Newcastle business echoes successful 2011 window; signings have plenty to prove

Newcastle United's French midfielder, Yohan Cabaye (L), Senegalese striker, Demba Ba (2L) and Argentinean midfielder, Jonas Gutierrez take part in a minute's applause - for Fabrice Muamba...

Although Newcastle United have not brought any big names to St James' Park this summer, they have again signed players desperate to make their mark.

While Newcastle United have so far made five summer signings, the profiles of those recruits, at a newly promoted club, have caused some worry on Tyneside.

Promising pre-season displays have quelled some concerns, but Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy, Javier Manquillo and Mikel Merino form an inexperienced group.

Mikel Merino of Dortmund challenges Douglas Costa of Bayern Muenchen during the Bundesliga match between Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena on April 8, 2017 in Munich,...

Of more comfort to Newcastle fans, perhaps, is a past experience, with minds cast back to a previous transformative summer that saw the Magpies fail to bring in a single proven top-flight performer.

In 2011, months after cashing in on Andy Carroll, Newcastle also ushered Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton out of the door, while star man Jose Enrique was sold too.

Arriving in their place came Demba Ba and Gabriel Obertan, both in the formative stages of their Premier League careers, along with a host of French players - including Yohan Cabaye - and Davide Santon from Italy.

The suggestion was that Newcastle had done business on the cheap and the expectation was that it would cost them their place in the division.

In reality, with each new boy having something to prove - and joining the likes of James Perch, Ryan Taylor and Hatem Ben Arfa, similarly determined after faltering starts in black and white - the Magpies enjoyed a stunning campaign and qualified for Europe.

Lejeune, Merino and co may lack experience, but, just like Ba and Cabaye, they will be keen to make their mark in the top tier - and find Dwight Gayle and the like on the same page.

Despite an underwhelming summer, the character of Newcastle's new men should offer some optimism...

Newcastle United's French midfielder, Yohan Cabaye (L), Senegalese striker, Demba Ba (2L) and Argentinean midfielder, Jonas Gutierrez take part in a minute's applause - for Fabrice Muamba...

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