After the 2013-14 campaign ended with seven defeats from their final eight league fixtures and supporters starting to call for the departure of their manager, Newcastle United will begin next season with a much-changed squad after Alan Pardew moved quickly to make major additions at St James' Park.
The purchases of Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback and young Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez got the summer off to a positive start before Pardew pulled off several coups in securing the signatures of midfielder duo Siem de Jong and Remy Cabella and Monaco striker Emmanuel Riviere.
Netherlands full-back Daryl Janmaat will also arrive from Feyenoord, but with the Magpies still active in the transfer market, Sports Mole have selected three more players that could be signed by the Tyneside outfit as they look to return to the top six of the Premier League standings.
1. Joel Campbell, Arsenal
© Getty Images
The signings of De Jong and Cabella are likely to provide a greater creative threat behind Newcastle's frontline during the forthcoming campaign, but the two incomings have taken major investment from owner Mike Ashley and he may be seeking a way in which the Magpies' squad can be further improved while also making a profit to balance the books.
One scenario that could prove beneficial to all involved is if Hatem Ben Arfa were allowed to depart St James' Park with Joel Campbell arriving in his place. Ben Arfa has wowed the Newcastle faithful with several displays of sublime trickery and class during his time in England, but his standing at the club has taken a hit over the past 12 months after he failed to replicate the form that has made him a cult figure in Newcastle.
With Pardew appearing to have lost patience with the France international and his wages continuing to be a costly outlay to the club, the Magpies are likely to try to sell the 27-year-old before the end of August, even if it is for a reduced fee, and that would free up space for Campbell to arrive at the club on loan from Arsenal. It has already been reported that Pardew is interested in the Costa Rica international, who impressed at the World Cup finals in Brazil, and with the Gunners only requiring a small loan fee, Newcastle would be recouping some of the money that they have already spent over the past month while signing a player whose movement, energy and flexibility in the final third will be a valuable asset throughout the season.
2. Michael Dawson, Tottenham Hotspur
© Getty Images
Michael Dawson has been a regular at the heart of the Tottenham Hotspur defence since his arrival from Nottingham Forest in 2005, but despite the club captain making 41 appearances during his 10th campaign at White Hart Lane, it has been reported that new boss Mauricio Pochettino has informed the England international that he is free to leave White Hart Lane.
With the 30-year-old having just one year remaining on his existing deal, it is a sign that the former Southampton chief wants to mould his own team in North London and the Argentine must believe that Dawson doesn't fit into the philosophy that helped turn his spell at the Saints into a major success. However, with Dawson proving himself in England's top flight for almost a decade, he won't be short of offers, and Hull City and Queens Park Rangers are reportedly interested in his signature.
However, with the Magpies lacking a consistent leader to partner Fabricio Coloccini in the centre of their defence, the signing of Dawson could put the finishing touches to a backline that needs to improve on the 59 goals that they shipped last season. The pace of Coloccini and Dawson may be a concern, but with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa reportedly a transfer target for Saint-Etienne and Steven Taylor making just 10 Premier League appearances during the last campaign, bringing in Dawson for a fee in the region of £5m may prove to be an astute bit of business by Pardew.
3. Darren Bent, Aston Villa
© Getty Images
Newcastle may have already added Perez and Riviere to their attacking department, but with Perez seen as one for the future and current squad member Papiss Cisse continuing to recover from a fractured patella, Pardew is likely to be keen to add more depth in the final third before August 16.
After adding six players during the past four weeks, the majority of Pardew's transfer budget may have already been spent, leaving the 52-year-old to try to find value for money in the transfer market. That could see Pardew take a punt on Darren Bent, who, despite enduring a frustrating couple of seasons at Villa Park and on loan at Fulham, still possesses the ability to add a clinical touch in the penalty area providing that he receives the right service and the belief from his manager.
The England international's confidence may have taken a hit after being sidelined by Felix Magath during the closing stages of last season, but if the 30-year-old applies the correct attitude during pre-season, he can make a fast start with whatever team that he begins the campaign with and it would come as no surprise if he was given the task of deputising for the injured Christian Benteke in the West Midlands. However, if Pardew can show Bent that he has faith in the qualities that have seen him win 13 caps for England, the former Sunderland man could relish the opportunity to return to the North-East to play his part in what could prove to be a successful season at St James' Park.