Newcastle will face Everton on Tuesday with five new players and £91m spent in the transfer window, but Eddie Howe has big calls to make in defence and midfield
Biggest spenders in Europe after forking out £91m on five new players – but is it enough to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League?
The Saudi owners have brought in Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn and Matt Targett to plug gaps and strengthen.
However they missed out on signing a striker on deadline day, when Hugo Ekitike turned down a £33m move and Manchester United blocked a loan move for Jesse Lingard.
Eddie Howe’s hand has been strengthened, with Trippier and Guimaraes representing big upgrades, Targett filling the specialist left back problem position, and local lad Burn challenging Fab Schar and Jamaal Lascelles.
Howe’s team selection will be fascinating for Tuesday’s clash with Everton; his first chance to mould a side with multiple squad choices, but limited actual training time to gel the new faces.
The crucial game, both sides are struggling, has so many sub plots: Frank Lampard’s first game having succeeded Toon favourite Rafa Benitez; Everton’s new players including Dele Alli, and Newcastle needing to justify their own huge spending.
Newcastle fans were delighted the club spent so much after years of dud January windows, and there will be more to come in the summer if they stay in the Premier League.
Howe has axed Jamaal Lewis, Ciaran Clark and Isaac Hayden (because of his recent injury operation) from their first team 25 man squad.
With so much on the line for Newcastle, Mirror Football looks at how they could line up with their new signings…
Goalkeeper: Martin Dubravka
Remains No1 and is a noisy and important presence at the back. Newcastle did look at signing Dean Henderson from Manchester United, because of an injury to Dubravka which has proved not to be serious. He has vital saves to make and will have to bond with three new defenders.
Right-back: Kieran Trippier
One of the best signings of the window for £12m from Atletico Madrid. He has been solid and Newcastle will need his delivery from set-pieces and out wide to score more goals. Likely to be appointed captain if Jamaal Lascelles is rested.
Centre back: Fabian Schar
Recently recalled by Howe because of his international experience and passing ability. He isn’t the quickest but can read a game and spring attacks. He is under pressure from the arrival of Dan Burn, but his distribution alongside Burn could mean he gets the nod over Lascelles – but it’s a very close call, and perhaps Howe’s biggest dilemma if United are four at the back.
Centre back: Dan Burn
A surprise £13m signing after Newcastle missed out on top targets Sven Botman and Diego Carlos. But they need his height, defensive power and ball-playing ability. Can he forge a partnership with Schar, or Lascelles? Does Howe play him after that spirited clean sheet at Leeds? Probably.
Left back: Matt Targett
Goes straight in after signing on loan from Aston Villa, after losing his place to Lucas Digne… who himself turned down Newcastle. A specialist left-back is welcome, with Paul Dummett injury-prone and Matt Ritchie out of position.
Newcastle United via Getty Image)
Midfielder: Jonjo Shelvey
Has been decent recently, with his raking passes and winner at Leeds. Definitely still a mainstay in Howe’s side for the control he can exert on a game.
Midfielder: Bruno Guimaraes
The stellar signing for the window in the Premier League. Lyon playmaker, Brazil World Cup starter, driving force from deep and a man Newcastle can build around. Will arrive on Tyneside at the weekend after international duty and have little time to integrate, but Howe must put him straight into battle.
Midfielder: Joe Willock
Has had a quiet season after that £25m summer move, but looks to be regaining full fitness and form. Newcastle need his box-to-box legs and rekindling of his goal touch. Worth persevering with to get him up to potential.
Winger: Allan Saint Maximin
A nailed on starter, but needs to chip in with even more goals and get to double figures quickly. His tricks can turn games, and one day he will be awarded a penalty when he’s fouled.
Winger: Ryan Fraser
Puts in a good shift and is just about deserving of a place in the starting XI, but has to start creating goals. Knows Howe’s methods, but would have been ousted had they signed another forwards in the window like Jesse Lingard.
Striker: Chris Wood
Over-priced at £25m and his signing tipped off selling clubs that Newcastle had more cash than everyone expected in January. Has had a quiet start, no goals so far, but will prove an asset with Callum Wilson still injured.
Newcastle lineup: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett; Shelvey, Bruno Guimaraes, Willock; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin
The big losers are Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, around £85m of talent on the bench – which in itself is a good sign for Newcastle. Howe now has options and plenty of cover.