I made the title of this article the ‘Breakdown’ of the Newcastle squad and that quite literally is what is happening, the collection of players that began this season (and beyond) contracted to the club is falling apart.
Already we have seen the departures of Hatem Ben Arfa, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Davide Santon, with Sylvain Marveaux also clearly having no future at the club despite a year still remaining on his contract.
This though is the tip of the iceberg with Mike Ashley having consistently reduced the size of the squad in recent seasons.
At the end of the January transfer window all Premier League clubs were required to name their 25 man senior squad (players who qualified as being 21 or under were additional to the senior squad), United could only name 23 and they are listed below.
Four of the 23 see their contracts run out this summer and difficult to see any of Ryan Taylor, Jonas, Sammy or Facundo Ferreyra getting kept on, unless of course relegation strikes…
Assuming though safety is assured, that would leave 19 of that 23 man senior squad.
Potentially Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow will come into the Newcastle squad, unless loaned out again, but neither have played a single game in the Premier League and surely must still be seen as players for the future, at best.
However, another six of that 19 will only have a year left on their deals, including all three centre-backs. This means only 13 of this season’s senior squad have contracts running beyond a year’s time, this group including of course the decent players such as Krul, Janmaat, Cisse and Sissoko who are almost sure to be targeted this summer by other clubs.
Allowing such a large part of the squad to run down their contracts without making significant investment to strengthen the squad, is surely Mike Ashley’s retail equivalent of selling off your better stock and seeing the shelves emptying and not bothering to properly replenish the disappearing lines. Meaning customers being met by near empty shelves….
Newcastle United are now paying the price for Mike Ashley buying no new senior players in three of the last four transfer windows, whilst letting a lot of players walk out the door, or helping them on their way.
This now creates a need for massive numbers needed this summer and two big questions: will Mike Ashley allow the money to be spent and even if a lot of new players came in, just how quickly (especially if most/all are from abroad) could they be absorbed successfully into the Newcastle squad?
Contracted t0 Summer 2017 or beyond
Tim Krul, Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara, Daryl Janmaat, Vurnon Anita, Remy Cabella, Jack Colback, Siem de Jong, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse, Emmanuel Riviere
Contracted t0 Summer 2016
Rob Elliot, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Mehdi Abeid, Gabriel Obertan
Contracted t0 Summer 2015
Ryan Taylor, Sammy Ameobi, Jonas Gutierrez, Facundo Ferreyra