That was the summer transfer window that laid the foundations for a very bright future at Newcastle United

The summer transfer window has come and gone and for Newcastle United, it was a resounding success.

Alexander Isak enjoyed a very promising debut against Liverpool (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alexander Isak enjoyed a very promising debut against Liverpool (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Key areas on the pitch have been strengthened. They’ve kept hold of most of their key players and looked like they have added one or two real gems for the future.

The club have come a long way since being unable to pay a loan fee for Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury this time last year with performances on the pitch suggesting Newcastle are only going in one direction.

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All has changed now though and this window suggests just the beginning of a very bright future.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Matt Targett

Newcastle’s first signing of the summer was done, much like his late-arrival in January, with little fanfare.

As last season came to a close, it was almost unanimously agreed that Targett should have his loan deal made into a permanent stay - and that’s exactly what the Magpies did with minimal fuss.

After briefly flirting with the idea of Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lode, who will feature for Nottingham Forest this season, Targett was the obvious choice.

Matt Targett was Newcastle United's first summer signing (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

A £12million fee was good value for a player that would slot seamlessly into Howe’s set-up.

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Nick Pope

A new goalkeeper didn’t seem to be top of anyone’s agenda, but Pope’s performances in his first few games show why they were right to bring in the England international.

Martin Dubravka did little wrong during his time at St James’s Park, but Pope’s arrival has elevated what supporters can expect from a goalkeeper.

Sven Botman was Newcastle United's first real statement of intent this window (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Already a cult-hero and an internet sensation, Pope has added great quality in goal and looks set to be the No.1 for a few seasons to come.

Sven Botman

This was the signing that made a lot of people realise Newcastle United meant business. After failing to land him in January, it seemed that the Dutchman was on his way to AC Milan.

Instead, the classy defender would move to Tyneside and has shown, in the few games he has played, to be at home in the Premier League and has already begun to forge a blossoming partnership with Fabian Schar.

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Botman’s transfer was the riskiest of the opening flurry with a big fee and no Premier League experience - but he looks at home in that much-improved back-line and will hopefully only go from strength to strength the more football he plays.

Alexander Isak

If the Botman deal showed Newcastle meant business, then the capture of Isak was the deal that really got people to sit up and take notice.

The Sweden international was one of the most-coveted strikers in Europe and against Liverpool showed why the Magpies forked-out a club record fee to sign him from Real Sociedad.

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Isak ran the channels very well, pressed and harried the defence, whilst also being tremendously strong in the air - demonstrating all the skills needed to be a top level modern striker.

And his two strikes, one that was cruelly ruled-out for offside by the barest of margins, were of the highest quality.

Sure, you can’t read too much into that one hour cameo, however, having put in that performance, away at Anfield, on his Premier League debut - it certainly raises the excitement levels just a little.

“First and foremost, the finish, and his overall performance, was very good.” Howe said.

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“Really, really pleased with his tactical discipline as well, and how he played off the ball. He gave us that pace in behind, that threat that good teams need. He showed great composure and technique for both goals.

“The second (offside) one, I didn’t realise how close it was. I think he’ll be pleased with his work, and he’s shown a glimpse of what he can bring to the team.”

Already off the mark for the Magpies, Isak will be hoping to add quickly to his haul and alleviate worries that Newcastle won’t be able to cope in Callum Wilson’s absence.

The Outgoings

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For all the new signings, Newcastle needed to offload players from a bloated squad.

Isaac Hayden and Ciaran Clark, who were not named in their 25-man squad back in the winter, moved on-loan to Norwich City and Sheffield United respectively.

The pair gave their all for Newcastle during their time at the club and secured good moves to upwardly mobile Championship sides.

The same can also be said of Jeff Hendrick and Freddie Woodman who joined Reading and Preston North End.

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This quartet were all in and around first-team plans just 12 months ago but find themselves all now playing Championship football.

Newcastle didn’t receive a fee for any of the four and whilst their big resources mean this isn’t the end of the world, it does show the chronic lack of forward squad planning during Mike Ashey’s tenure at the club that four players.

Window reflections

The best way to summarise any transfer window is ‘has the club ended it in a stronger position than they started it’? You would certainly have to answer yes to that question this summer.

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The Magpies needed to strengthen in all areas of the park and they have largely managed that.

Their defence, which hauled them to an 11th place finish last term, has been improved. Their attacking options have been improved and the overall strength in depth has gone up.

Was it the big first post-takeover summer window that many were expecting though? Possibly not. Newcastle were very restrained in their spending and made sure they weren’t paying over the odds for anyone and ensured they would only move for the right type of player and character.

We will likely reflect on this window in five or ten years time as a very sensible first step to something big with the building blocks to a bright future laid during these last 11 weeks.