Following their 4-1 dismantling of newly promoted Fulham, things finally look to be up and running this season at Newcastle United. Despite losing just one game at the time of writing, it had been a campaign defined by draws in Eddie Hearn’s sophomore year — overshadowed by injuries and inconsistency that has prevented them from pursuing a top-six spot so far. 

The Magpies look a disciplined defensive unit, and the return of Callum Wilson provides them with the finishing touch to win games that they would have perhaps dropped points in before.

The takeover brought new life to St. James’ Park at the turn of the year, and Howe has worked wonders finding the right balance of man-management and shrewd recruitment, with the financial muscle of a Saudi consortium backing a project that looks to be heading in the right direction. 

Newcastle were busy in the summer and not only have they built upon the signings they made in January, but boosted their stock amongst football odds today as they look to pursue a top-half finish in the Premier League for the first time in nine years. Read on, as we assess the business they conducted over the summer.

Alexander Isak

The biggest signing of the window as far as Howe is concerned, adding a striker like Alexander Isak is a real stamp of authority by the Magpies, especially given the striker’s reputation. The Swedish international arrived from Real Sociedad after being previously linked with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. A physical presence, his debut goal at Anfield showcased how deadly he can be in the final third and partnered with the more mobile Wilson, the two will prove a thorn in the side of many defenders in the league this season. At just 23 years old, he could prove good business at £63 million.

Sven Botman

Despite investing heavily in the squad last January, Newcastle still looked shaky at the back. Cheap goals defined their escape from relegation, but the signing of Sven Botman from Lille has added security at the back. The 22-year-old has come in and settled the defence down, and alongside Fabian Schär the defence looks much more organised. Composed on the ball and a tough tackler, the Dutchman looks a steal at £30 million, especially when you consider how much the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United spent trying to fix their defence throughout the same window.  

Nick Pope

Another member of Newcastle’s ever-improving back four, Nick Pope has come in between the sticks and filled the void left by Martin Dúbravka. The England international looked shaky for his country in the Nations League but has been a figure of consistency for his club, keeping three clean sheets already and showing why he warranted a move from Burnley after they were relegated. Pope has settled in brilliantly in the North East and looks to remain in the sticks at St James Park for years to come. 

Matt Targett

Initially arriving on loan last season, left-back Matt Targett moved to Newcastle permanently this summer and has picked up where he left off with a string of good performances. Far from the most technically gifted defenders in the league, his crossing ability will hardly rival João Cancelo, but the tireless running and tough tackling make Targett an ever-present in the Magpies starting line-up. In a few years they might look to evolve beyond the 27-year-old’s capabilities, but for the time being, his availability and versatility will make him a mainstay throughout Howe’s tenure. 

Loris Karius

Arriving as a free agent after his contract was terminated at Liverpool, Loris Karius hasn’t played a game for an English club since the disaster in the 2018 Champions League final that changed his career. Injuries to Karl Darlow and the departure of Dúbravka forced Howe to look for a backup keeper and Karius deputises with a point to prove. Howe was clearly not fazed by the German’s lack of confidence, agreeing a deal until the new year with the possibility of extending beyond next season. 

“He is a very good goalkeeper with Premier League and European experience,” he said. “He will provide competition and support over an important part of the season.”