By Dominic Toner
Ex-Newcastle manager Chris Hughton believes that his old side have done some very smart business already in the transfer window.
The current Brighton manager will be expected to cause a serious threat to Newcastle’s promotion aspirations following a third-placed finish last season, but believes Newcastle have secured some very good transfers already.
Hughton believes that the captures of Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are “top players” for Championship level and recognises how tough the competition for promotion will be this season, cited by Chronicle Live.
Former Bournemouth midfielder Matt Ritchie revealed it was impossible for him to turn down a move to Newcastle after he joined the club for a reported £10million deal.
The winger was an integral part in Bournemouth’s promotion from England’s second-tier in 2014-15 and should provide his new side the experience in mounting a promotion push.
Their second big signing was the £10million man Dwight Gayle who left Crystal Palace and he has set himself an ambitious goalscoring target of scoring at least 20 goals in his first season with the club.
Current manager Rafa Benitez has also added defenders Matz Sels and Jesus Gamez to his squad and most recently captured Arsenal midfielder Isaac Hayden.
Former boss Hughton guided Newcastle to the Championship title in the 2009/10 season in emphatic style as they finished with 102 points.
He did not enjoy the same success with Brighton last season as they agonisingly missed out on an automatic spot to Middlesbrough on goal difference, before falling to a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the playoffs.
In other Newcastle news, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has shared the drastic steps he has taken to get fit for this season.