Manager: Steve Bruce
Star Player: Joelinton
The summer so far has been more dramatic for Newcastle United compared to the whole of the 2018/19 season. Rafa Benitez has left his post as the gaffer of the club move to China, Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez have also departed the club, with the former going back to his parent club, West Brom after a successful loan before linking up again with Benítez after joining the Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang, and the latter joining Premier League rivals Leicester City.
The Magpies finished 13th in the league last season, nine points separating them and relegated Cardiff City. Though they had a period of bad results, Benitez was able to steady the ship and ensured their safety.
Newcastle United shipped in 48 goals only, and that was due to the performances of Martin Dubravka, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, and Fabian Schar – who all had decent seasons. The fact that defending was not left for the defence alone was another reason behind Benitez’s side conceding just 48 goals.
It was a delight to watch as the Magpies had quality and quickfire attackers upfront, though the gaffer had problems. Matt Ritchie, a versatile player notched eight assists and scoring only two in 36 appearances.
Salomon Rondon who racked up 12 goals, and Perez who also got 11, will be difficult to replace but Joelinton joining the club in a club record deal, he may be that player who holds a vaguely similar profile.
Unless huge decisions are taken within the course of the summer transfer window, the possibility of Bruce’s men finishing in the top half looks unlikely considering the fact that other mid-table clubs are investing heavily in their respective teams with just two weeks until the start of the 2019/20 season.
Can Steve Bruce guide the Magpies into a top half finish?