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How Newcastle United could line up next season

With Newcastle United close to retaining their Premier League status, Sports Mole predicts how Steve Bruce's side could line up next season.

Despite criticism upon his arrival at St James' Park last summer, Steve Bruce has managed to win over the majority of Newcastle United's passionate fanbase.

While the football has not always been pretty, sitting eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone and reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals represents a solid season for the Magpies.

Nevertheless, Bruce and the club's supporters will naturally want to build on their progress once the action resumes after the coronavirus outbreak, as well as when the next transfer window opens later this year.

With that in mind, Sports Mole predicts how the North-East team could line up at the beginning of the next campaign.

NEWXI next season

Despite making a number of individual errors during his time at the club, Martin Dubravka has recently been handed a new long-term contract, an indication that he will remain as first-choice goalkeeper for the foreseeable future.

Often lining up with five at the back, it is possible that Bruce will want to add a fresh face to his defence, and an approach may be made for out-of-favour Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones.

The Englishman could feature on the right-hand side of a central three, while Danny Rose may have his loan move from Tottenham Hotspur turned into a permanent deal to become the club's new left wing-back.

Hoffenheim midfielder Florian Grillitsch has recently been linked with a move to Newcastle, and the defensive-minded player would be a perfect foil for the more creative Jonjo Shelvey.

Given the financial outlay on all three players, Bruce will want to find a way to keep Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton in his first XI.

In theory, that should lead to Almiron and Saint-Maximin occupying the flanks and Joelinton being handed responsibility down the centre, despite his lack of goals during his first season of English football.

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Matty Longstaff celebrates scoring for Newcastle United on October 6, 2019
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