Though it’s hard to imagine that a team doing so well in the Premier League at the moment could possibly have gaping holes in their team, Newcastle United have a fair few areas to address going into the upcoming summer transfer window.
This season, Newcastle have relied on the performances of those who’ve not really been expected to produce in the past – like James Perch, for example – and, to their credit, they’ve succeeded. Next season, though, with European football beckoning, as well as the hope to make deeper runs in the two domestic cup competitions, Newcastle will need more depth and maybe a few upgrades on the starting unit.
Let’s take a look at the areas Newcastle need to address, and a few potential signings who could fill the role:
With Danny Simpson turning down a new contract earlier this season, there is a distinct possibility that he could be sold in the summer to make sure he isn’t lost for nothing in 2013, just as Newcastle did with Joey Barton last season. As a starter, Simpson would then leave a pretty big role to fill at the starting right back position, but some potential replacements have already emerged, even if Simpson remains at the club.
Aly Cissokho, Lyon - Though he is a left back, Aly Cissokho has been rumoured during the past two transfers to have sparked interest from Newcastle, and his arrival would likely move Davide Santon to right back in place of Simpson. Cissokho would instantly be one of Newcastle’s top defenders, the only problem will be getting to him before a richer club does.
Erik Pieters, PSV - Dutch international defender, Erik Pieters, is almost certainly going to be playing in black and white next season, and all the better for us, because he appears to be a fantastic talent. With the ability to start on either side of the pitch, Pieters already has a relationship with fellow Dutchman Tim Krul, and this could help his case for a position in the starting back four.
The return of Steven Taylor next season should see him moved right back into his rightful role in the starting lineup. That said, with so much football slated to be played next season, Newcastle need a little more than Mike Williamson and converted right back, James Perch, to back-up for the injury-prone Geordie.
Douglas, FC Twente - Brazlilian-born giant, Douglas Franco Teixeira, currently dominating the Eredivisie with his physical defence, may be the perfect player to not only back-up, but to even compete with Steven Taylor for a starting role next to Captain Colo. The centre-back has already told his club that he’s ready to depart to pursue a career in England, and Newcastle appear a perfect candidate for his signing.
Toby Alderweireld, Ajax - Belgian utility man, Toby Alderweireld, is basically an improved version of James Perch. With the ability to play anywhere on the back four, his presence on the bench could be exactly what Newcastle need. Having players with the versatility of Perch and Alderweireld on the bench would be a luxury for any Premier League team.
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