Predicted Position of Guardian Writers: 7th (NB: this is not necessarily Louise Taylor’s prediction but the average of our editors’ predictions)
Ranking last season: 11th
Odds of winning the league (via Oddschecker): 100-1
Good enough. Under Eddie Howe’s clever management, Newcastle were a transformed side in the second half of last season and there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue on that upward trajectory.
Although on paper the Saudi-led takeover last year made them the richest club in the world, the owners are determined to spend wisely and remain acutely aware of the need to play by the rules. financial fair play. In other words, Howe’s reconstruction work is expected to be much more a case of evolution than revolution.
While the on-field signings seem suitably sensible, the installation of former FA and Brighton technical director Dan Ashworth as director of football and Darren Eales as chief executive seems shrewd. Eales, a Cambridge law graduate with past experience at West Brom and Tottenham, joined MLS club Atlanta where he was widely admired. Their appointments will allow co-owner and manager Amanda Staveley, who led the club magnificently last season, more time to focus on larger projects.
Howe appears to have bought well this summer so far, with coveted and, crucially, left-handed centre-back Sven Botman arriving from Lille, England goalkeeper Nick Pope signing from Burnley and Matt Targett so quietly impressive at left-back. last. season, making his move from Aston Villa permanent. Howe remains in the market for another striker and a new midfielder, but already has plenty of talent and an outstanding frontman in right-back Kieran Trippier.
Hopes are high that Brazilian Bruno Guimarães, bought in January from Lyon, will continue to shine in midfield, but his coach will have to consider whether Botman should be paired with Dan Burn, Fabian Schär or Jamaal Lascelles. Howe must also coax the gifted, but sometimes frustrating, Allan Saint-Maximin for increased consistency, while hoping that his injury-prone centre-forward Callum Wilson stays fit and Joe Willock begins to fulfill his potential.