Ranking the 10 transfers Newcastle United have made under the PIF ownership: Guimaraes, Botman…

Bruno Guimaraes celebrates after scoring for Newcastle.

Since a Saudi-led consortium ended Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership of Newcastle United in October 2021, the club have been very active in the transfer market. 

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) have backed manager Eddie Howe and allowed him to spend over £200m on new signings in 2022.

Newcastle have subsequently made a lot of progress on the pitch and have gone from relegation candidates to a side who look capable of competing at the right end of the table.

Now, just after a year after their takeover was completed, we’ve ranked the 10 signings the new owners have made so far from worst to best.

10. Loris Karius

After Martin Dubravka joined Manchester United on loan and Karl Darlow suffered an injury in training, Newcastle needed a new back-up goalkeeper in September 2022.

They turned to Karius, who was available on a free transfer after being released by Liverpool at the end of the 2021/22 season.

The 29-year-old signed a short-term contract until January 2023 and is yet to make his debut for the Magpies.

9. Garang Kuol

While Kuol is still playing for Australian side Central Coast Mariners, he will officially join Newcastle when the transfer window opens in January so we’ve included him here.

They reportedly fought off competition from Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart to sign the highly-rated 18-year-old in a deal worth £300,000.

“He’s had a dramatic rise and he’s in a position that has excited everybody,” Eddie Howe said. “There needs to be patience shown. We will look after him and he’ll go out on loan and learn and develop behind the scenes, and hopefully when he comes here he can play a part in our future.

“He’s very sharp, agile, quick and a good finisher. He’s got a lot of very positive ingredients and that is going to be nurtured and developed in the next couple of years to get him at the right level for the Premier League.”

Newcastle striker Garang Kuol (image via official Newcastle United website - nufc.co.uk)

8. Chris Wood

After Callum Wilson was ruled out for eight weeks with a calf injury, Newcastle needed a new striker in January 2022 and they activated the £25m release clause in Wood’s Burnley contract.

The New Zealand international is yet to justify that price tag and has found goals hard to come by in Tyneside, scoring just three times in a Newcastle shirt.

He’s currently behind both Wilson and Alexander Isak in the pecking order and now faces an uncertain future at St James’ Park.

7. Matt Targett

Having been deemed surplus to requirements by Aston Villa, Targett joined Newcastle on an initial loan deal in January 2022.

The left-back immediately established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet, playing every minute of the 16 Premier League games he was eligible for and helping them keep five clean sheets in those games.

His impressive performances convinced Newcastle to turn his temporary move into a £15m permanent deal in the summer.

The 27-year-old has struggled with injury problems and illness in 2022/23 and now faces competition from Dan Burn.

6. Alexander Isak

Newcastle showcased their ambition and broke their transfer record by signing Isak from Real Sociedad in a £63m deal in August 2022.

He hit the ground running and made a dream start to his Premier League career with a goal against Liverpool on his debut. The striker also showed fine footwork to score a second goal at Anfield, only for it to be ruled out by the offside flag.

The Sweden international then scored a penalty that helped the Magpies secure a point against Bournemouth, making it two goals in his first three appearances for the club. 

His promising start has been interrupted by a thigh injury, but he certainly has the attributes to move up this list and become a real hero at St. James’ Park.

5. Sven Botman

Newcastle fought off competition from a host of European sides and agreed to pay Lille £35m to secure the signature of the 22-year-old during the summer of 2022.

Botman is yet to put a foot wrong or taste defeat in his first seven Premier League appearances and is starting to forge a promising centre-back partnership with Fabian Schar. 

The Netherlands Under-21 international recently impressed against Fulham’s Aleksandr Mitrovic and Brentford’s Ivan Toney and has won plenty of plaudits due to his impressive distribution and aerial ability. 

4. Dan Burn

Newcastle initially tried to sign Botman and Diego Carlos in January 2022 so fans were a bit underwhelmed when they paid £13m to lure Burn – a former academy graduate – back to his boyhood club.

But the 30-year-old silenced any doubters and helped fix Newcastle’s leaky defence as they moved out of the relegation zone and secured a mid-table finish in 2021/22.

He’s showcased his versatility in 2022/23 and has started all nine of their Premier League games, playing at both centre-back and left-back.

3. Nick Pope

After suffering relegation to the Championship with Burnley, Pope joined Newcastle in a £10m deal and immediately usurped Martin Dubravka as their No.1.

The England international has made a superb start to life at St. James’ Park, making a number of impressive saves and keeping three clean sheets in nine Premier League appearances in 2022/23.

He’s already become a fan favourite at Newcastle and won their Player of the Month award in both August and September.

2. Kieran Trippier

The first signing of the PIF era, Trippier returned to England and joined Newcastle in January 2022 after spending two-and-a-half years at Atletico Madrid.

Despite missing three months of action with a fractured metatarsal, he’s made a huge impact at St. James’ Park and has been one of their standout performers in 2022.

The right-back has showcased his leadership skills by captaining the side on several occasions and has also chipped in with a few goals, scoring brilliant free-kicks against Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City.

1. Bruno Guimaraes

After being linked with Arsenal and Juventus, Guimaraes raised eyebrows when he left Lyon in the January transfer window and decided to join Newcastle in a £36m deal.

He has helped transform Newcastle’s fortunes and some fans are already hailing him as the best midfielder they have ever seen in a black and white shirt.

Since making his debut in February, the Brazil international has scored more Premier League goals (7) than any other Newcastle player. But he also works hard off the ball and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work in the middle of the park.

“He’s absolutely a bargain because he’s had a huge effect on the team and the club,” Howe said after a 5-1 win over Brentford. “In today’s market, that is a relatively modest sum – which I can’t really believe I’m saying – but it is.

“He’s a pleasure to coach and be around. He’s a really positive person, an energiser and someone I love to coach and be with. I think everyone here connected with the club – me, the players, the supporters – absolutely love him.”

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