Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren has recently urged Magpies to be patient with the club over new signings this summer.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has promised there will be funds available to the former-Middlesbrough boss this summer, but the Magpies have yet to strengthen their squad.
Nobody connected with Newcastle will want the same sort of close shave with relegation as last season. The Magpies went into the last game of the Premier League season with relegation a very real possibility.
However a 2-0 victory over West Ham secured their top-flight status and saw the Magpies finish 15th in the Premier League table.
Ashley in an interview with Sky Sports gave a very honest interview, admitting that he had to take responsibility for the situation that the club was in. He had got the Magpies back onto a very stable financial footing, but that came at a cost on the field.
Interim boss John Carver did not exactly cover himself in glory either, as he proved that he is definitely better off as a coach than a boss. He was handed a threadbare squad full of injuries and players that were just not good enough for the top-flight.
There is no doubt about it the Newcastle squad needs a major overhaul to avoid a repeat of last season. The likes of Ryan Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez and Davide Santon have moved away from the club on permanent deals, while winger Sammy Ameobi has joined Cardiff on a season-long loan deal.
In terms of numbers the Magpies squad is badly in need of reinforcements this summer. Last season proved that the Newcastle squad was not big enough and four of the first team squad have left St James Park.
Newcastle have been linked with a number of players in the transfer market this summer. One of their main transfer targets is reportedly £15million-rated QPR striker Charlie Austin.
The 26-year-old striker seems like the archetypal player who could be a Magpies icon. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals in his debut campaign in the English top-flight, despite his team finishing bottom of the league.
The striker is a natural-born goalscorer and has scored goals at every level of the game since starting his career in non-league football in 2006.
Newcastle fans are in need of a new hero after last season’s campaign of gloom and Charlie Austin could be that hero. For me signing Austin for £15million is a no-brainer. He will score goals in most teams, as he proved last season, so the striker would be a shrewd signing for the Magpies.
Another player being linked with the Magpies is PSV Eindhoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutch international helped PSV to the Eredivisie title last season and scored 18 goals in all competitions from his central midfield position.
Newcastle are not the only club believed to be interested in signing the former-Feyenoord star this summer. Russian club Zenit St Petersburg and Premier League Everton have both been linked with signing the 24-year-old.
Wijnaldum would also add something to the Newcastle team for next season, but the midfielder is also expected to command a fee of around £15million.
Whether Mike Ashley will be prepared to spend £30million on just two players this summer remains to be seen. The squad needs a major rebuild and the amount of money available to boss McClaren this summer is unknown.
The Newcastle bosses’ success at the club will very much depend on the quality of player that McClaren can bring in.
Newcastle struggled last season, but in the coming season are odds of 9/2 to be relegated to the Championship. McClaren’s appointment should help the club achieve more stability. The Magpies should definitely be in better hands than last season under the hapless Carver.
Steve McClaren has enjoyed a mixed managerial career so far. The Newcastle job could be the biggest challenge of that relative long managerial career. The first job that McClaren has to do is make his Magpies squad stronger.
McClaren may not be rushing into signing new players this summer, but the Toon Army are starting to get concerned that they may just see a repeat of last season’s struggles. If new players do not arrive then there is a big danger of a repeat of last season.
Can Newcastle heavily strengthen their squad this summer?