Newcastle are reportedly on the verge of securing a deal for Hoffenheim striker Joelinton with the Northern Echo claiming they are confident of completing a record deal, but what areas should they look at next?
If Newcastle are going to be competitive, the Brazilian forward must be the first of many to come through the St James’ Park door before the transfer window closes in just three weeks.
Despite the potential signing of the powerful 22-year-old as replacement for Salomon Rondon, they will still need a second striker to cancel out Ayoze Perez’s departure.
Even then, they could do with a third to act as back-up to Joelinton and whoever else may arrive.
But it is not just at the top of the pitch the squad needs serious work on. Full-back areas are a major concern – and were during much of Rafa Benitez’s time at the club – and left-back, particularly, looks especially week.
It is never a good sign when your regular starter gets injured, and a right-back has to slot in as an emergency replacement. But that is exactly what it was like before Matt Ritchie was transformed into a wing-back.
So a left-back to cover for Paul Dummett must be a priority, and a new right back would be nice, with neither Javier Manquillo nor DeAndre Yedlin consistent enough to cement the spot as their own.
Midfield could be a problem if Isaac Hayden leaves
Midfield needs depth too, having let Mo Diame leave, and question marks remaining over Isaac Hayden’s future.
Jonjo Shelvey’s Tyneside future looked up in the air, but with Rafa now gone, he may be given more of an opportunity under Steve Bruce.
The former Swansea and Liverpool player has made his determination to stay clear, and a happy, fully fit Shelvey can be an asset to any team.
So we will need cover for the senior starters as a minimum, and it does not end there either.
Both flanks could do with strength in depth. Ritchie was a revelation at wing-back, but it remains to be seen if Bruce would use that formation. While Christian Atsu has largely flattered to deceive at St James’ Park.
So whichever way you look at it, there is a lot of work to do in a short space of time. And if they do not get it done in time, it may already be too late when the window opens again in January.