Well, the January transfer window is finally over and Newcastle United have added two extra players to their squad. Antonio Barreca of Monaco (£1 million loan fee, £9 million option to buy come summer) and the real answer to 'GOAL!' 's own Santiago Munez in the shape of Miguel Almiron ,who's £21 million transfer fee broke Michael Owen's long-lasting transfer record on Tyneside.
With 13 games to go, Newcastle United will need to start looking ahead to the future, in the hopeful sense that the magpies manage to survive another year back in the top flight. So, to once again help to advise the Board of Trustees at Newcastle United ,I have compiled together a list of positions that we need to improve upon, and the players that we could sign come summer to help improve those positions.
As for positions, Newcastle United do have some good balance and depth to their first team squad, but do lack heavily going forward. The departures of young stars Ivan Toney and Adam Armstrong, as well as the loan departure of Dwight Gayle to Peterborough, Blackburn Rovers and West Brom respectively, saw only Salomon Rondon arrive at the club as part of the Dwight Gayle deal. So, start off with, here are three potential striking targets for the summer (apart from Rondon permanently):
1. Neal Maupay (Brentford)
The 22-year old Frenchman has caught the eyes of many scout as the ex-Saint Etienne forward has bagged 18 goals across three domestic competitions this season, despite this only being his second year in the second division of English football. The striker is only 5'7'' but can play either up-front or on the right-wing. He could slot into Rafa Benitez's 5-3-1-1 as the support striker to Salomon Rondon, forcing Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almiron back into midfield. The only issue at stake now is that the club would have to fork out a hefty transfer fee for the young forward.
2. Divock Origi (Liverpool)
This 23-year old Belgian forward is very versatile and can play anywhere across the attacking trio. He seems very much out-of-favour in Jurgen Klopp's side, but has performed well under limited minutes. The striker has netted 3 goals in just 6 games, and averages a goal every 88 minutes. Origi is very much unwanted on Merseyside and is currently rumoured to be attracting the attention of Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves. He should be available for a cut-price fee in the summer. Would you take the Belgian on in the summer.
3. Jean-Kevin Augustin (RB Leipzig)
Again, another young French striker, this time in the shape of a 21-year old, ex-PSG forward. Augustin partners Timo Werner up front in RB Leipzig's 4-2-2-2 formation. The striker has managed 10 direct goal contributions this season (8 goals, 2 assists) and could again form a fantastic strike partnership with Salomon Rondon. The forward makes perfect runs and is a good, technical dribbler as well as a good goalscorer. However, the Frenchman is currently valued at around £20 million pounds by Transfermarkt.com and would most likely require a large sum of cash to be able to snatch him away from the Bundesliga.
That is it for part one of the series on preparing for next season, hope you enjoyed and be sure to check out @talkofthetyne on Instagram for other great content.