Newcastle United had a busy end to the January transfer window as the club sealed a club record move for Miguel Almiron and a loan deal for Antonio Barreca.
After negotiating a difficult set of fixtures, the Magpies have a set of winnable games coming up, and will hope the new signings hit the ground running.
Almiron’s addition should add more creativity in attack, while Barreca will provide depth and competition to Paul Dummett.
Benitez has done a commendable job with what he has, and we take a look at the strongest possible Newcastle United lineup when everyone is back fit.
Strongest Newcastle United Lineup
Martin Dubravka is the best Newcastle have in between the posts and he should start for the remainder of the season.
The Newcastle backline hasn’t done too badly in recent games, and a back three of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune seem like the best combination at the moment, but when the key midfielders return, a 4-2-3-1 set-up might suit the Magpies nicely.
In a four-man defence, Lascelles and Lejeune might just be the best combination, though Schar is likely to push the two for a first-team place
Barreca might get the nod ahead of Dummett because the former offers a more attacking threat on the counter-attacks. DeAndre Yedlin is the best option at right-back
Newcastle have had quite a few injuries in the midfield department, but Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have performed admirably in recent games.
Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame should start in the double pivot. While Shelvey’s distribution will be key in the coming months, Diame’s ability to drive forward will be useful on the counter-attacks.
New signing Almiron should feature in a number 10 role, a position from where he scored nine and assisted eight at Atlanta United.
Salomon Rondon is the first choice centre-forward and should lead the line. Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez have been more consistent than the rest of the wingers, and should start on the wide areas. Both have the ability to cut in and make things happen.
Perez – Almiron – Ritchie
Shelvey – Diame
Barreca – Lascelles – Lejeune – Yedlin