Newcastle United got off to a poor start in their new Saudi-backed era thanks to a 3-2 defeat at home to Tottenham on Sunday. Boss Steve Bruce will come under increasing pressure as Unai Emery is reportedly on a three-man shortlist to take over should Amanda Staveley and co. decide to make a change. The Spaniard left Arsenal in 2019, but a number of his former stars could be intrigued by a new challenge on Tyneside which should excite Magpies fans. Express Sport looks at how Newcastle could line up under the former Gunners boss:
Going for another club’s back-up goalkeeper would hardly be a statement of intent by Newcastle’s new owners, but Bernd Leno has not always been classed as such.
Three full seasons between the sticks for Arsenal were solid, if unspectacular, until Aaron Ramsdale came and grasped his opportunity with both hands.
That has left the German out in the cold, and at 29-years-old he will surely be keen to seek regular football if things stay as they are come January.
The Magpies could certainly do worse. After all, nine caps for the national team with the likes of Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen knocking around is nothing to be scoffed at.
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Midfield: Guendouzi, Longstaff, Willock
Another Arsenal loanee who is right there with Saliba – Matteo Guendouzi is pulling up trees over in Marseille.
The 22-year-old earned a call up to the French senior team earlier this campaign, and the Magpies could be boosted by the fact that he and Arteta have had altercations in the past.
Former Gunner Joe Willock is already on Tyneside having made the big-money switch in the summer, so a familiar face could also help to lure in the all-action midfielder.
Completing the prospective trio is Sean Longstaff who, with a few solid performances, can earn himself a much-needed new deal before the end of the season.
Attack: Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Lacazette
Despite the crushing defeat, Allan Saint-Maximin showed against Spurs why he can be the star that Newcastle’s new owners build the team around.
Callum Wilson returning from injury to get on the scoresheet was also perfect timing as Staveley and Yasir Al-Rumayyan watched on from the stands.
Emery could certainly create headlines if he made a move for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette who supposedly has no intention of signing a new deal in north London, despite his current contract expiring next summer.
Fitting both Wilson and Lacazette into the side may be a concern, but after years of making it work with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with only one spot through the middle, repeating the feat in the north-east is not out of the question.