Newcastle United have been far from consistent this season, but considering the resources Rafael Benitez has had for a majority of the season, it would be harsh call the season as an underachievement.
The Magpies didn’t have the best of summer transfer windows as they spent minimal money and resorted to loan signings, but Benitez has brought the best out of them.
The January transfer window, however, saw the club finally break their transfer record as they signed Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United.
The Paraguayan is growing in his role at St James Park, and with time, we’ll get to see his best of abilities.
The Newcastle squad does have a few players who’ve performed consistently this season, and we take a look at the strongest possible Newcastle lineup for the rest of the season.
Strongest Newcastle United Lineup
A three-man defence has worked well for Newcastle United as the Magpies have three solid defenders in Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, and Fabian Schar at the back.
Schar has also added a few goals, three to be specific, and sure can strike the ball. The Switzerland international has also made the most number of tackles and interceptions among the defenders at the club, and has been an absolute bargain at £3 million.
Martin Dubravka is the undisputed no. 1 choice in goal and when needed, the Slovakian tends to deliver.
The Magpies wing-backs have done pretty well as have managed to main a balance between attack and defence. Many doubted if Matt Ritchie was up to the task when Paul Dummett was out injured, but the Scot has done extremely well.
Now, it seems a no-brainer to start Ritchie on the left. DeAndre Yedlin’s pace and tenacity on the right have helped the team.
Isaac Hayden has impressed the fans and pundits with his consistent displays in central midfield, and all that despite having the burden of a personal situation that threatened to tear his season apart even before the first ball was kicked in August 2017.
Hayden features alongside Sean Longstaff in central midfield. Longstaff is another player who seems to be growing with confidence, and keeping out the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame and Ki Sung-Yueng is no mean feat.
Miguel Almiron and Ayoze Perez are best suited to play the slightly wide attacking roles, but they can both drift in and thereby make space for Ritchie and Yedlin to provide the service from the wings.
Salomon Rondon has done a commendable job, even in games when many presumed he was going to be too isolated. The South American’s pace and strength have caused teams problems. Just ask Pep Guardiola.