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The Newcastle United Overhaul Project 

Newcastle United v Leeds United - Premier League
Newcastle United v Leeds United - Premier League
CONTRIBUTOR

Formed in 1892 as part of a merger of two clubs from 'Tyneside', Newcastle United represents the British blue-collar working class. The hard-working port workers & shipbuilders take pride in being fans of 'The Toon' and have done even more so ever since the golden era under Kevin Keegan in the 90s and then later under the late great Sir Bobby Robson.

It has now been more than 65 years since Newcastle United won their last domestic trophy. However, with a takeover now imminent, Newcastle United are on the verge of becoming the richest club in the world.

Recent struggles under Mike Ashley for Newcastle United

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley bought the club back in 2007 and in the 14 years since, Ashley has put the club on sale a total of three times. Under the Walsall-born billionaire's stewardship, Newcastle United have gone from title challengers to making avoiding relegation their primary objective at the start of every season.

Newcastle United have managed to crawl into the latter stages of cup competitions like the FA Cup & UEFA Europa League, but silverware has eluded the Northern club. Severing ties with legends like Alan Shearer & Kevin Keagan have further worsened his image in the eyes of the club's ever loyal fans.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League
Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League

Saudi takeover of Newcastle United

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Enter caption Enter caption

The Saudi takeover comes at just the right time. The takeover is to be carried out through the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF). It is a sovereign wealth fund which is estimated to be worth approximately $500 million dollars. Chaired by the country's crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, a.k.a. 'MBS'.

As part of its 'Vision 2030' plan, the Saudis aim to diversify the Arabian economy and end their dependency on oil. The Fund has so far invested in companies such as Uber, Tesla, SoftBank and Facebook, among others.

Newcastle United Manager: Steven Gerrard

Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard has had a much documented career in the Premier League. The Merseyside native was a force to be reckoned with in his heyday and was a beacon of hope and a symbol of the Kop during his time at Anfield. Interestingly, Gerrard has been able to somewhat replicate his exploits from his playing days well into his management tenure.

The Champions League winner deploys solid tactics which focus on clean transitional football. Gerrard seems like the perfect candidate to kickstart what could be a new dynasty in the football world.

Gerrard is said to be a loyal club man and fits the bill as the perfect general to lead this new era at Newcastle United.

Tranmere Rovers v Glasgow Rangers - Pre-Season Friendly
Tranmere Rovers v Glasgow Rangers - Pre-Season Friendly

Newcastle United should retain

Jamal Lascelles

At just 27 years of age, Lascelles can be considered somewhat of a Newcastle United legend. The Derby-born centre-half was chosen as captain by Rafa Benitez upon his arrival in the North.

A shining ray of light in an otherwise underperforming squad, he represents on the pitch what it means to be a true Magpie.

Burton Albion v Newcastle United: Pre-Season Friendly Burton Albion v Newcastle United: Pre-Season Friendly
Burton Albion v Newcastle United: Pre-Season Friendly Burton Albion v Newcastle United: Pre-Season Friendly

Joe Willock

Joseph George Willock joined Arsenal at the age of four and made his debut for the Gunners at age 18 in 2017. After scoring on his debut for Newcastle United, he would go on to score against the likes of Liverpool & Man City,setting records that put him in esteemed company alongside Romelu Lukaku & Alan Shearer.

Willock has shown glimpses of his undeniable talent in the current season and could be part of a dynasty at Newcastle United.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

Miguel Almiron

The Paraguayan arrived at Newcastle United for an MLS record transfer fee. His three seasons at the club can be deemed underwhelming to put it simply. Victim of a slew of injuries, the general consensus remains that the former Lanus player has never really got going in the Premier League.

He has started the current season strongly, coming up with the goods for club & country.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

Allan Saint-Maximin

Newcastle United's undeniable number ten, Saint-Maximin, commands adoration from fans and neutrals alike after managing to realize the imagination of excitement-starved supporters.

Having a somewhat notorious reputation during his time at Nice, the now father-of-three has matured into one of the finest talents in the first tier of English football. At just 24, he can be used as a reference point to build a team around.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Premier League

Transfer Strategy for Newcastle United

Several news outlets have claimed that Mike Ashley has left Newcastle United in a relatively strong financial position. There are several reports stating that the new ownership will be free to spend approximately €200m without breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

Ever since the takeover was completed, pundits, fans and just about everyone has thrown some big names in the hat. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland & Harry Kane have been named to join the newest member of the football elite. However, it is important to note that the projects of both City and PSG took half a decade's work to really get going.

The onus must be on building a defensively solid core before reinforcing further up the field.

Newcastle United should buy

Dean Henderson

Henderson, a graduate of Manchester United's academy during his loan tenure at Sheffield United, came into the national spotlight. Lauded for his charismatic displays for The Blades, he was ear-marked by Ole Gunnar Sojskaer as a potential No.1 at Old Trafford for the long haul.

