4-4-2: Potential Newcastle United XI with three new signings

Newcastle Utd - Gate

Newcastle United boast a frightening squad at Championship level.

As shown by the graphic above, Newcastle United could opt to go 4-4-2 for their upcoming Championship campaign with three new additions included in the starting XI.

The Magpies suffered relegation from the Premier League last term, yet many felt the squad of players were far too good to go down and that was somewhat reflected by their end of season form.

Under boss Rafa Benitez, despite going down they managed to finish the season with six games without defeat including big wins over Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James’ Park.

General view of a poster of new Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez outside the ground

Now the Spanish coach has decided to stay on, Newcastle are heavy favourites to make an immediate return to the topflight and considering the quality at their disposal it comes as little surprise.

Andros Townsend have been sold to Crystal Palace, yet striker Dwight Gayle has arrived in the opposite direction in a separate deal while winger Matt Ritchie has joined from Bournemouth as a replacement.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

Ritchie, a player who posted 15 Championship goals and 17 assists two seasons ago, could have stayed in the Premier League therefore his decision to join Newcastle is a major coup for the club.

Newcastle have an abundance of options in midfield and attack, with Ayoze Perez, Cheick Tiote, Jonjo Shelvey, Rolando Aarons and youngster Adam Armstrong all on the books.

Should Moussa Sissoko or Georginio Wijnaldum decide to leave the Magpies this summer, Benitez will have quality options in reserve and could change his system to suit different players.

Newcastle fans with an inflatable ball

The goalkeeping department is strong, yet one area which could still be added to is in defence and especially at centre-back with former skipper Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor leaving the club.

Jamaal Lascelles is a fine option at Championship level, while reports have identified QPR man Steven Caulker (Shields Gazette) and Blackburn Rovers ace Grant Hanley (Sunderland Echo) as potential options.

Blackburn Rovers Grant Hanley and Bristol City's Lee Tomlin in action

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