An impressive 2017/18 season saw the magpies finish smack bang in the middle of the Premier League in 10th place. This came as a surprise to many football supporters, even the Geordies themselves. Without a doubt, the news of Rafael Benitez staying for at least another season gave the Magpies hope and Benitez and his team pulled it out of the bag.
However, so far in the summer transfer window for the upcoming season, things have gone a little quiet on the transfer kitty that was promised by owner Mike Ashley. Will this see Newcastle United in another relegation scrap? Will Ashley pay out? Will Rafa walk? These are situations to keep an eye on before adding Newcastle players to your FPL line ups.
STAR MAN – Ayoze Perez (£6.5m)
Choosing a “Star Man” within this Newcastle squad is a difficult job as there is no clear talisman. It was a toss-up between Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Ayoze. However, with a slim point advantage last season with 124, Ayoze just makes the cut.
For FPL managers, Ayoze is a player that Rafa Benitez likes. Rafa seems to have a trust in him to play the no. 10 role that was seen last season playing behind the main striker.
Making 28 starting appearances in the 17/18 season, the Spaniard scored 8 goals and gained 5 assists. This isn’t a terrible return for a third striker on FPL. However, I think Ayoze should be reclassified as a midfielder on the game as its where he played for most of the season.
Finally, will he be sought after by managers? I think not as his 6.5m price tag as a third striker is a little excessive. There are cheaper alternatives elsewhere in the league and I’d recommend leaving Ayoze out until he proves his worth.
HIDDEN GEM – Kenedy (£5.0m)
Kenedy signed on loan for Newcastle in the 17/18 season and made a positive impression on the Geordies. The 22-year-old brought flair and creativity to St James’ Park which is what had been missing in the attacking line.
Making 13 appearances in the league, he scored 2 goals and created 2 assists. As a Geordie myself, I can speak for many that we’re excited by his arrival. I thought it was going to be his chance to make a name for himself and he did on Tyneside, which is why I’m particularly pleased about his arrival again for the upcoming season on loan.
A price tag of 5.0m for this season sees the Brazilian winger as a good option to rotate, depending on fixtures and early season performances. I can also see Kenedy starting ahead of the other left midfield options in Christian Atsu & possibly Jacob Murphy.
Keep an eye on Kenedy.
BARGAIN – Jamaal Lascelles (£5.0m)
Since becoming Newcastle United’s captain, Lascelles has come through leaps and bounds to be one of the stars of the club. His maturity and performances rightly see him retain the captaincy again for the 18/19 season.
Making 33 appearances in the league last season, Lascelles is the first name on the team sheet. 116 points to his name which includes 9 clean sheets, 3 goals and 0 red cards. This alone saw him as a stand out defender and I was very surprised to see his price tag still be so cheap.
Lascelles is a solid option for a defender in your FPL line-ups, however, I’d avoid him in the first few gameweeks as the fixtures are tough for the Geordies. Opening fixtures; Tottenham (H), Cardiff City (A), Chelsea (H), Manchester City (A) & Arsenal (H).
PREDICTED LINE UP
Yedlin – Lascelles – Lejeune – Dummett
Ritchie – Ki – Shelvey – Kenedy
Written by James Milburn (@jamesmilburn95)