As expected, it was a very quiet end to the domestic summer transfer window for Newcastle United.
Departures were always more likely than incomings at St James’s Park – but Steve Bruce went with what he already has on his books, rather than dip into the market for lower league recruits.
With the window now closed, what constitutes Newcastle United’s strongest starting XI this season? Our writer Liam Kennedy takes injuries, illness and suspensions out the equation to name what he believes is Bruce and United’s best side for the Premier League.
5. Left back: Jamal Lewis
In action for Northern Ireland this week he took a knock but all seems to be well with the player. United's only real recognised left back in the squad, he's a 'shoe in' for the role, even if he has looked a little nervy in the Premier League of late.
Photo: Charles McQuillan
6. Centre midfield: Isaac Hayden
The only player Newcastle have in their ranks who can break the play up. A player who can stick his foot in where needed and provide a defensive influence in the middle. Another whose consistency has proven important to this side but a player who can produce more, especially given his energy and box-to-box ability.
7. Centre midfield: Jeff Hendrick
Fresh from Euro 2020 disappointment with the Republic of Ireland, Hendrick has a point to prove at United. He looks a little lost on the right - I'd stick him in the centre at the expense of Shelvey for a few weeks before making my mind up on his best role.
Photo: Alexander Hassenstein
8. Right side: Ryan Fraser
When fully up and running, Newcastle United fans will see how good a player they have on their hands. The Magpies winger is yet to really have much of an impact in the Premier League, but with more minutes for Scotland - and a goal - under his belt, Fraser will be come back flying.
Photo: Ian MacNicol