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Newcastle: Nick Pope, Moussa Diaby, Armando Broja – how Eddie Howe’s side could line up next season

It is shaping up to be another transformative transfer window for Newcastle.

On New Year’s Day 2022, the Magpies were second bottom of the table, had only one Premier League victory to their name and were firmly mired in a relegation battle after failing to win any of their first 14 matches.

Manager Eddie Howe, who took over in early November, a month after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought out Mike Ashley and made the north-east side the richest club in world football, had work to do.

He immediately splashed the cash in the January transfer window, spending £90million to snap up Bruno Guimaraes (£40m), Chris Wood (£25m), Dan Burn (£13m) and Kieran Trippier (£12m).

And backed by seemingly endless reserves of Saudi cash, Howe is aiming for several more big signings this summer to overhaul their squad.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope and defenders Sven Botman and Matt Targett have already joined – and with Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and Chelsea striker Armando Broja already linked, Sportsmail looks at how Newcastle could line up next season.

It is shaping up to be another transformative transfer window for Newcastle under Eddie Howe

The club's new Saudi Arabian owners seemingly have a bottomless pit of cash to buy players

The club’s new Saudi Arabian owners seemingly have a bottomless pit of cash to buy players

Goalkeeper – Nick Pope 

Nick Pope, signed for around £10m, was nominally bought in to provide cover and competition for 33-year-old Martin Dubravka, but can realistically expect to start next season as No 1.

Dubravka will likely become second choice, with Karl Darlow a potential departure and Mark Gillespie acting as experienced backup after Freddie Woodman joined Preston. 

Right back – Kieran Trippier 

Although his first half-season at Newcastle was hit by injury, January signing Trippier, 31, is considered a top player at the club and a key leader on and off the pitch.

Emil Krafth will deputise in his absence, with Javi Manquillo seemingly out of contention. 

Right centre back – Fabian Schar 

Now entering his fifth season, Schar had never seemed to fully lock down a first-team slot but towards the end of last season, replaced club captain Jamaal Lascelles in defence and became a key cog in their upturn in form.

After playing the full 90 minutes in 22 of Eddie Howe’s first 24 games, the Swiss earned himself a new two-year contract at the club. He will probably start next season as first-choice – although Dan Burn may also partner the man below… 

The club have already made three signings this summer, including centre half Sven Botman

The club have already made three signings this summer, including centre half Sven Botman

Left centre back – Sven Botman 

Botman became the club’s third-most expensive signing of all time when he finally put pen to paper at the end of June.

He will be a defensive lynchpin for Howe and at 22, has plenty of time to improve as well. A potentially transformative signing. 

Left back – Matt Targett 

Just 16 games on loan was how long it took Howe to decide he wanted to sign Targett permanently from Aston Villa.

Sidelined at Villa after Lucas Digne’s arrival, Targett made perfect sense as a six-month loan. Now he has arrived on a four-year deal for around £15m, and as such will be first-choice. Jamal Lewis, Paul Dummett or Matt Ritchie could cover. 

Defensive midfield – Jonjo Shelvey

Potentially the weakest part of the first team is in defensive midfield. Isaac Hayden has gone on loan to Championship side Norwich, Matty Longstaff’s future is uncertain and Jeff Hendrick can leave.

Hometown boy Sean Longstaff and playmaker Jonjo Shelvey will battle it out for the deeper midfield role – but Shelvey’s improved fitness, creativity and better passing range may see him edge ahead of Longstaff senior in the pecking order. 

Bruno Guimaraes, the first big signing of the new Magpies era, has proved a massive success

Bruno Guimaraes, the first big signing of the new Magpies era, has proved a massive success

Centre midfield – Joelinton

Although Newcastle’s resurgence is in large part down to the vast piles of cash from their controversial new owners, Howe has improved several players that were already at the club – chief among them Joelinton.

Signed as a central striker for £40m despite generally playing out wider for Hoffenheim, he has been reinvented as a crowd-pleasing destructive box-to-box midfielder. Who saw that coming? 

Centre midfield – Bruno Guimaraes

Bruno Guimaraes was the first real statement signing for Howe and PIF and what a success he has been.

All-action, hugely popular with the fans, scoring his first goal with a back-heel volley. He has both the style and the substance and has locked down one of the No 8 positions in midfield.

The Magpies have been heavily linked with Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby (pictured)

The Magpies have been heavily linked with Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby (pictured)

Right winger – Moussa Diaby

Last season, it was Saint-Maximin (when fit) and one other on the wing. Howe’s favourite Ryan Fraser, Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almiron all took the right-wing slot at points last season without fully convincing in the role.

The diminutive Diaby, who scored 17 goals in all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen last season and has broken into the France set-up, would form a terrifying prospect for defences out wide. 

Left winger – Allan Saint-Maximin

Is there a more consistently exciting player in the Premier League than Saint-Maximin? Obviously, his end product doesn’t always live up to his dazzling array of skills, but are you not entertained?

Selling the Frenchman to raise funds had emerged as a possibility, but he is likely to stay and be a key part of Newcastle’s attack next campaign.

Striker – Armando Broja

Chris Wood, signed from Burnley for £25m six months ago, is already seen as not quite at the standard required. Callum Wilson is talented but has fitness issues and so is not considered to be a guaranteed starter.

With Hugo Ekitike’s move from Reims seemingly dead in the water, the Magpies will turn to Chelsea’s Armando Broja on loan – and if he joins, he could start up top. 

Howe is also aiming to sign Chelsea's Armando Broja, who impressed at Southampton last year

Howe is also aiming to sign Chelsea’s Armando Broja, who impressed at Southampton last year

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