Newcastle United 2017/18 Season Preview

Finishing position: First (Championship)
Total points: 94
Top league scorer: Dwight Gayle (23)

Newcastle United have done well to secure promotion to the Premier League and the hard work has only just begun.

Rafa Benitez will be expected to establish the Magpies as a Premier League force once again and the Spaniard has been working tirelessly to improve his squad for the upcoming season.

Newcastle have a well-balanced side and a tactically astute manager at the helm. The Magpies will certainly avoid relegation next season but their final position in the table might not be satisfactory.

Judging by the quality of the signings and the current squad, Newcastle have all the makings of a solid mid-table side. In order to break into the top half, Benitez will need to splash the cash and chase players of a different level.

Newcastle have only just returned to the Premier League and it won’t be easy getting top players right now. The Magpies are in for a solid yet unspectacular season which will see them finish in the bottom half.

Key player to watch out for

Jonjo Shelvey: The former Liverpool midfielder was outstanding for the Magpies in the Championship and they will need to rely on him to control games from the centre of the park. The English midfielder will be key to their success in the Premier League next season.

Transfers

Ins: Christian Atsu (Chelsea, £6.2m), Florian Lejeune (Eibar, £8.7m), Jacob Murphy (Norwich, £12m), Javier Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, undisclosed), Mikel Merino (Dortmund, loan).

Outs: Florian Thauvin (Marseille, £9.8m), Vurnon Anita (Leeds, free), Yoan Gouffran (Goztepe, free), Haris Vuckic (FC Twente, free), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest).

Pre-season results

Hearts 1-2 Newcastle
Preston 1-1 Newcastle
Bradford 0-4 Newcastle
Mainz 2-1 Newcastle
Wolfsburg 1-3 Newcastle

Prediction: 13th

Newcastle will struggle to break into the top half. The likes of West Ham, Everton, Palace etc have a lot of depth and quality as compared to them. Furthermore, most of Newcastle’s key players (Shelvey, Gayle etc) are unproven at this level and will struggle to reproduce their form from the Championship.