Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season, which for their team gets underway at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Rafa Benitez’s men deserve huge credit for securing a tenth place finish upon their return to the English top tier last time round, which was especially impressive given they were in and around the bottom three at the turn of the year. Yet it was clear from their limitations over the course of the campaign that reinforcements were needed during the summer transfer window to maintain their top half status, and perhaps move to the next level this term.
And while the arrivals of Kenedy and Salomon Rondon will no doubt bolster the attacking department, the Magpies could seriously live to regret failing to land Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck, who was linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium during the close season.
Ultimately, while being defensively solid and performing well in the middle of the park, Newcastle were very blunt going forward last season in scoring just 39 goals in their 38 Premier League games – Ayoze Perez was the only man to reach double figures.
And with the likes of Dwight Gayle and Joselu simply not producing the goods on a regular enough basis, it was clear that the striking department needed strengthening – Rondon’s addition will at least aid in that quest.
Yet there’s little doubting that England international Welbeck would have gone even further to providing another genuine option to Benitez in the final third of the pitch.
The 27-year-old may not have been hugely prolific in recent times for the Gunners, but the forward bagged six times in the second half of last season for the North London giants to help them to sixth place in the Premier League, and indeed to the semi-finals of the Europa League – there’s a reason he made Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England squad for the World Cup.
And with pace, power, an aerial presence, and the ability to take defenders on, Welbeck would without doubt have been an asset to Benitez this term, both as an out-and-out forward, or indeed someone playing down the flanks.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!