Newcastle were one of the biggest success stories of the 2022-23 campaign, which saw them qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years and reach the Carabao Cup final. Eddie Howe was trusted to lead an ambitious project at St. James Park by the club's Saudi-backed owners, and so far, he has proven to be exactly the right man for the job.
The question is: just how far can Howe take Newcastle? Time will tell, but it's safe to say that they're in a great position after another summer of smart business in the transfer market.
A strong start will be crucial to their chances of success in 2023-24, and the Premier League fixture list has thrown up a real baptism of fire. Newcastle will face Unai Emery's Aston Villa, reigning champions Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton in their first four games - which they should see as an opportunity to lay down a marker.
If the Magpies' points total is in double figures by the end of that testing run, what's to stop them from emerging as dark horses for the title? Juggling Premier League and Champions League commitments will be a new challenge for Howe's side, but they have the depth to make a real impact in both competitions.
Newcastle's strongest starting XI is a match for any team on the continent, and if they can avoid any serious injuries, there is a very real possibility that their agonising 54-year wait for a major trophy will end in 2024...