David De Gea's resurgence this season has not done the 24 year old any favors as he is struggling for game time. A loan with an option to buy is one where both parties can create a win-win situation. In Henderson, Newcastle United would have someone that could be a big contributor to their new identity.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round

Kieran Trippier

In the summer of 2019 Spanish powerhouse Atletico Madrid, made the Bury native their first English signing in 95 years. It was, however, his performances in Russia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup that earned him cult status among the Three Lions faithful.

Trippier has repaid Simeone's trust in him, coming up with some stellar displays in his two years at the club. In Trippier, Newcastle United will have an undoubted leader who can bridge the transition from the reality of today to the aspiration of tomorrow.

Atletico Madrid v FC Porto: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Atletico Madrid v FC Porto: Group B - UEFA Champions League

Lucas Digne

Lucas Digne is arguably the best left back in the Premier League and captain-elect at Everton. But the journey to such a status has not been an easy one. Despite his undeniable talent, Digne was deemed surplus to requirements at both PSG and Barcelona before finding his place at Goodison Park.

The French left back is in his prime and would be a certain upgrade on current options like Paul Dummet and makeshift full-back Matt Richie.

Portugal v France - UEFA Euro 2020: Group F
Portugal v France - UEFA Euro 2020: Group F

Tyrone Mings

Son of Chelsea scout Adie Mings, Mings is somewhat of a late bloomer, finally coming into his own in his late 20s.

Mings was presented with the option to represent Barbados at international level. However, Mings trusted his instincts and chose to make his allegiance with the England national football team despite not getting first call-up until the age of 26.

Mings was appointed captain at Aston Villa after Jack Grealish's British record move to the Etihad. The 26-year-old has given stalwarts such as Jon Stones and Harry Maguire a run for their money for a place in Gareth Southgate's starting eleven.

England World Cup Qualifier Camp
England World Cup Qualifier Camp

Franck Kessie

Kessie's trademark celebration is a military salute, an ode to his late father who was part of the Ivorian Army. The midfielder is just that, a sergeant on the field of play. Arriving in Italy at the age of 18, it wasn't long before he made his way to Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta side.

Kessie is a freak of nature, one who has African steel and stamina along with an Italian understanding of the nuances of his role in the middle of the park. An ambitious project at Newcastle United may just be the thing to propel him further.

Atalanta BC v AC Milan - Serie A
Atalanta BC v AC Milan - Serie A

Marcelo Brozovic

Underrated, unnoticed and under-appreciated, Brozovic might just be the best defensive midfielder in the world. He has gone on to become a mainstay for both club and country, becoming a vital cog in the Croatian side that made it to the World Cup final in 2018.

Inter haven't started talks with the father-of-two and it would be a great opportunity for Newcastle United to swoop in and acquire one of the best players in the world for free.

Hellas Verona FC v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Hellas Verona FC v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Jesse Lingard

Lingard, Pogba and Ravel Morrison were all part of the same batch of academy players at Old Trafford. While Morrison has gone off the rails exiled into obscurity, Pogba is a Serie A & World Cup winner.

In Lingard's case, the inevitable notion of 'what could have been' takes over. . A loan move to West Ham, on the other hand, has made critics sit up and take notice. During his time with the Hammers, Lingard set the Premier League alight, contributing with nine goals and five assists, his most productive season ever.

Lingard is at the right juncture of his career, at the peak of his physical & mental powers and Newcastle United should strike the iron while it's hot.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round

Raheem Sterling

Sterling is the crown jewel of Mohammed Bin Salman's audacious coup Newcastle United. Signed from QPR in 2012 for a bargain, he became a household name on Merseyside, forming a remarkable partnership with Luis Suarez & Daniel Sturridge.

After his controversial move to City, he became Pep Guardiola's most lethal weapon, winning the FWA's 'Footballer of the Year' accolade. However, since his omission from the starting line-up of the Champions League final loss to Chelsea, the star has looked lost on the pitch when he is played. This has led to him being largely neglected by Guardiola in bigger games against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool & PSG.

The purchase of Sterling would be the perfect statement of intent from the new owners of Newcastle United as he would be the first 'Galactico' of the post-Ashley era. He would also be the biggest name to don the famous black and white since Alan Shearer did so for Newcastle United in the 90s.

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League Hibernian v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly
Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League Hibernian v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly

Newcastle United Predicted Line-up under Gerrard (4-3-3)

GK: Henderson

DEF: Trippier Ginter Mings Digne

MID: Brozovic Lingard Kessie

ATT: Sterling Lacazette Saint-Maximin

Much like rivals Sunderland, Leeds & Liverpool in England, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund abroad, Newcastle United is more than just a football club. It is an organization that has given the everyday man something to look forward to and thereby proving the people with the most important of human needs, hope.

The club was a roaring success at the beginning and end of the 20th century. The past 20 years have been a different story altogether as the Geordie faithful struggle to find any relevance to the organization.

🗣 "We have had an extremely busy week reviewing the business and getting to know people and it is imperative that we continue to be patient and considered in our approach."⚫️⚪️
Newcastle United v Southampton - Premier League
Newcastle United v Southampton - Premier League

Edited by Shardul Sant
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