The international break isn't particularly enjoyable for the most part, with the two week absence of Premier League football certainly felt when required to watch England coast through a 4-0 win over Bulgaria having assumed 68% of the possession.
However, one benefit that the hiatus does offer, is that it allows for time to reflect.
The current Premier League campaign is only four matches old, but nevertheless, aspects can be learnt regarding a team as well as the areas for improvement moving forward. It's only September, but even at this early stage, clubs will be looking to plan ahead for the January transfer window.
Newcastle United 's performances up until now have been relatively fine, but nothing more. Steve Bruce 's side are 14th in the table having won one, drawn one and lost two, with four points on the board. The situation could be better, but could be worse too.
Based on the showings so far, though, what are Newcastle lacking and who could the club target in January to resolve these issues?
What are the problems?
It's very early stages, but so far, it's reasonable to suggest the Newcastle have offensive issues. These problems are largely related to the defensive, cautious playing style, but Bruce can still aspire for better.
After four matches, Newcastle have completed only 14 passes within an estimated 20 yards of goal excluding crosses, which places them 19th. For perspective, Watford have posted 36 and recently opted to sack Javi Gracia.
In addition, the Magpies are 19th for goals scored, 20th for Expected Goals (xG), and 16th for shots taken. The team have also failed to score more than once in any match so far.
When taking a look at Newcastle's squad, it does seem fairly well-suited to the counter-attacking playing style. Bruce has a group of defenders that are capable of soaking pressure, he has attackers that are fast and able to operate in isolation, and he has midfielders that are quite disciplined.
Better can still be achieved, though, so who could be targeted?
Ibrahim Sangare (Toulouse)
A solution to the team's problem could be to search for a midfielder with a more all-round game in comparison to those already at the club.
The likes of Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden are hard-working, industrious types without many attacking traits, for example. At the opposite end of the scale, Jonjo Shelvey has plenty of useful offensive qualities, but he doesn't offer much on the defensive side of the game.
Newcastle would benefit from incorporating a midfielder who's almost a hybrid of both types, so that he can offer contribution in all phases rather than few.
Ibrahim Sangare, who's contracted to Toulouse in France, may be that. He's just 21 years-old, but he's physically imposing at around 6ft 3 inches tall, and would be relatively cheap considering his current club.
As a central midfielder in Ligue One, he's posted a fairly complete profile over the past year, with the exception of him providing a real scoring threat. In virtually every other aspect of play, he performs impressively, both with and without possession.
He's strong, lean, technically proficient and can cover plenty of ground, and while not yet being a match-winning influence in the final third, the room for development is certainly there.
He's the type that could contribute in the short term, while holding exciting long term potential.
Donyell Malen (PSV)
Newcastle have signed a number of attackers in the past 18 months, including Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, and Allan Saint-Maximin . Those players have qualities that can be nurtured, but they lack real decisive output in terms of scoring and assisting to influence results.
Almiron was a possible exception in that regard, as he arrived from MLS with a fairly productive game, but since moving to England, he's failed to score.
Bruce has a number of attackers at his disposal that are suited to his playing style, but he would benefit from a player that delivers scoring moments consistently.
Donyell Malen is an exciting talent who could be that player. He's only 20 years-old and is playing in a fairly weak division in the Dutch Eredivisie, but he's showcasing plenty of ability to the extent that he may eventually find himself at a top European club.
Over the course of the past year, Malen has played only 1391 league minutes for PSV as a consequence of his age and the players ahead of him, but he's scored eleven and assisted three goals. That's a scoring contribution every 99 minutes.
He tends to shoot over three times per 90 minutes which is generally a positive, and he scored against Germany recently having been selected for the Dutch national team by Ronald Koeman.
Malen is young, athletic, quick, skillful and based on his early showings at PSV as a youngster, he seems to have end product too. Ultimately, he's a player that may be worth tracking considering his potential ceiling.