Newcastle face their first home match of the season back in the Championship against Huddersfield Town this Saturday expecting to take three points and banish the memory of last week’s defeat to Fulham.
According to Newcastle United betting odds Newcastle are still up there with the favourites for promotion and their chances could be boosted further as Rafael Benitez’s transfer activity continues.
Players like Dwight Gayle, Grant Hanley and Matt Ritchie add a wealth of Championship experience whilst there is a touch of foreign flair in the ranks with the likes of Jesus Gamez and Matz Sels from Atletico Madrid and Gent respectively.
Summer signings so far: –
Vurnon Anita Ajax £6.7m
Ciaran Clark Aston Villa £5.0m
Mohamed Diame Hull City £4.5m
Jesus Gamez Atletico Madrid Undisclosed
Dwight Gayle Crystal Palace Undisclosed
Grant Hanley Blackburn Rovers Undisclosed
Isaac Hayden Arsenal Undisclosed
Matt Ritchie Bournemouth Undisclosed
Matz Sels AA Gent (Bel) £6.5m.
Spaniard Rafa Benitez has made shrewd moves in the market and his ability to offload a lot of the fringe players and underachievers has tidied up the squad considerably.
Demba Ba, Gabriel Obertan, Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini are just some of the names who have gone in the other direction freeing up a hefty wage bill and enabling money to be spent. Long term server Steven Taylor has also left Tyneside making the move across the pond to play in the MLS for the Portland Timbers.
The loss of talented Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool for £25m is seen as a blow. The Dutch International played in all of Newcastle’s 38 Premier League games last season and scored 11 times, leaving a gap which Dwight Gale will be hoping to fill.
Ayoze Perez looks likely to be next out of the door at St James Park. Newcastle have revealed that they have turned down two offers for the Spanish forward but rejected both with Benitez telling the media “We don’t want to sell him”.
Despite Real Madrid pulling out of signing Moussa Sissoko, Benitez has admitted that if the right price came in then the French midfielder would be allowed to leave.
There is still action to be had as the transfer window remains open for another three weeks and Benitez has made it clear he wants to add more to his squad telling BBC Newcastle: –
“We are still looking for two or three players, if it is possible,” he added. “We know that we need something, to give a little bit more balance.”
There is an overwhelming feeling of positivity around Newcastle at the moment and there is room for argument that this current squad is better than the one that went down last season.
It is just a shame it took a relegation to get here.