By 90Min
May 28, 2019

Yes, you weren't dreaming. Newcastle really might be about to rid themselves of Mike Ashley, thanks to the moneyed ways of Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan and his £350m bid to take over the club.

Of course, this had Magpies fanatics all giddy about the prospect of actually, maybe, possibly signing not just one, but two, three, four, five, hell fifteen players in the summer transfer window, one of which would obviously be Kylian Mbappe.

Now, we're keeping things on the ground here at 90min, so there'll be no place for the World Cup winner in this XI just yet, but here's a hopeful, but hopefully realistic, mapping out of the potential starting XI for Newcastle in the 2019/20 season, in their customary 5-4-1 formation.


Goalkeeper - Kevin Trapp

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Martin Dubravka has been a faithful servant at St James' Park, playing every single minute of the most recent Premier League campaign, but he also shown an air of fallibility that he perhaps hadn't displayed during his breakthrough with the Toon.

With this in mind, the links with Kevin Trapp make sense. The Germany international, who has excelled at Eintracht Frankfurt on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, could provide Dubravka with some sincere pressure for the top spot, and be a worthwhile upgrade from the remaining three reserve keepers, all of whom are out of contract in June 2020.

Others Linked: Alphonse Areola, Walter Benitez.


Right Back - Mario Fernandes

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A pricey one, but it could definitely pay off. Mario Fernandes has been linked with Newcastle for a somewhat hefty £26.4m, but with Atletico Madrid also in the hunt, it seems like a wise purchase.

The Brazilian born Russia international was instrumental for the hosts at the 2018 World Cup, and thriving under such intense pressure will place him in good stead for the Tyneside cauldron. Had a hand in ten goals across 34 appearances for CSKA Moscow last season. 


Centre Back - Jamaal Lascelles

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Captain. Leader. Likely legend. To put it simply, he's going nowhere. 


Centre Back - Fabian Schar

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His composure in defence is only matched by the venom in his right foot. Enough said. 


Centre Back - Wilfried Kanon

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An exciting possible addition, Wilfried Kanon could join Rafa Benitez (*crosses fingers*) and co for as little as £3m this summer, thanks to a clause in his Den Haag contract. 

The Ivory Coast international has 34 caps for his country, and is set to take part in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after a good season in the Eredivisie.


Left Back - Jetro Willems

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Three years in the making, 2019 could finally be the year Newcastle land Jetro Willems. The former PSV Eindhoven youngster is now at Eintracht Frankfurt with Trapp and co, though a formation shift limited his impact towards the end of the campaign.

With this in mind, the 25-year-old is keen on a switch, and even cited the Premier League club as one of his suitors going into this summer.


Joelinton - Right Wing

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Now, if you thought Mario Fernandes was expensive, then you might baulk at this one. BUT. Joelinton is a serious, serious talent.

Nicknamed the next Roberto Firmino, on account of the fact that he's a Brazilian forward excelling at Hoffenheim, the 24-year-old notched 11 goals and nine assists this season and, though he's naturally a striker, or even second striker, he's just as comfortable on the right wing. 


There were reports that the German side turned down a £42m bid in January, so he wouldn't come cheap, but hey, who cares about that now, right?


Central Midfielder - Juan Mata

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With the futures of Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey up in the air, some midfield additions will be vital this summer.

Sure his wages could be an eye-watering £140,000-a-week, but Juan Mata would come to St James' Park for absolutely nothing, thanks to those wise old souls at Old Trafford allowing the Spaniard's contract to run down. Joao Mario has also been linked, but, yeah...not so enticing. 


Central Midfielder - Miguel Almiron

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Though it was cut short, and ended in tears Miguel Almiron's first half-season in the Premier League was an impressive one. 

In a short time he showed plenty of ambition, and crucially, as Rafa Benitez stated after his debut, all the attributes you would want in a Premier League player. Would be nice to see him play more centrally, as well.


Left Wing - Dwight McNeil

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After his breakthrough season at Burnley, where he notched three goals and five assists in 21 Premier League games, the 19-year-old winger is a hot commodity going into this transfer window. 

However, his ability on the ball combined with his defensive acumen at such a young age makes Dwight McNeil one of the most exciting of all these possible signings. Get it done, lads. 


Striker - Salomon Rondon

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From the ridiculous (we're talking Fernando Torres and Danny Welbeck) to the sublime (Duvan Zapata and Wesley Moraes), the Magpies have been linked with plenty of strike force talent in recent days.

However, this is a slight on the impeccable work of Salomon Rondon, the club's player of the season. Sure, his talents are geared to a particular style, but there are few better in the world at facilitating that style. Yes, backup is probably needed, but there's no need to usurp the Venezuelan just yet...he just needs to be signed up himself now.

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