Football Manager 2022: Simulating Newcastle United's next three seasons

Football Manager 2022 PC/Xbox Game Pass (@FootballManager)

Football Manager 2022 has handed Newcastle United a huge transfer budget ahead of the release of the game.

The beta has shown that the Magpies have a budget of £200m to splash in the transfer market, a huge sum of money that will go a long way to improving the deficiencies in the squad, of which there are plenty!

In real life, the Magpies have, of course, been taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and have been rocketed to the stars, as one of the richest clubs in world football.

So, we thought it might be fun to sim a few seasons and see how Newcastle get on with their riches over the next few years!

Strap yourselves in, Magpies.

2021/22

Newcastle United 2021/22

So, Graeme Jones lasts just nine days in the caretaker position before Newcastle take the relatively sensible approach of appointing Brendan Rodgers as their new manager.

He lasts until Christmas despite a huge summer outlay.

A deal to sign Maxi Gomez from Valencia is struck for £43.5m, while both Nacho Monreal and Kieran Trippier also come in for a combined £26.9m. They do manage to get rid of Joelinton, though, so that’s a win.

Newcastle then install coach Neil Winskill as an interim manager before appointing, guess who? Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho steadies the ship a little bit and they finish 11th in the Premier League with 45 points, with no little help from a January spend.

Newcastle sign Hamza Choudhury - a long-term Steve Bruce target - from Leicester, as well as Nahitan Nandez, Cole Palmer, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Ryan Kent, Robin Le Marchand and Jesse Lingard. The most expensive deal there was for Le Marchand, signed from Real San Sebastian for £43m. Overall, the outlay is £143.55m.

They’re 16 points off the top four, with Leicester finishing fourth, and nine points clear of the drop.

In the FA Cup, Newcastle are knocked out in the third round by Brentford and they are dumped out of the Carabao Cup by League One Stoke City on penalties.

Their top scorer is Allan Saint-Maximin, who scores 13 goals in 42 games, closely followed by summer signing Maxi Gomez with 11, and then Callum Wilson with eight goals.

As the season ends, they confirm the signing of Billy Gilmour for £5.25m.

2022/23

Newcastle 2022/23

Mourinho’s first full season is an undoubted improvement on 21/22.

The club invest heavily in the summer transfer window, with some smarter looking buys. Renan Lodi comes in from Atletico Madrid for £30.5m, goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic arrives for £11m, Manchester City wonderkid Liam Delap comes in for £25m and they also snap up youngster Henry Lawrence for £155,000.

So good was that window, they only sign one player in January, another youngster by the name of Sam Edozie, for £215k.

Mourinho also ships out some deadwood, with the likes of Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis, Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey all leaving either permanently or on loan.

They only raise £11.25m from sales, however.

Still, Newcastle finish ninth under Mourinho with 57 points, 11 points off fourth-placed Everton and 27 points off the relegation zone.

They also reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, though they’re beaten 3-1 by Chelsea, and are embarrassed by fellow Premier League club Nottingham Forest in the second round of the League Cup, going down 1-0.

Gomez continues to prove he’s value for money by top scoring with 22 goals in 41 games; Jesse Lingard hits 10 in 38, and Saint-Maximin notches seven.

An improvement.

2023/24

Newcastle 2023/24

The final season of our simulation is up and down.

Newcastle again invest heavily. As soon as the season ends, Matheus Nunes arrives for £41.5m from Sporting Lisbon and Diego Carlos comes in for £32m from Sevilla to shore up the defence.

They then splash £58m on Dani Olmo, the RB Leipzig star, once the transfer window opens, and also bring in Kelechi Iheanacho from Leicester for £46m. Add in deals for Tino Livramento and Nicolas Dominguez from Southampton and Bologna respectively and you have a summer outlay of £224.1m.

They also admit defeat on a few signings, sending Choudhury, Kent and Nandez out on loan, and ridding the club of both Lascelles and Wilson. They raise £29m in funds, though the bulk of that comes from selling Sean Longstaff to West Ham for £14.5m.

It doesn’t really help.

Newcastle have a season of upheaval again and finish ninth again, only with two fewer points than last season.

They’re well off the top four, finishing 18 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, although they are 31 points clear of the drop zone.

In the FA Cup, they’re humbled in the fifth round by Blackburn Rovers of the Championship, losing 2-1, although they do reach the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, only to be beaten 3-1 by Arsenal.

Mourinho lasts until March 24th, when he’s sacked and replaced by the interim manager, Steve Agnew. He does a month in charge and then Manuel Pellegrini is handed the keys to the Newcastle war chest.

At the end of the season, Maxi Gomez is again top scorer, with 19 goals in 34 games, and he is the only player to hit double figures; both Olmo and Saint-Maximin score eight, and Iheanacho nets seven. That’s a poor return given the investment!

Conclusion

Newcastle United's new owners

Newcastle didn’t have much joy in their first three seasons but there are some green shoots of recovery.

Two top-half finishes is progress and they have shown a willingness to spend in certain areas to improve. In FM, they clearly bought a gem in Maxi Gomez, who scored 52 goals in three seasons - no mean feat.

Mourinho will have brought some entertainment to both the dugout and press conferences, although his trophy drought extends beyond his time at Spurs.

With no European football and no silverware, there has to be some real disappointment at St James’ Park.


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