Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko comments on his criteria for a successful season

The Frenchman was reportedly close to a St James Park exit this summer.

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko has lauded the club’s summer business and revealed what he would consider a successful season, in quotes published by the Chronicle.

“It was a very good recruitment (this summer),” said the 26-year old.

“There is a great team this year. We know it will be difficult to finish in the top five but if we finish sixth, seventh or eighth with Newcastle, I would be very happy.”

It’s an ambitious target considering the Magpies’ woeful showing last season, but it is testament to the work being done by Steve Mclaren and the Newcastle hierarchy.

This past transfer window has seen high-profile additions – in Florian Thauvin and Georginio Wijnaldum – and the capture of promising young talents in the form of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba, and confidence is high on Tyneside.

Can Newcastle finish in the top 8?

The Magpies have endured a mixed start to the season but have shown promise despite failing to pick up a first win.

Sissoko’s wish for a top eight finish is a big ask with the usual top six likely to remain there. Beyond that, Steve McClaren’s men would need to pip the likes of Southampton, Crystal Palace and Everton to the post.

It’s a tough task and a top ten finish is likely a more realistic target. While Newcastle made great strides forward this summer, there are still issues over squad depth and most significantly: goal threat.

Big things are expected of Mitrovic, but his disciplinary issues are now a real concern and work must be done behind the scenes to sort out his temperament.

Beyond the Serbian, goals look in short supply and McClaren will be hopeful Thauvin and Wijnaldum are able to unlock Newcastle's attacking potential before too long.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch