Team Name: Newcastle United
Manager: Alan Pardew
Last Season: 10th
Who they’ve signed so far: Ayoze Perez (Tenerife, undisclosed), Jack Colback (Sunderland, free), Siem de Jong (Ajax, undisclosed), Remy Cabella (Montpellier, undisclosed), Emmanuel Riviere (AS Monaco, undisclosed), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar Donetsk, loan).
Out of the exit door: Dan Gosling (Bournemouth, free), Conor Newton (Rotherham, free), Jonathan Mitchell (Derby County, free), James Tavernier (Wigan Athletic, undisclosed), Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal, undisclosed), Sylvain Marveaux (Guingamp, loan), Adam Campbell (Fleetwood Town, loan).
Star Man: Fabriccio Coloccini
The Argentine’s importance for Newcastle cannot be emphasised enough – simply put, when he doesn’t play, the Magpies do not. It’s no coincidence that in the one season the 32-year-old failed to make more than 25 Premier League appearances for the club, Newcastle flirted with relegation.
Coloccini has tried to move back to his homeland on a number of occasions over the past few years, but Newcastle’s steadfast refusal to let him go, coupled with their ongoing attempts to convince him to remain there for the long term only emphasises how irreplaceable he is to the St James’ Park side.
Club captain and leader both on and off the pitch, the South American has provided the foundation for Newcastle’s moderate success over the past few years. All he needs now is a consistent centre-back to play alongside.
Under the Radar: Rolando Aarons
The standout player for Newcastle during pre-season, it may yet be a season too soon for Aarons but after impressing in recent friendlies – with his performance against Schalke in a recent encounter garnering particular praise – Alan Pardew may opt to take a gamble on the winger.
The Magpies boss has certainly been impressed at how quickly the youngster has developed and after seeing how Raheem Sterling thrived at Liverpool after being thrown in at the deep-end, the Toon boss may have found the ideal low-cost replacement to the outcast Hatem Ben Arfa, which should keep Mike Ashley happy!
Team Liability: Steven Taylor
You could almost hear the collective groans among Newcastle fans when Steven Taylor pledged his future to Newcastle earlier this summer.
Marginalised for much of last season, following a disastrous opening day performance against Manchester City that saw him red carded with Newcastle losing 4-0, Taylor played only a handful of first-team games last term.
Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace were both thought to be keen on the defender, but with question marks remaining over Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, it looks like Taylor will remain on Tyneside for the time being at least.
Check out this video of Taylor in action for the Toon. Oh dear.
Title Odds: 1000/1
Best Bet: Newcastle United in betting without the big seven @ 3/1
Our Verdict: Newcastle have done some of the best business of the summer transfer window with Jack Colback and Siem de Jong brought in to shore up a midfield that has lacked creativity since the departure of Yohan Cabaye and the decline of Cheick Tiote.
They have also managed to take some of the pressure off Papiss Cisse by bringing in Emmanuel Riviere, Fecundo Ferreya and Ayoze Perez – three exciting young strikers hungry for goals and keen to impress in the Premier League.
Throw in the presence of exciting French winger Remy Cabella and aforementioned youth prospect Aarons and Newcastle have a realistic shot at a top six finish.
All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of publishing
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