Rating every Newcastle signing since the Saudi takeover

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Newcastle’s future was transformed after news broke of the club’s takeover in 2021, as a Saudi-led regime transformed the Magpies into the wealthiest club in world football overnight.

After the Mike Ashley-era misery at St James’ Park, the takeover transformed Newcastle into a place full of optimism and ambition. The club’s spending is less extravagant than expected, but the newfound wealth has been invested in smart signings capable of taking the team up a level.

Eddie Howe’s side are in the Premier League’s top four after a brilliant start to the campaign, with the manager having done a fine job since inheriting a side in the relegation spots a while ago more than a year.

Optimism is high in the Northeast, and we’ve decided to rate the new era recruits so far. Here are our assessments of every Newcastle signing since the Saudi takeover.

Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier was the first arrival of the new regime, as Newcastle agreed a deal to bring the England international back to the Premier League.

Trippier had spent two and a half seasons at Atletico Madrid and won the La Liga title with the Spanish side, but returned to English football to join the ambitious Newcastle project.

The 32-year-old has been a huge success since joining St James’ Park, providing a quality touch at right-back. His set-piece delivery and open play were a major weapon for Newcastle, as he scored three goals in 18 appearances for the Magpies – each coming from free-kicks.

His immediate importance was recognized with the occasional captain’s armband and his consistent form should earn Trippier a place in England’s World Cup squad for Qatar.

Rating: 9/10






Chris Wood

Newcastle’s search for a new centre-forward saw the club activate Chris Wood’s release clause at Burnley in January 2022, following the announcement that Callum Wilson was to remain on the sidelines for two months.

The New Zealand international has offered a proven Premier League option to help Newcastle’s struggle survive, having hit more than 10 league goals in four consecutive campaigns for the Clarets.

However, Wood struggled to make an impact following his move to St James’ Park as he scored just twice in 17 league appearances in the second half of the campaign, one of which came from the penalty spot.

Wilson’s return to form and the summer arrival of Alexander Isak have pushed the 30-year-old up the pecking order this season and he has only started in the Premier League once in 2022/23. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him go in search of regular minutes, although Newcastle can expect a big loss on their £25m investment.

Rating: 3/10

Matt Target

Eddie Howe’s first window focused largely on players with Premier League experience and Matt Targett arrived on loan to bolster left-back stocks.

Targett had been deemed surplus to requirements at Aston Villa following the signing of Lucas Digne but played a key role in Newcastle’s improvement last season. He featured in every minute of the club’s campaign after his arrival, his form persuading the Magpies to turn his loan move into a permanent £15million move.

He has struggled to maintain his starting role this season, however, and has only made five league starts.

Rating: 6/10

Dan Burn

Dan Burn was seen as an old-fashioned arrival in the first window of the new era, but the centre-back proved a shrewd addition.

The Blyth-born defender jumped at the chance to rejoin his boyhood side and return to his native north-east, where he has since become a fan favorite at St James’ Park. Burn has been an imposing presence as Newcastle improve, with the Magpies boasting the best defensive record in the Premier League so far this season.

The 30-year-old operated at centre-back and left-back for Eddie Howe’s side and his £13m arrival from Brighton was a wise signing.

Rating: 8/10

Bruno Guimaraes

Bruno Guimaraes was the star arrival of the January transfer window, as Newcastle agreed a deal to sign the much-loved midfielder from Lyon. He was slowly integrated into the team, but has now become arguably the first name on the team sheet and is already heading for iconic status with Newcastle fans.

Guimaraes hit the ground running in the Premier League and excelled as an anchor in midfield or further forward in a box-to-box role. Full of relentless energy and quality in possession, his impact has been such that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona have already been credited with interest in removing him from St James’ Park.

The 24-year-old’s outgoing passion for the project at Newcastle has only increased his popularity on Tyneside and he has formed an impressive partnership with compatriot Joelinton in the engine room. The club’s samba stars have been the driving force behind the Magpies’ momentum and there will be a number of rival sides kicking each other for not taking a chance on Guimaraes. His £33million fee already looks like a bargain.

Rating: 10/10

Nick Pope

Nick Pope signed for Newcastle over the summer to maintain his England ambitions, following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League last season.

Pope had been a consistent performer for several seasons at Burnley, where his excellent shot-stopping enabled the Clarets to continue to compete at the highest level. Pope’s performances saw him named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2019/20, as he was twice named Burnley’s Player of the Season in his six campaigns at Turf Moor.

The 30-year-old – who became the first goalkeeper to keep his sheets clean in his first six games for England – has been a big part of Newcastle’s defensive record this season and leads the race for the Golden Premier League’s Glove alongside Manchester City’s Ederson. with six shutouts to date.

Rating: 8/10

Sven Botman

Having failed to sign Botman in the January transfer window, Newcastle returned with renewed intent for the Lille centre-back last summer.

The Magpies have agreed a £33million deal for the Dutch defender, beating competition from AC Milan to land their number one target. Botman had time to settle in after joining the Premier League but has impressed since being given a regular role.

His partnership with Fabian Schar has added to Newcastle’s defensive strength, with the Magpies failing to concede a shot on target in their last two Premier League home games. Botman is becoming a favorite and at 22 has the potential to be the Magpies’ long-term backline base.

He has kept six clean sheets in just 881 minutes of football so far this season.

Rating: 8/10

Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak became Newcastle’s record signing as the Magpies left him late to make a summer signing statement.

The Sweden international had been linked with a Premier League move for some time and completed a £63m move to St James’ Park from Real Sociedad.

Isak shone with a first goal at Liverpool, while he saw a second goal ruled out for marginal offside after good footwork at Anfield. He scored his second goal for the club with a penalty against Bournemouth but has since seen a promising start cut short with a thigh injury.

Newcastle fans will want to see the 23-year-old return to action as soon as possible, with the prospect of the striker combining with Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin exciting for the Toon army.

Rating: 7/10

Loris Karius

Newcastle have signed Loris Karius on a free transfer to improve their goalkeeping options, following Martin Dubravka’s loan to Manchester United and an injury to Karl Darlow.

The German had been without a club since leaving Liverpool last summer, having spent much of the last four seasons on loan at Besiktas and Union Berlin.

The 29-year-old has signed a short-term contract at St James’ Park and is yet to make an appearance for the club.

Rating: N/A

Garang Kuol

Garang Kuol will officially join Newcastle in the upcoming January transfer window after the Magpies beat competition from a host of top clubs to sign the Australian prospect.

Kuol has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent months, from junior A-League football to a move to the Premier League. He only signed his first professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners in June, but rose to prominence after scoring four goals in his first seven A-League appearances.

In September, the 18-year-old made his senior debut for Australia and became the Socceroos’ youngest debutant since Harry Kewell in 1996.

Eddie Howe says Kuol is one for the future but believes the striker has all the ingredients to become a success in English football.

Rating: N/A

Read – Seven outrageously good free-kicks in the Premier League

Read also – Golazo Merchants: Laurent Robert, the frustrating genius of Newcastle

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