of people interested in signing him on loan during the first campaign. He might not be ready to make the step up yet, but a player with such pace is always an asset and he will eventually become a first choice wide man for your side.

Rolando Aarons