Football Season Guide

Newcastle United


Joelinton (att) Hoffenheim; Allan Saint-Maximin (mid) Nice; Jetro Willems (def) Eintracht Frankfurt – on loan; Kyle Scott (mid) Chelsea U23; Henri Saivet (mid) Bursaspor – end of loan; Dwight Gayle (att) WBA – end of loan;


Mohamed Diame (r) (mid) Al Ahli; Ayoze Perez (r) (att) Leicester; Salomon Rondon (r) (att) WBA – end of loan; Joselu (sp) (att) Alaves; Kenedy (sp) (mid) Chelsea – end of loan; Antonio Barreca (def) Monaco – end of loan; Freddie Woodman (gk) Swansea – on loan;

After defying the odds in 2 consecutive seasons, coach Rafa Benitez got tired of all the issues at the club and left in the summer. The Spaniard who was adored by the fans had had enough of it. Vastly experienced Steve Bruce took charge recently, but on all his experience he is seen as a bit of an old-fashioned coach whose last job at this level was with Hull City the season they got relegated. They have already lost 3 regulars this transfer window, including the 2 main strikers that in 2018/19 were directly involved in 68% of Newcastle’s league goals. The departures of Perez and Rondon are likely to be felt, but if nothing else owner Ashley opened the coffers, and Newcastle broke their transfer-record to bring to the squad Joelinton from the Bundesliga. The Brazilian is expected to carry the burden of the attack on his shoulders. So far there are no indications that the 5-3-2 shape used a lot by Benitez will be changed, but after adjusting last spring, the big winter signing Almiron must have a much better campaign now if Newcastle are to survive. Longstaff is another player that started appearing for the senior squad a lot last term, and with departure of Diame, now it seems that the youngster will be given a regular role in the heart of the midfield. Another player hoping to have a much better second year at the club is versatile forward Muto, who has been a prolific goalscorer in Japan and Germany, but was sparsely used last season.


Survival is the only thing on the agenda, but the departure of fan-favourite Benitez is likely to destabilise the club, and a season of great struggle to avoid the drop looks inevitable.