With the transfer window ravaging so many sides of their best players, we take a look at how Newcastle might shape up if they kept the players they have sold that are in good form now.
Newcastle fans have seen their side go through a lot of change recently with both their players and league status changing. The Magpies have undergone a turbulent spell in which they slid into the Championship but were boosted by coach Rafael Benitez committing to the club which, along with some very intelligent signings, has steadied the ship.
The start of the season has been a steady one so far with the Magpies picking up nine points from five games as they sit four points behind leaders Huddersfield. It is a promising return considering they fell to an opening day defeat at the hands of Fulham.
The current squad and in particular the first team has really gotten Newcastle's fans excited about their prospects with Benitez fine-tuning a squad of real talent. With this new squad in mind, who would make it into a Newcastle side that also boasts some of the players they have sold who are still in good form?
Newcastle's Tim Krul
On his day, the Dutch goalkeeper is one of the finest shot-stoppers in world football. His reflexes and commanding presence in the box make him a very strong goalkeeper, while his penalty-saving exploits were clear for all to see against Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup. However, injuries have curtailed his ability to play in recent times and he has gone to Ajax in order to get regular game time. Nonetheless, on his day, he is one of the best goalkeepers Newcastle have had.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero in action with Newcastle's Vurnon Anita
Vurnon Anita has been a bit of a misfit for Newcastle since his arrival due to his ability and willingness to play in a number of different positions. However, he was seemingly unable to make a position his own as he was shifted depending on the needs of the team. This season has been different though with a string of fine performances allowing Anita to make the right-back position his. His ability to defend competently and cut out opposition attacks, along with his budding ability to link up play and get forward means he has become one of Newcastle's most important players.
Jamaal Lascelles and Chancel Mbemba
Newcastle's Jamaal Lascelles applauds the fans at the end of the match
The centre-back pairing continues to improve this season with the partnership still a fledgling one. Lascelles, the new captain of the side, has been superb this season with his blend of power, pace and tactical awareness helping Newcastle to tighten up their defence hugely, and it seems Benitez has put his faith in the right man. Mbemba is another quick and powerful player and he has taken his chance in the centre of the defence well. With a huge Championship season only just starting though, their real test is yet to come.
Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj (L) in action with Newcastle's Davide Santon
Many Newcastle fans were incredibly surprised and disappointed to see the back of the left-back. The Italian was a superb defender with his pace and defensive ability adding to the threat he was able to bring on the flanks. The current left-back for Newcastle is Paul Dummett and, while he is a competent defender, he does not bring the same threat on the wing as other full-backs and he does not possess the pace to worry the opposition. Therefore, Santon, who is now with Italian side Inter Milan, would be a welcome addition to the Newcastle defence.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (L) in action with Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa
One of the most frustrating players to have ever donned the iconic black and white of Newcastle. The French winger is a superbly talented player with his pace, trickery and vision proving a huge threat when he plays well. However, he was too often an anonymous player on the side-lines and he split the opinion of the fans. Now with PSG, Ben Arfa has finally been able to maintain his form across a season. In the 2015/16 campaign, Ben Arfa was superb with Nice as he scored 17 goals in 34 appearances and showcased his immense ability throughout the season, thus earning him his move to the French champions.
Hayden has been one of the big success stories in Newcastle's campaign so far. A centre-midfielder who is as comfortable defending as he is attacking. His awareness, tactical play and positional sense make him vital to the Newcastle defence, while when he can get on the ball and lift his head up, he is able to pick a pass or drive forward, creating space for teammates. His influence and talent is incredible, especially considering his age. Hayden, if he can continue to develop along the same path, has a very bright future ahead of him.
Picture Supplied by Action Images
Cabaye is the perfect midfielder to sit beside a player like Hayden. Cabaye is not the most defensively sound midfielder by any stretch of the imagination, however, he is superbly talented when he is given the ball. His raking cross-field passes, long range shots and fantastic free-kicks make him, offensively, the creative hub of this Newcastle XI.
Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie in action with Bristol City's Bobby Reid.
In order to facilitate Ben Arfa on the right, Ritchie has been moved to the left hand side of the midfield. Ritchie has been superb for the Magpies with his blend of pace, trickery and running lines causing all kinds of trouble for the opposition. Ritchie has also backed up his strong performances with consistency. The likes of Moussa Sissoko, while talented, were never able to play at a high level often, which therefore makes Ritchie's first few games for the Magpies even more impressive.
Loic Remy celebrates after scoring for Newcastle
Loic Remy was absolutely superb in his time with the Magpies. The French striker scored 14 goals in 26 games during his loan spell and was an instant fan favourite with his pace, finishing and stylish play winning the supporters over. However, he did not choose to return to Newcastle once his loan spell ended, even though the fans implored him to come back. Since then he has had a difficult spell with Chelsea, scoring just eight times in 32 appearances for the Blues since 2014. Now with Crystal Palace, the striker is looking to rediscover the form he showed during his time at Newcastle.
Andy Carroll - Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his teams first goal
Andy Carroll is a name now synonymous with two things. The first is physicality and an ability in the air. The second is a huge price-tag that he was never quite able to justify. Liverpool paid £30 million for the striker's services in 2011 after the loss of Fernando Torres. Perhaps the £50 million Chelsea paid for Torres was the main reason for Carroll's huge fee, however, this did not help Carroll as the striker scored a mere six goals in 44 appearances. This, in comparison to his 31 goals in 80 appearances for Newcastle made a stark contrast. Now with West Ham, Carroll is once again showing the physical and dogged determination that makes him so difficult to deal with. On his day, the big striker is almost impossible to defend against.