A direct player with bags of pace, if we can keep Aarons fit for the final year of his contract then he could take the league by storm. After announcing his arrival in the Premier League in the season before last with a goal against Crystal Palace, Aarons struggled to make an impression until the final day of the season just gone when he scored against Spurs. He’s shown in his handful of games so far that he’s got the ability, he just needs to be out there for long enough to make a difference.
Central midfield: Jonjo Shelvey
The player about to become the Championship’s highest paid player ever, the £80,000 a week man needs to step up to prove he’s worth the £12m paid for him six months ago. The league isn’t an unknown quantity as he featured there for Charlton at the start of his career as well as on loan at Blackpool a few seasons ago, and it’s experience that our midfield desperately needs. He’s been chosen over the other options purely because he has the ability to pick out the killer pass our strikers desperately need – even if he’s only shown it fleetingly so far.
Central midfield: Henri Saivet
The forgotten man signed at the same time as Shelvey, Saivet’s had a bit of a rough start to his Newcastle career. It doesn’t seem to be a popular opinion that the lad looks like a decent signing, and he seems to have been unfairly dropped following the 3-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park in which he barely put a foot wrong (despite being subbed off on the 50th minute he won more tackles and recovered the ball more times than any of his teammates, as well as completing the third highest number of passes for the team). Rafa didn’t seem to rate him and he didn’t feature again following the Everton defeat, but he definitely deserves the chance to make the central midfield spot his own.
Right midfield: Andros Townsend
The former Spurs man didn’t exactly set hearts racing when his signing was announced, and his old club probably couldn’t believe they’d convinced someone to shell out as much as Newcastle did, but he quickly showed a level of consistency and effort the team desperately needed. He’s already scored more for us than he did during his entire Spurs career, and narrowly missed out on a place in the England squad as a result. There probably won’t be many who wouldn’t want to see him stick around and continue the form he’s shown under Rafa so far.
Click ‘3’ to view which strikers we believe should line-up for Newcastle next season