It has been a decent start to the new season for Newcastle United, and as the festive season grows ever closer, the Toon are looking safer than they were at the beginning of the season according to the bookmaker’s relegation odds.
The Toon started the season among the favourites for the drop, and while they still aren’t in the clear; they are at least a bigger price than they were. Steve Bruce’s arrival was cast by doubts, but he has turned the tide in his favour after beginning the season without the backing of many is St James’ Park.
However, the summer business that the former defender did still hasn’t been addressed, and he has endured mixed fortunes. In total, the Toon spent £65 million bringing players in on permanent transfers, but how have they done so far this season?
The biggest arrival over the summer was Brazilian striker Joelinton. He moved to the northeast in a deal worth £40 million. The youngster was meant to carry the slack that was left by the departure of Solomon Rondon, but in reality, the move hasn’t nearly been as successful.
The Brazilian has struggled to match his Bundesliga form in the Premier League this campaign, and it already being lamented as a flop by a lot of fans on social media. He has only scored one goal in his 12 Premier League appearances, which means he is averaging a goal every 974 minutes. That is a poor return and something that will need to improve to ease any relegation concerns.
On the other hand, he works extremely hard for the team and does win an average of 5.2 aerial duals per match. If he is able to add goals to his game too, then the Toon will have a tremendous striker on their hands.
Another big-money arrival from abroad was Allan Saint-Maximin, who joined Newcastle from Nice for £20 million. The winger is certainly a player that will get the fans off their seats, but questions about his final product have persisted throughout the season so far. His pace is mesmeric, like a horse running in the Kentucky Derby race and he can breeze past opposing defenders with ease.
The 22-year-old is already a fan favourite at St James’ Park, but he will be hoping to get a good run of games over the Christmas period. He, unfortunately, picked up an injury in the second game of the season, which means he has only played six times this season. He is yet to score or assist a goal so far this season, but his dribbling ability in the Premier League is remarkable. He averages 3.6 dribbles per game and averages one foul per game. There is certainly more to come from the winger.
The final notable arrival at St James’ Park that has enjoyed a lot of playing time so far this season is Jetro Willems. The left-back joined from Eintracht Frankfurt on a season-long loan and has already played frequently due to injuries to other players in his position.
His career at Newcastle didn’t get off to the best of starts as he was guilty of losing the ball in the build-up to Arsenal’s goal in the opening day clash between the two sides. However, he has made up for that since then. He scored his first goal for the club against Liverpool at Anfield to give Newcastle a shock 1-0 lead, before the ultimately lost the game.
He has registered two assists already this season and makes 2.6 tackles per game. He thrives in the wing-back position and has made that position his own over recent weeks. He could be a crucial outlet for the Toon this season, and will likely improve further with more playing time.