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Potential options for Newcastle to replace Sandro Tonali

The Italy midfielder is expected to be suspended for a year. What can Newcastle do to fill his hole?

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Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The latest reports coming out of Italy regarding the upcoming suspension to be handed to Newcastle midfielder and Italy international Sandro Tonali talk about 10 months on the shelves for the Magpie.

The aforementioned suspension would rule Tonali out for the remainder of the season and into next summer’s preseason.

Alfredo Pedulla reported the information on Twitter late Monday, and whether that timeline ends up being correct or not, it’s fair to assume that Tonali will spend at least the next half-a-year suspended and off of any football field, which is something Newcastle will need to solve after spending a humongous fee in the Italian to make him a prime part of Magpie midfield.

In a rather detailed column written by Jacob Whitehead of The Athletic, the analyst covered many options that NUFC might explore next January in the upcoming winter transfer window to fill the gap opened by Tonali’s absence in the middle of the pitch, from loans to straight signings.

Here is a rundown of every possibility Whitehead discussed in his piece, which he split into three different categories: players who fit Newcastle’s style of play the best, potential loan deals for players currently in the Premier League, and transfers for players in Saudi Arabia’s Pro League.

Villarreal CF v Stade Rennais FC: Group F - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Photo by DAX Images/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Best stylistic fits:

Enzo Le Fee:

  • Young and talented. Recently joined Rennes from Lorient.

Ivan Ilic:

  • Signed for Torino in a permanent deal this summer.

Khephren Thuram:

  • Ball-winner and dribbler.

Maxence Caqueret:

  • Deep-lying playmaker.

Arne Engels:

  • Versatile 20-year-old who can play across midfield or the right flank.

Andre Almeida:

  • 23-year-old Valencia midfielder. Worth around £20m.

Scott McTominay:

  • Capable of rotating between No. 6 and No. 8 roles. Plays for Manchester United and knows the Premier League. May come at a premium.
England v Australia - International Friendly Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Premier League loans:

Kalvin Phillips:

  • England international. Barely features for Manchester City, and reportedly wants out. Primarily a No. 6.

Andre Gomes:

  • Out of favor at Everton. Doubts over the requisite quality.

Donny van de Beek:

  • Out of favor at Manchester United. Concerns about the time it may take to rebuild confidence.

Jonjo Shelvey:

  • Previously with Newcastle. Currently on loan at Caykur Rizespor in the Turkish Super Lig.
Al-Hilal v Al-Khaleej - Saudi Pro League Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Saudi Pro League options:

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic:

  • Versatile player, capable of playing both No. 6 and No. 8. Played for Lazio. Potential stylistic adjustment from Serie A (via the SPL).

Ruben Neves:

  • Excellent for Wolverhampton in the Premier League. Top scorer and top tackler for Wolves. More of a depth piece for the midfield.

Gabri Veiga:

  • Moved to Al Ahli from Celta Vigo. Similar playing style to Tonali but may need time to adjust. Impactful defending work in La Liga.

What do you think about those players? Who would you target? Let us know in the comments section below!