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Newcastle must use the transfer market intelligently

Tuesday 25th April 2017
Newcastle United have regained their Premier League status at the first time of asking following their 4-1 victory over Preston at St James' Park. While they may miss out on going up as champions, the fans will have highlighted automatic promotion as their main objective.

There was so much speculation last summer as to whether the Magpies would gain an immediate return, with the Championship a tough place to get out of. However, with Rafael Benitez at the helm, Newcastle's fans will claim their promotion was never in doubt, something that probably wasn't true after they lost their opening two games of the season.

Through sheer grit and determination, along with a talented squad, it seems as though Newcastle will be switching places with Sunderland next term, something that will delight their fans.

With promotion secured, what must Newcastle look to do in the summer? Too often will a team assume their squad is good enough, before being proved horribly wrong, as they are immediately relegated.

Rafael Benitez must look to add to his squad then, with a number of areas, in particular, needing some attention.

First of all, the left-back position needs a new first-choice selection. Paul Dummett has been a good servant for the club, with his performances this season, standing out. This will make any decision to replace him even more difficult, but it must be done.

The full-back does not possess the same sort pace that modern defenders need, with his lack of speed a real worry for when he comes up against a winger as rapid as Raheem Sterling or Theo Walcott.

In midfield, there does not need to be a change, but instead a continued improvement for Jonjo Shelvey. The Englishman has shone this term, standing out as the best centre-midfielder in the league and proving that he is a talented player. However, with Swansea in the Premier League last season, he really struggled to implement his stamp on the game, therefore, he faded into the back when the Swans needed him most. He was subsequently sold to Newcastle, where a stint in the second league has served him well.

He needs to continue on this upward curve though. A lot of critics will cite that he cannot be called a top player until he consistently plays well in the Premier League. Shelvey is likely to get far less time on the ball, and when he does have it, he will be hounded constantly, with opposition teams knowing that if they can stop him, the Magpies will falter.

Further forward, Newcastle needs to ensure that someone of the same standard as Matt Ritchie is brought in on the opposite wing. Yoan Gouffran has played well, while Christian Atsu has also stood out. Gouffran struggled in the Premier League though, and it is likely that Atsu will not return to Newcastle as he is currently on-loan from Chelsea.

The Magpies' problem now is that good wingers are hard to come by, and they are expensive. Manchester City have hundreds of millions of pounds at their disposal, but they are still using Jesus Navas on the wing, a player that is not good enough for a title chasing side.

It is likely that Newcastle will have to shell out a lot of money this summer, and it will not get them a lot. The transfer market is so inflated of late that £20 million no longer gets a top quality player. However, they may also be subjected to some tempting bids for players, with the likes of Dwight Gayle, Shelvey, Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles all gaining admirers in recent months.

This summer is going to be a crucial one for Newcastle, they will be desperate for it to be in a positive way, though.
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.

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