With the transfer window in full swing, ESPN FC's Newcastle United blogger Lee Ryder discusses how Alan Pardew's side are shaping up ahead of the new season.
IN -- Ayoze Perez (1.6 million pounds), Jack Colback (free), Siem de Jong (7m), Remy Cabella (7m), Daryl Janmaat (5m), Emmanuel Riviere (5m)
OUT -- Dan Gosling (Bournemouth, free), Shola Ameobi (Unattached, free), Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal, 10m)
SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW ASSESSMENTS
PREMIER LEAGUE: Arsenal | Aston Villa | Burnley | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Hull City | Leicester City | Liverpool | Man City | Man Utd | Newcastle | QPR | Southampton | Stoke | Sunderland | Swansea | Tottenham | West Brom | West Ham
Newcastle have used transfer funds from the sales of Yohan Cabaye and Debuchy, pooled with 77 million pounds in television cash, to give manager Alan Pardew a transfer kitty of around 40 million this summer.
Rate your business so far
It's 8/10 for me so far. Newcastle needed some creative players and a striker, and they have ticked both of those boxes in their business to date.
Pardew also needed to bolster his midfield options, so the arrival of Jack Colback gives him a chance to do exactly that. The Toon boss is hoping to play with a 4-2-3-1 formation this summer, and so far, he has the personnel to do so. Last season there were too many games when United didn't look like they were capable of churning out enough chances for the front line. It was something Pardew had to address. By bringing in Cabella and De Jong, the two could inflict some serious damages on Premier League defensive rearguards this season. Riviere will also bring more of a goal threat to a front line that lost Loic Remy at the end of last term.
Who should be sold?
Defensively, I still think there is another top notch centre-back required at Newcastle. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Steven Taylor have struggled to nail down a place in the team. And while Yanga-Mbiwa could still do a job for the team, Pardew clearly doesn't fancy him as one of his defenders. Taylor has been loyal to Newcastle, but perhaps new pastures could be best for all concerned.
Both Sylvain Marveaux and Hatem Ben Arfa continue to train with the reserves on Tyneside. They are still out of favour and won't play much part in the preseason games. Newcastle should take cut price deals on the duo while unhappy Jonas Gutierrez should also be moved on.
Who should be signed?
Newcastle have pretty much done most of their shopping but there could still be more to come. Steven Caulker has been offered to the Magpies from relegated Cardiff City, and he could fit the bill. But another striker is what would really get the fans' imagination going wild, and Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon would excite fans as well by adding to the threat in the final third.
Lacazette is a genuine target and has attracted interest from Liverpool. With Lacazette, Riviere and, of course, number 9 Papiss Cisse there would be a wealth of options in attack. Cisse looked lonely at times last season and was often fielded out of position. However, with either of the French strikers alongside him he could give his career a shot in the arm.
Problem solving: What do you need?
Newcastle still need what would be considered a marquee signing to cap things off this summer. And they should turn to the man who ended last season as top scorer for them in Remy.
Sources at Loftus Road have suggested that Newcastle must pay up to 15 million pounds for Remy. The budget is available and Newcastle could offer him the wages he has received while at QPR too. Remy grabbed 14 goals last term but could get more with the new creative players in the squad, and the fact is that he would be settled in the area. The striker did not have a great time at the World Cup and should be fresh enough to start the season firing on all cylinders. Plus, fans would appreciate the return of the former Marseille man, despite turning the club down at the first time of asking back in 2013.