Cash-rich Newcastle United ended the 2021-22 Premier League season in fine form, and they'll no doubt be looking across the continent this summer with a view to acquiring some of their top targets.
Eddie Howe's team has picked up 38 points in 19 matches during the the calendar year 2022, reinforcing the superb way in which they've brought the curtain down on the campaign. After a disastrous start to 2021-22, storm clouds have well and truly been replaced by rainbows of optimism. Here's who the Magpies could be targeting in order to take the club to the next level and challenge for a European place.
🇳🇬 Victor Osimhen
🦅 Physically imposing centre forward
Chris Wood hasn't exactly set the world on fire after his move to St. James' Park from Burnley. Eddie Howe's team is crying out for someone with good movement and pace and yes, Callum Wilson is already at the club, but another player in his mould might just help to unlock the trickery and unpredictability of Allan Saint-Maximin.
Napoli and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen is known for his rangy running of the channels and dribbling ability. He did cost Napoli €75m though, and on the assumption that they wouldn't want to make a loss on the deal, the 23-year-old wouldn't come cheap. Imagine how mobile a potential attacking trio of Osimhen, Wilson and Saint-Maximin would be? There might, however, be concerns about its ability to retain the ball in tight spaces.
🇧🇷 Lucas Paquetá
🪄 Versatile attacking midfielder
If Newcastle prefers to pursue a right-sided attacker that is smart in possession, they should look no further than Lyon and Brazil playmaker Lucas Paquetá. Still only 24, he's already got experience of Serie A under his belt during his stint with Milan and he's now the wearer of Lyon's number 10 jersey.
Don't forget that he's buddies with Bruno Guimarães after the pair played together at Lyon. Paquetá is a ball-player rather than a runner, possessing the versatility to play in numerous attacking midfield roles, and his left-footedness would make him a prime candidate as an upgrade on Miguel Almirón as an inverted playmaker from that flank. Paquetá certainly has the pedigree and quality to cause a stir in North East England. Like Osimhen, Paquetá would cost a pretty penny.
🇪🇸 Fabian Ruiz
🥽 Midfield general
Bruno Guimarães has been a revelation since his big-money move from Lyon after a slowish start to life in England. Bruno scores goals, he makes goals and he generally just bosses proceedings with his proactive approach to midfield play. Now, the Newcastle engine room just needs a "pure 6" or defensive midfielder alongside the Brazilian to balance things out.
To that effect, they've been linked with yet another Napoli player, Spanish schemer Fabian Ruiz. He's a regular in the heart of midfield for club and country, and although he's far more than just a midfield destroyer, he's super comfortable operating from deep-lying areas and dictating the tempo of matches.
🇳🇱 Sven Botman
🪨 Commanding centre-back
Dan Burn's first season at Newcastle has been a big success, but Eddie Howe will want one more commanding centre-back to compete for a place with Burn, Fabian Schär and club skipper Jamaal Lascelles. Left-footed Sven Botman has been linked with Newcastle already this year and it's even been alleged that they failed with a bid for the Dutchman, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they returned to Lille with an improved proposal for the talented 22-year-old. Botman is superbly comfortable on the ball, a quality has alerted interest from around Europe.
🏴 Kieran Tierney
🎯 Marauding left-back
Arsenal's Scottish left-back is being primed for the captaincy in North London, but it would be interesting to see how they would respond to a 50m offer from a cash-rich club like Newcastle, if you consider his patchy injury record that's already becoming a big concern for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Matt Targett's loan spell from Aston Villa is over and the Magpies need a big signing in this position.
Who would be on your shopping list, Newcastle fans?