Due to a fantastic season, Newcastle enjoyed a top half finish and, in the end, we were nowhere near the relegation reckoning. Stoke, Swansea and West Brom, however, all fell through the trap door to the Championship – but even though they had poor season, there are a few players in those squads worth looking at this summer.
Who may Rafa and the team consider moves for? Here’s a few from each side:
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke)
The Swiss talisman would be a real coup for NUFC, regardless of concerns over his attitude. He is a match winner and can play number 10 or on either wing and would be a valuable threat from set plays. With a relegation clause of £14.5m there will be plenty of clubs but securing someone of his talent would be a real sign of intent.
Joe Allen (Stoke)
The Welsh international has a great passing range and would be a nice foil for Diame/Shelvey to add some competition, especially if Merino leaves. Still at a good age and will certainly not be wanting to play in the second tier, so I am sure Allen will be on Rafa’s radar.
Badou Ndiaye (Stoke)
Only arrived at the Potters in janaury and was actually also linked to NUFC then. He really shone depsite Stoke going down and he is equally adept sitting in front of the back four or pushing forward. He would add real power into the middle of the park and again more competition. Stoke would want to re-coup the £13m they paid and he will have other suitors.
Alfie Mawson (Swansea)
Mbemba is moving on and Clark has’t proved to be the level of the excellent Lascelles and Lejeune this season. Rafa will want 4 options at the heart of the defence and Mawson is certainly a strong option who will be available this summer. We could play 5-3-2 with him to form a back three with two wing backs. With Swansea likely to want £20m+ we may however be better pumping funds into strikers than that much into a 3rd choice centre back.
Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea)
A move for Dubravka is close to being sealed but we also learned it is dependant on Sels leaving and Rafa staying at the club. Both hopefully will be confirmed soon and Rafa is looking like he will stay for now even if he doesn’t sign a new contract. Darlow and Elliott have not convinced and Woodman still needs another loan move before he is ready to play in the Premier League, so another keeper would give Rafa the depth he has always wanted in this area. Fabianksi is an excellent and proven keeper at this level and will be leaving Wales following their relegation.
Salomon Rondon (West Brom)
We are looking for a striker and Rondon is free to leave West Brom for £16.5m due to the relegation clause in his contract. He is a good target man and could be an alternative option for us when we likely don’t pursue a full time contract for Islam Slimani.
Jay Rodriguez (West Brom)
He had a real purple patch at the end of last season and as well as playing up front, is also comfortable on either wing. Rodriguez would inject pace into the side and I am sure he is one that Rafa will at least consider of ask of his availibkty this summer, seven if it isn’t the marquee striker we all crave. A poor injury record may deter Newcastle though.
Kieran Gibbs (West Brom)
Dummett completed an oustanding season last year and has really grown under the guidance of Benitez. He is now a key part of the NUFC side and reason why we look so solid. We do not really though have good cover for him and it may be we look at Gibbs as an option to provide cover; after all when Dummett was injured last term our form really suffered.
Matty Phillips (West Brom)
The Scottish winger is inconsistant but has clear quality. He scored a fine goal when West Brom beat us at St.James’ and he will be looking to move this term. He would be a good option for us if Rafa decides to cash in on the likes of Murphy and Atsu who didn’t have the best seasons and lost their place to the outstanding Kenedy.
Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom)
Hagazy could be a cheaper alternative to Mawson as we explore options at centre half. The Egyptian was one of the few who impressed for the Baggies last year and has the benefit of also being a threat in the opposite box from set plays too.
Would you take any of these ten? Or are there better options out there for us?