Alexander Isak is the truth.

6 players Eddie Howe needs to rebuild Newcastle’s squad around

Newcastle United’s first full season under new ownership surprised the world – but things have been more of a struggle in 2023-24.

With all that money to spend, we all expected an improvement from where they were when Eddie Howe took charge — 19th in the league, three sheets to the wind, an upside-down monochrome tortoise unable to back onto its belly.

Staying up was one thing, but finishing fourth the following season was a faster progression than many foresaw, and that has taken its toll this season.

The Magpies have had Champions League football and an injury list that reads more like a census to contend with this time around, and it’s killed them.

This summer, they’ll have cash to spend again, and you’d expect a bit of a clearout to free up as much spending as possible. Here are the six players the Toon should rebuild their squad around to reach their full potential in the coming years.

Bruno Guimaraes

In Guimaraes, Newcastle have a midfielder who can do everything. It’s difficult to say what his best attribute is: his vision is extraordinary, his weight of pass is sublime, he’s got quick feet, awareness, tenacity, aggression, and an eye for goal.

He also has a penchant for nutmegging opponents in and around his own penalty area, which is very funny.

Real Madrid have had their big f*ck-off Sauron eye cast over him recently, and Pep Guardiola was indirectly flirting with him in interviews before City’s FA Cup match with the Mags recently.

Newcastle must hang onto Bruno or, if that proves impossible, make sure they get a huge price for him and reinvest wisely.

We’d recommend clinging to him for dear life and building the entire team around the Brazilian.

Alexander Isak

To the tune of ABBA’s Gimme Gimme Gimme:

Gimme, gimme, gimme a striker from Sweden
He’s our number 14 and he plays in attack
Gimme, gimme, gimme a striker from Sweden
First name’s Alexander and his last name’s Isak

Isak is a bit of an enigma. A tall, lanky striker with limbs longer than most people’s respective bodies, yet he has the quicksilver feet and perfect balance of a nippy winger.

Add to that a calmness in front of goal possessed by only the best strikers, and Newcastle have an attacking leatherman capable of being anything he wants to be.

Isak has looked a bit isolated this season, yet has still managed to score more than a goal every other game he’s played. If the Toon can figure out how to get the ball to him as often as possible, the rest of the league is in big trouble.

Lewis Miley

Miley shone during Newcastle’s pre-season in the USA, so much so that we highlighted him in this very church as one to watch. Not to blow our own horn, but we were so f*cking right.

The 17-year-old wasn’t expected to be involved in the first team this season, with Sandro Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff, and Elliot Anderson all ahead of him in the midfield pecking order.

As it happened, the Toon were obliterated by injuries and a season-long suspension to Tonali, and young Lewis found himself dropped right into the heart of the midfield.

Honestly, in the long run, it might have been a blessing for the Geordies. Miley hasn’t put a foot wrong all season. He’s made goals, scored one himself, and put his body on the line defensively.

With Tonali returning early next season, competition for central midfield positions is going to be tough, but Newcastle should build around Miley and make him a modern-day one-club player.

We'll give you Alan Shearer for free.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to score 10+ Premier League goals for Newcastle?

Tino Livramento

Some fans were a little confused when Newcastle’s decision-makers chucked an initial £32,000,000 at Southampton for Livramento after he’d spent a whole season out with an ACL injury.

Kieran Tripper was one of their best players the previous season and was the club’s de facto captain in Jamaal Lascelles’ absence from the starting XI.

Wouldn’t the money be better spent elsewhere, then?

Newcastle don’t look so silly now. Tino has found game time relatively easy to come by, with injuries to, well, the entire squad, to be honest, but that includes their full-backs.

Tino has played right-back, left-back, right-wing, left-wing, and even midfield, and he’s played them all exceptionally.

Trippier will turn 34 at the start of next season, and Livramento is all set up to take over the berth in the long term but, until then, he’s become a superb Jack-of-all-trades and an incredibly useful player.

If they were buying him this summer, you can guarantee he’d cost more than what they paid for him last season. Smart.

Anthony Gordon

The nippy scouser has arguably been the Magpies’ best player so far, this season. Gordon took half a season to figure out his role at Newcastle but, now, he is the quintessential Eddie Howe player.

A hard-working, super-intense, wiry nuisance of a player, with an end-product to match. The sort of winger full-backs must dread playing, knowing they’re not going to be getting a moment’s peace this afternoon.

The Nuisance is only 23, has just earned his first England call-up, and can also play through the middle as a striker if needs be.

If he and Isak can get a rotational understanding going, it could be the touchstone of Newcastle’s attack for seasons to come.

Sven Botman

He looks a bit like an animated version of one of the Easter Island head statues, and he has the calm stillness of one, too.

The Dutchman is only 24 years old, and as long as he makes a full recovery from the knee injury he sustained recently, he should be at the heart of the Geordies’ defence for a decade to come.

You rarely see him sprinting because he’s always in the right place, intercepting loose passes, getting tight to opposition forwards, or making a perfectly-timed tackle.

Botman is also exceptionally cool on the ball and can spray passes to the wings like his compatriot, Virgil van Dijk. Build the defence around Botman, and the Magpies won’t go far wrong.

READ NEXT: Ranking all 12 of Newcastle’s post-takeover signings from worst to best

TRY A QUIZ:Can you name every player Eddie Howe has used at Newcastle?