Whichever way you look at it, Newcastle United are light in midfield.
Bruno Guimaraes is the only signing the club have made in that department since the takeover, such has been the need to strengthen in other areas.
Generally, Newcastle have played a 4-3-3 system under his watch. Currently, the squad offers only four midfielders to fit that in Guimaraes, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock, albeit Elliott Anderson can also operate there.
Over the course of a long season and with Newcastle potentially playing European football next season, that is not a huge amount of depth.
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Ruben Neves to leave Wolves and Newcastle are keen
It seems, then, that midfield will be an area of priority this summer.
The Portugal international is reportedly expected to leave Molineux this summer if Wolves receive an offer of between £40-£60m. Neves will have only a year to run on his contract at the end of the season and is also said to have admirers at Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Neves could be Shelvey’s long-term heir
Noted for his range of long-passing (something he has previously criticised Newcastle for), Neves could be an ideal addition.
Guimaraes has previously expressed his desire to play further forward and Neves does generally operate in the No.6 role Shelvey was playing last season. Experienced in the Premier League and still only 26, he’d certainly fit the profile of signings Newcastle have made since the takeover.
If Newcastle are looking to build a squad capable of challenging across a number of fronts, Neves looks a very wise addition.