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Newcastle United completed their sixth signing of the summer, as they captured striker Joselu from Stoke City for a fee of £5million (Sky Sports).
The 27-year old joined the Potters a couple of years back from German club Hannover but failed to make a big impact for the club and was loaned out to Spanish La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna, where he showed good form, scoring 6 goals in all competitions, before an Achilles injury put an end to his season in his homeland.
The Spaniard has signed a three-year contract with the Tyneside outfit and said at the unveiling (as quoted by Sky Sports):
“I feel very happy, because I have signed for a very big club. I’m very happy to be part of this club, and so excited.”
“I’m looking forward to getting to know my team-mates, the city, the training ground, the stadium and all the supporters. I’m very happy to be here.”
With the latest addition to the squad sealed, here we take a look at how Newcastle could line up with the latest addition to their Spanish contingent.
Rob Eliott is likely to continue in goal for the Magpies for the rest of the season, unless Benitez brings in someone new before the deadline day.
New signing Javier Manquillo is expected to continue at right-back, ahead of DeAndre Yedlin, who will continue to operate as a backup option.
At centre-back, we will see Newcastle rely on last season’s outcast Chancel Mbemba and captain Jamaal Lascelles, owing to the ankle injury to summer signing Florian Lejeune, who is set to be ruled out for a number of weeks. The regular left-back Paul Dummett too is sidelined for a few weeks after the injury on the opening day of the season, against Tottenham Hotspur, leaving centre-back Ciaran Clark as the only option for the manager at left-back.
The right flank will be occupied by former Bournemouth man Matt Ritchie, who will be keen on proving himself on the Premier League stages again, with new signing Jacob Murphy expected to challenge him for the spot. On the left-hand side, new signing Christian Atsu will retain his spot in the line-up, but will be given a run for his money for a spot in the team, by the young and promising Rolando Aarons.
In the centre of the park, Benitez was rightly expected to rely on the duo of Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden. But Shelvey’s suspension means that he is set to sit out for three games. This should pave way for loan arrival Mikel Merino to start regularly, partnered by Hayden.
The former Real Madrid manager has looked to use Dwight Gayle as the lone forward, with Spaniard Ayoze Perez playing just off of him in the hole. However, with the signing of Joselu, we may see Benitez switch to a more orthodox 4-4-2 with Gayle and the former Stoke City man combining at the top.
The partnership could yield great rewards for the Magpies, given the contrasting styles in which the two tend to operate – with Gayle being the ‘buzzy’, run-in-behind the defence kind of striker and Joselu being a more bigger presence who likes to come to the ball.