The transfer window is now over, and Newcastle have significantly improved their starting XI this summer.
Eddie Howe’s side is much stronger than last season, enhanced by the arrivals of Matt Targett, Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Alexander Isak.
The club is suddenly in a much better place, and has a team capable of competing with the big boys as we’ve seen this season.
We also have depth, as shown by the makeshift side playing so well against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Howe now has multiple options all over the pitch, and has a very strong starting XI and a decent backup XI too.
With that in mind, here is Geordie Boot Boys’ strongest Newcastle starting XI if everyone is fit
Kieran Trippier is the Magpies’ on-field captain when Jamaal Lascelles doesn’t play and is a real leader. His arrival at St James’ Park should never be understated.
The Swiss defender has really improved since Howe’s arrival, and has to be considered one of Newcastle’s best centre-backs. He’s improved in a back four, and his ability on the ball is vital as we saw with his stunning goal against Nottingham Forest.
Botman was one of the club’s biggest summer signings, and he already looks impressive in a Toon shirt. We give him the nod over £13million recruit Dan Burn in the strongest XI, but it really is tight between the two. That’s a testament to Newcastle’s options in defence.
Returning after a loan spell, Matt Targett is without a doubt the club’s best left-back. However, Jamal Lewis will hope for a chance to challenge him this season.
The best player at the club. Simple as that.
This is a call that some fans might not agree with. However, we’ve got Jonjo Shelvey playing as the ‘six’ in our strongest Toon XI. Shelvey looked great in pre-season, and him playing there frees Bruno to get further forward. It’s harsh on Willock, though.
Last season’s Player Of The Year looks just as good this time out in black and white. A true titan of centre-midfield.
The club smashed their transfer record to sign Alexander Isak, and it will be exciting to see how he plays alongside Callum Wilson. When everyone is fit, Isak will surely play out wide to allow Wilson to be directly through the middle.
Speaking of Wilson, he remains in our strongest Newcastle side despite the arrival of Isak. The 30-year-old has started the new season really well despite injury.
Newcastle’s x-factor in attack, we are starting to see the best of Allan Saint-Maximin once again. This could be a big season for the Frenchman.
Strongest XI: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Targett; Bruno, Shelvey, Joelinton; Isak, Wilson, Saint-Maximin
Eddie Howe also has a strong backup XI
Backup XI: Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Burn, Lewis; Willock, Longstaff, Anderson; Almiron, Wood, Fraser.
The team above shows how much strength in reserve Newcastle have. It doesn’t even include Paul Dummett, Javi Manquillo, Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie.
For the first time since the Championship season under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle have real options all over the pitch.
Sure, there are some players who are undroppable like Bruno and Trippier, but others are interchangeable. No one is complaining about Burn and Willock being regular starters right now.
Howe has a strong starting XI, as well as improving options on the bench. When everyone is fit, Newcastle have a very strong team. The new owners deserve a lot of credit for that.