The three positions Newcastle could be looking at improving come the transfer window
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22:  Steve Bruce, Manager of Aston Villa looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Brentford at Villa Park on August 22, 2018 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

As supporters begin to limber up for the Premier League's return to our screens in mid-June, attention reconvenes back to footballing matters.

Familiar discussions that centre around team selections and who should be in and who should be out of the team are bound to return, and it will almost be like we've never been away. 

With the regular football calendar all to pot, the usual 'summer' transfer window is rumoured to open at the beginning of September, when it would usually be closing. 

But a restart date is an important first step for fans and clubs alike, and a window of time will be allocated at some point.

For Steve Bruce and his Newcastle United specially, there should be an optimistic feel in regards to having money in the pot - of course though, takeover rumours loom in the air on Tyneside, but many remain on the side of caution.

Bruce was given the cash to spend after his arrival last summer, whilst in January the only done deals were that of loan signatures in Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb who are essentially all on borrowed time. 

Priorities to strengthen 

There's always a healthy discussion upon where United could improve among supporters, given the physically enduring nature of the Premier League where more so than ever, the a big enough squad is needed. 

Firstly, Bruce knows more than anyone the struggle his side have found when it comes to scoring goals regularly, and in the first half of the season there was a heavy reliance on the defenders to come good.

Pressure never lifted off Joelinton, but in his defence he certainly favoured the roles outside the recognised striker, and the number nine tag when he first signed was a mis-representation of his sort.

Andy Carroll has notably changed games when he has appeared this season, but injury frustrations since the turn of 2020 have limited playtime, the same being the case with Dwight Gayle.

The club have been tipped to secure the signing of Celtic frontman Odsonne Edouard who has bagged 22 goals last year in the SPFL, who would certainly be an impressive coup given his links to Arsenal and Spurs as well. 

Centre-Midfield

It never seems to be the most stable of squad positions at United.

The Manchester United interest in Sean Longstaff wouldn't disappear last summer, and now it's the turn of younger brother Matty to be rumoured with a move away to Italy, as his contract runs down.

Jonjo Shelvey signed a new contract extension earlier in the year but he has seen Mikel Merino and Mo Diame depart in the last couple of years, with Isaac Hayden also almost departing last summer. 

Bentaleb as mentioned is currently on loan, and whilst the option to buy from Schalke is still there, it's not to be said that he would definitely be returning. 

Another link that has done the rounds, but could be a smart addition is that of AC Milan's Franck Kessie, who with two years remaining on his current deal, could be sold this coming window for a higher stake than letting his deal run out. 

Only 23-years-old, he is more of a powerhouse who can drive his side forward and retain possession, but his final product hasn't always been highly praised over in Italy. 

Winger 

The season's expulsion came at the wrong time for on-loan Inter Milan winger Lazaro, whose goal at West Brom in the FA Cup proved to be an important one in the end, just as he was beginning to find his feet. 

Naturally an attacking player more suited on the wings, the Austrian is the type of outlet United have needed, with the trickery and flare of Allan Saint-Maximin on the other side. 

The option to buy is there when the season does end for a reported £20 million, and dependant on how he fares in the final nine games it could be a genine option.

Christian Atsu has been in and out, and whilst Saint-Maximin has been a threat, he hasn't always been fit and a strong element of competition for places hasn't always been there in wide positions for the club. 

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