If Newcastle’s recent performance against Arsenal is anything to go by, next season could see a dramatic jump in the table, aided by a blockbuster summer transfer window.
The recently crowned world’s richest football team still have more to do than their predecessors such as Chelsea and Manchester City, but their move in January suggests they seem to know what they are doing.
The arrival of Eddie Howe and a number of squad upgrades saw the Magpies climb away from a looming relegation battle and towards the top half.
A number of impressive performances, in particular the 2-0 win over Arsenal at St James’ Park, show Newcastle could be ahead of their rise to European football.
The same goes for their spending, with almost every million spent by the Saudi-backed regime being put to good use.
Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Matt Targett instantly provided defense and added a lot of class, while Chris Wood proved invaluable in helping the team avoid relegation.
Bruno Guimareas, who has already brought a huge dose of Champions League level class following his move from Lyon, eclipsed everyone else.
This summer could well see more signings in the Guimaraes slice, with strong reports linking the Howe side to a number of high-quality deals.
Two of those could hinge on how the aforementioned relegation battle plays out, with Newcastle looking to pounce for Leeds’ top two talents.
England international Kalvin Phillips is wanted by a number of top sides including Manchester United, but due to Leeds’ rivalry with the Red Devils, Phillips may end up choosing Newcastle ahead of other suitors such as Aston Villa and West Ham.
Star striker Raphinha also appears to be a virtual certainty to leave Yorkshire no matter what and is also on Newcastle’s radar.
The exciting Brazilian has been regularly linked with Barcelona but the Magpies may well be able to offer much more than the Catalans amid a credit crunch.
Dean Henderson looks set to be another Premier League arrival, with the England international’s development delayed following his return to Manchester United.
Henderson looked set for stardom after starring on a two-year loan spell at Sheffield United, but was caught up in the chaos at Old Trafford, no longer appearing for the side.
Elsewhere, Renan Lodi may be a high-profile move from Atletico Madrid, reuniting with former full-back partner Trippier, but it’s up front where the real excitement takes place.
With the profile of a potential Guimaraes-type impact, Newcastle look confident of winning the race for 19-year-old Hugo Ekitike from Reims.
The French striker has been linked with teams such as Borussia Dortmund, but Newcastle moved closer in January and are expected to return to provide more reliable competition for Chris Wood and Callum Wilson.
If Howe and his team manage to complete the five deals above, here’s what the Magpies could look like next season, showing they could not only beat Arsenal in one-off games, but also in the table.