Newcastle United will open training camp on this Thursday and a few players will need to put in extra work before the new season begins in early August.
Newcastle United will host its first training session this Thursday as the squad will begin preparing for the 2019-20 Premier League campaign. The club’s top officials have not found a replacement for Rafa Benitez, so the players can expect to be lead by Neil Redfearn until a permanent manager is hired.
Training camp will be interesting, to say the least, as a mix of regular starters, rotational players and returning loanees will be present on day one of camp. The players returning from their respective loan spells will obviously have the most to prove this summer if they want to revive their careers at Newcastle United now that Benitez is out of the picture. However, there are three players in particular who the new manager and supporters should monitor this summer as they need to improve their form after failing to meet expectations last term.
Newcastle United paid just under £10M for Yoshinori Muto last summer, but his form last season did not reflect that price tag. Muto spent three seasons in the Bundesliga playing for FSV Mainz and he scored 20 goals over the course of 66 matches. In his first season with the Toon, however, Muto played in 17 matches, but only took an alarming six shots as a striker and this resulted in only one goal being scored.
Muto was a major disappointment last term and he has a lot of work to do this summer. He owes it to his teammates and the fans to be more vocal on the pitch, call for the ball more often and create more chances, especially if Salomon Rondon does not return.
With Kenedy sent back to Chelsea, Jacob Murphy is back in the mix for playing time on the wing. Benitez gave Murphy plenty of chances to showcase his skills, sometimes against elite clubs, but the 24-year-old winger lacked consistency and confidence on the ball as he only showed quick flashes of his true potential. His inconsistency was a problem for him when he was on loan at West Brom, too, so he needs to find a way to figure that out. He has the pace to blow past any defender in the Premier League, but his decision-making needs to improve this summer, as does the quality of his crosses from out wide.
Last, but not least, we have Christian Atsu. Unlike the other two players on this list, Atsu does not have to prove his worth or quality. He is a talented player and he has actually influenced the outcome in a few matches as a result of his high energy and his ability to create chances for himself. The problem, however, is his output. In other words, the Magpies need Atsu to score more goals.
He creates some decent chances, especially when he cuts inside the penalty area, but he lacks precision. Atsu needs to put in extra hours focusing on his target practice this summer because if he can become clinical in front of goal Newcastle United will be in good shape, especially if Ayoze Perez leaves this month.