Newcastle’s 2021 switch targets XI would now be one of many ‘worst teams ever’

Newcastle’s XI of dream transfer targets from 2021 has been dubbed the “worst ever”.

The £300million takeover by Saudi Arabia‘s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in October 2021 sent the fanbase into a frenzy, with many expecting a host of high-profile signings to arrive. That expectation was captured in a graphic posted by BBC’s Match of the Day on X after the takeover, showing a team of players linked with a move to St James’ Park during the 2021/22 season.

But two-and-a-half years on, the tweet and line-up have resurfaced, serving as a reminder to never let fans handle transfer business. That’s down to the majority of the players included suffering a dramatic fall from grace in the time since.

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Tipped to lead Newcastle’s attack was Mauro Icardi, who’s now plying his trade with Galatasaray at 31. He was flanked by Manchester United flops Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, with the former now struggling in South Korea while Martial is without a club.

The hypothetical squad threw any tactical sense out the window, fielding Raheem Sterling, now at Chelsea, and Philippe Coutinho of the Qatar Stars League, both out of position as wing-backs.

How do you think that XI would fare in the Premier League today? Let us know in the comments section.

In the centre of the park were Aaron Ramsey and Donny van de Beek who have also declined. Ramsey is now at Cardiff City while Van de Beek didn’t exactly set the world alight on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt last season.

Karl Darlow was picked as the goalkeeper but now struggles for minutes at Leeds United. And the defence was equally as shambolic.

James Tarkowski was a respectable pick – but he was lumped in with another Manchester United flop in Eric Bailly, alongside Federico Fernandez, who left for Spanish minnows Elche in 2022.

Signings like Bruno Guimaraes [R] have transformed Newcastle
Signings like Bruno Guimaraes [R] have transformed Newcastle

Once X user rediscovered the post and quipped: “Worst hypothetical XI ever posted online. Try and find a worse one.”

Luckily, Newcastle chiefs showed more sense, snapping up players on the ascent like Bruno Guimaraes, Chris Wood, Joe Willock, Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier for £110million post-takeover, along with Matt Targett on loan from Aston Villa.

The shrewd signings, along with the appointment of Eddie Howe, made an immediate impact. Newcastle climbed up to 11th place, having been in the relegation zone, and stormed to a top-four finish the following season for the first time in two decades.